Rain Gardens

Rain gardens and other green infrastructure store and purify rainwater where it falls and allow it to soak into the ground. This helps prevent combined sewer systems from overflowing and polluting our waterways.

A rain garden is a shallow depression that can be planted with a variety of trees, shrubs and grasses. The rainwater that enters the garden will be taken up by the plants or will slowly infiltrate back into the soil. Rain gardens provide many benefits:

  • Clean water
  • Attractive gardens with colorful flowers
  • Habitat and food for wildlife
  • Reduction in stormwater runoff

Download TTF’s Rain Garden brochure [.pdf].

For more information about rain gardens, please see the Philadelphia Water Department website.

Photograph by Lindsay Deal

Olney Recreation Center Rain Garden
With support from the Philadelphia Water Department, TTF helped to create a rain garden at the Olney Recreation Center in Northeast Philadelphia. This garden will be used as an educational resource for the recreation center as well as the community at large.

Vernon Park Rain Garden
Along with our partners, TTF built a rain garden in Vernon Park in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Learn more about our efforts here or download our Vernon Park Rain Garden brochure [.pdf].

Additional Rain Garden Resources:

Burnsville, MN: Retrofitting a Suburban Neighborhood with Rain Gardens: Click here for a model of one neighborhood’s stormwater management initiative.

The Low Impact Development Center: Click to learn more about the new, comprehensive land planning and engineering design approach that keeps the natural watersheds in mind.

Montgomery County Conservation District BMP Tour: Explore Best Management Practices (BMPs) in Montgomery County using this virtual tour.

Penn State Agricultural Analytical Services Lab: Find out how you can locally submit soil or other agricultural samples for analysis.

Philadelphia Water Department: Backyard Buffer Program: For property owners situated along a waterway, this program aspires to enhance the habitat surrounding our water sources, stabilize our creeks to protect against erosion, beautify backyards, and improve the water quality of our creeks.

Plants for Stormwater Design: A manual for urban landscape designers, installation practitioners, and stormwater managers who want to improve stormwater treatment and management practices by using native plants.

Rain Gardens: A How-To Manual for Homeowners [.pdf]: A PDF of the benefits of and tips for creating successful rain gardens.

Rutgers NJ Agricultural Experiment Station, Water Resources Program: Learn more about Rutgers as they are creating solutions for water resources issues in New Jersey.

Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership: Find out what Villanova’s researching on stormwater issues and sustainable engineering.

For an overview of everything residents can do to manage stormwater on their properties, visit the Philadelphia Water Department website or download the Homeowner’s Guide to Stormwater Management.