A rain garden is a bowl-shaped depression designed as a garden to capture, hold, and absorb rainwater. Rain gardens slow the flow of rainwater from roofs, sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and other impervious surfaces, allowing the water to penetrate the soil.
The soil cleans the water of pollutants before it enters the storm drain and empties into our bayous and bays. This process allows us to keep more of the rain that falls on our yards, and the stormwater that finally enters the storm drain is cleaner.
Rain gardens use native plants as well as nonnative plants that are adapted to our climate. When designed properly, water in the rain garden should stand for no more than 24 to 48 hours, too short a period for mosquitoes to hatch.
Another benefit is that rain gardens serve as habitats for wildlife such as birds and butterflies. They are useful for residential, commercial, and public areas.
Above all, a rain garden is a landscape amenity, blending beauty and function—an attractive WaterSmart solution to water pollution.