Rain Garden

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a sunken area in the landscape that collects rainwater runoff from roofs, driveways and streets and allows it to soak into the ground. It acts like a giant sponge and is planted with grasses and flowering perennials.

What Are the Benefits of a Rain Garden?

  • They are Natural Filters – The rain garden catches stormwater carrying sediment, motor oil, road salt and other pollutants before it reaches the stream.
  • They Slow the Flow – Heavy rain fall can create a lot of fast moving stormwater. Rain gardens catch stormwater runoff. This allows the water to soak into the ground and not rush into a nearby stream to cause downstream flooding.
  • They Create Green Space – Rain gardens can be planted with beautiful, PA native grasses, flowers, and shrubs. They make an interesting landscape feature that can also provide habitat for pollinating birds and insects.
  • They Protect Aquatic Life – Blair County is blessed with wonderful fishing streams. Many of the fish living in our streams need cold water. Hot roadways and roofs can make summer-time stormwater very warm. Rain gardens trap and cool this water before it reaches the stream.

Fun Facts

  • A rain garden is not a pond or wetland. If built correctly, they will drain within 12-36 hours.
  • Rain gardens can remove about 80-90% of pollutants and sediment from the rainwater runoff.


The US EPA estimates that pollutants carried by rainwater runoff account for 70% of all water pollution.


Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow for 30% more water to soak into the ground.

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