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› Rain gardens
Some gardens are planted for a specific purpose, like growing good things to eat or flowers to pick. A rain garden's purpose is to catch rain water with its plants and soil.
A nature-friendly solution
A rain garden is a natural or landscaped basin that captures and soaks up water that runs off your roof, driveway, walkway or other hard areas around your home. A rain garden is planted with native trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants. When a rain garden is added to a yard or garden, it collects rain water like a sponge and allows it to slowly filter into the ground before it becomes polluted stormwater runoff, resulting in healthier urban waterways and habitats.
Benefits of rain gardens
Not only do rain gardens protect habitat for fish and wildlife, they offer a wide range of advantages for your home and garden. Rain gardens:
- are beautiful and easy to incorporate into your yard
- conserve water
- reduce standing water in your yard
- reduce mosquito breeding
- survive drought seasons
- create habitat for beneficial bugs, birds and butterflies
- come in all shapes and sizes that let your creativity blossom!
*Please note that the following resources are informational only; plant lists or other information may not be applicable to the Pacific Northwest.
- The Oregon Rain Garden Guide
A step-by-step guide to landscaping for clean water and healthy streams
- East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District: Rain Garden Resources
Plant lists and garden designs that are appropriate for our region's climate, plus landowner assistance, workshops and other resources
- Rain Garden resources
City of Gresham
How-to guides and planting plans, tour map, Gresham rain garden show-case, and free assistance for homeowners
- Rain garden handbook or brochure
Washington State University
Design your landscape to protect our streams, lakes, bays and wetlands
- Contain the Rain
City of Portland
Find out how to get discounts on your sewer bill, use water wisely and protect Portland's rivers and watersheds!
- 10,000 Rain gardens
Frequently asked questions, resources and photos of Kansas city rain gardens in action
- Rain Garden Network
Background information, photos, books, glossary and links
- Rain Gardens: A household way to improve water quality in your community
University of Wisconsin
Benefits and a step-by-step illustrative example of building a rain garden. Other rain garden publications available