Rain Gardens

What is a Rain Garden?
A rain garden is a garden designed as a shallow depression to collect water that runs off from your roof, driveway and other paved areas. It is a sustainable and economic way of dealing with rainfall as nature intended.

Rain gardens are…

  • Easy to construct, low cost and beautiful
  • Home to native birds, butterflies and other local wildlife
  • A green solution to managing stormwater where we live

How Does it Work?

  • The soil and plants absorb the water and filter pollutants.
  • The garden slows down and reduces the volume of rainfall runoff before it enters the stormwater system
  • Yet a rain garden is not a pond as it is quick draining!

Why Build A Rain Garden?

A rain garden provides not only beauty and habitat for our favorite songbirds and butterflies…but conserves precious water supplies and downstream drinking water sources, and protects the water quality necessary to support our economy, recreation, tourism, agricultural and industry.

  • Planting a rain garden is your personal contribution to cleaner water.
  • Together, through the Rain Gardens for the Bays Campaign, thousands of rain gardens will add up to bring tremendous benefits to you and your watershed!
  • Your rain garden makes you a part of growing community working to protect the bays!
  • Check out “Create your own rain garden” to get started!

Why are Rain Gardens Important?

Did you know that stormwater runoff is one of the leading sources of pollution to our waterways? Stormwater run-off speed and volume is influenced by our patterns of development which results in paved surfaces: roads, parking lots, driveways, roof tops.

  • The bad news? We all live downstream and the rate of growth and development have increased stormwater flows.
  • The good news? We can be part of a green solution to reduce stormwater pollution by building rain gardens!

Help keep water clean by filtering storm water runoff before it enters the local waterways or storm management systems.

Rain gardens benefit our waterways in many ways:

  • Promote the recharge of our ground water and drinking water sources
  • For already built areas, rain gardens reduce the stormwater flow speed to allow stormwater to be slowly released back into the environment
  • Add beauty to our individual properties and neighborhoods
  • Provide habitat and food for local wildlife, particularly birds and butterflies
  • It is a good idea to have your soil tested prior to creating your rain garden. This will help you to determine if you need to add anything to the soil and what kind of soil amendments you will need to add to your garden so that it will drain properly.

For site specific information, contact your State’s stormwater program and/or the County Conservation District offices:

DE Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Watershed Stewardship

Conservation Districts