Rain Gardens

What is a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens are landscaped depressions that are designed to capture and treat stormwater runoff. 

Stormwater runoff usually travels over hard surfaces, such as driveways and roads, into the stormsewer system. Runoff in the stormsewer is discharged, untreated, into downstream water bodies such as Rice Creek, Moore Lake, or the Mississippi River. However, rain gardens can capture this runoff and allow it to naturally infiltrate through the soil instead. 

By allowing water to naturally infiltrate through the soil, rain gardens can reduce flooding and remove pollutants such as sediment and phosphorus. This improves the quality of our water! Rain gardens can also be landscaped with native, pollinator-friendly plants to support our amazing pollinators!

Rain Gardens in Your Yard

If you're interested in improving water quality, a rain garden may be a great addition to your yard! Rain gardens can be designed to capture runoff from your roof and driveway or from the street using a curb-cut.

Installing Your Rain Garden

Small rain gardens can be installed by hand, but you may want some help for a larger project. Your watershed district may offer technical or financial assistance:

Coon Creek Watershed District
Rice Creek Watershed District
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

Not all properties are suitable for rain gardens. Anoka Conservation District offers site assessment to help determine if and where a rain garden should be installed on your yard. 

If you're interested in a curb-cut rain garden to treat runoff from your street. Contact Rachel Workin, Environmental Planner at 763-572-3594 or Rachel.Workin@fridleymn.gov to discuss available technical and financial support. 

Maintaining Your Rain Garden

Like any landscaped area, rain gardens need to be maintained. Keeping all inlets clear and weeding your rain garden goes a long way to ensuring that it stays functional and looks great. Check out these maintenance tips from Metro Blooms as well as upcoming workshops on rain garden maintenance.  

Go Further

Minnesota Water Stewards is a multi-week course offered by local watershed districts and the Freshwater Society that teaches about Best Management Practices and develops water quality leaders. If you're passionate about water quality, consider applying here.

Step 1. Rainfall


Step 2. Water collects and infiltrates into the rain garden


Step 3. Filtered water returns to the groundwater table


New rain garden capturing water

Hughes We2t

New rain garden after runoff has infiltrated

Hughes raingardenDry