What is a rain garden?
A rain garden is a depression created in your landscape to allow rainwater from your roof or driveway to slowly soak into the ground instead of running off into the nearest stream or Puget Sound.
Native soils are removed and replaced with a special blend of high organic soil, bioretention and mulch. Rain gardens are then planted with beautiful, hardy, low-maintenance native perennial plants, which can withstand drought and wet root conditions.
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Why build a rain garden?
Rain gardens are highly engineered to provide environmental benefits, but don't let that fool you. They are also beautifully landscaped garden features that:
- Enhance the landscaping and appearance of homes and yards
- Provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds
- Filter oil and grease from driveways, pesticides, and fertilizers from lawns, and other pollutants before they reach groundwater or the storm drain and eventually streams, wetlands, lakes and marine waters
- Filter runoff from agricultural land to help prevent pollutants like manure from washing into our waterways
- Reduce flooding on neighboring property, overflows in sewers, and erosion in streams by absorbing runoff from hard surfaces
- Increase the amount of water that soaks into the ground to recharge local groundwater
How do I build a rain garden?
Qualified properties in Snohomish County and on Camano Island are eligible to receive funding (cost share) from the Snohomish Conservation District, which can help you pay for your rain garden. Contact our Community Conservation Team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
There are many resources available to homeowners who want to build rain gardens on their own.
This video provides an overview of the rain garden construction process from beginning to end.
Rain Garden Handbook (PDF)
Produced jointly by the Washington State Department of Ecology and WSU Extension, this handbook includes all the information you will need to plan and build your own rain garden.
These two guides will help you take care of your rain garden after it has been installed. Download the first link for a more in-depth explanation of what your rain garden needs, and print out the second one to hang on your fridge to remind you at-a-glance!
This regional initiative has many great resources to learn more about rain gardens and where to find professional help if you live anywhere in the Puget Sound.
Got a question about rain gardens? Contact our Community Conservation Team by clicking below or by emailing us at ccteam(at)snohomishcd.org