How To: Create a Rain Garden


A rain garden refers to a planted area that receives water runoff from urban areas like parking lots, walkways, driveways, etc. The water from the area goes into the ground and feeds the plants as opposed to flooding storm drains.

Start a rain garden to encourage water conservation and sustainability in your community space.

  1. Plan strategically: Observe where water naturally runs off from pavement or roofs during rain storms (the elevation will be lower). From there, you can start to plot out where you'll grow the plants.
  2. Analyze the site
    • determine the type of soil
    • how much light there is
    All of these factors will go in to your design.
  3. Find out how much it will cost: Visit a landscape supply business online or in person to learn the cost of materials like:
    • seeds
    • mulch
    • fertilizer
    Remember, you want local plants that require the amount of water your climate provides.
  4. Plan a day for the initial planting: Get as many people involved as possible. To spread awareness about the garden, consider holding a little celebration with food and refreshments. When students stop by, fill them in on the work you're doing.
  5. Assemble your team: Have a sign up sheet at the special event day. These volunteers will pledge to take part in the garden's:
  • maintenance
  • regular meetings
  • fundraising events
  • Set a schedule: For the rest of the year, volunteers will need to follow the strict outline that you've made of who waters, weeds, and meets when. Remember to text/call the volunteer the day before their scheduled duty so that they don't forget.
  • Don't forget to register with the Green Your School Challenge. A project like this earn you a $5,000 grant.