What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is an attractive landscaped area planted with perennial native plants which don’t mind getting “wet feet”.  Built in a bowl shape, a rain garden is designed to increase infiltration allowing rain and snowmelt to seep naturally into the ground. Benefits of rain gardens are multiple: they recharge groundwater supply, prevent water quality problems, provide habitat for birds and butterflies, and are great looking landscape features.


Recent studies have shown that up to 70% of the pollution in our streams, rivers and lakes is carried there by run-off from practices we carry out in our own yards and gardens. Some of the common “nonpoint source pollutants” from our yards that end up in our local waterways include soil, fertilizers, pesticides, pet wastes, grass clippings and other yard debris.

Planting rain gardens is an effective way to help our communities “bloom”, as we work to protect the health of our watersheds. 

Everyone lives in a watershed. You, as well as everyone in you watershed, are part of the watershed community. Animals, birds, and fish are part of it too. You influence the health of you watershed, good or bad, by how you treat its natural resources—the soil, water, air, plants, and animals. You can help maintain the health of our watershed by installing a rain garden on you own property. Planting a rain garden may seem like a small thing, but if you calculate the amount of rain that runs off your property, you might be surprised. Every drop counts! Rain gardens capture rain that usually runs off your property and allows it time to soak into the ground. This helps minimize run-off and helps reduce the amount of non-point source pollution that enters our waterways. Keeping rain where it falls, by directing it to a rain garden, is a natural solution to water pollution. You not only get a lovely garden, but you have also helped protect our rivers, streams and lakes from pollution. Once you get started, let us know how your project unfolds. Send your before and after pictures to us so we can post the photos on our website. Feel free to contact one of our professionals at McShane’s, should you have any questions. We are always glad to help.

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