City of Madison

City of Madison Engineering | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette

Image: Purple coneflowers

What is a rain garden?

Rain gardens are specially-designed gardens that collect and infiltrate stormwater from impervious areas such as roofs, driveways, and heavily-compacted lawns.

Rain gardens are usually planted with native vegetation, though ornamentals may also be used. They can look as manicured or as natural as the gardener chooses.

The gardens are usually designed to be 6-8 inches deep, in order to retain stormwater long enough for it to infiltrate into the ground.

Maintenance is similar to that of any garden. The first couple of years require regular weeding, but once established, the native plants tend to crowd out most weeds.

Building rain gardens is a great way for individuals to get involved in improving our lakes and streams.

Image: Black-Eyed Susan

planting plans, Designs





All City of Madison Engineering rain garden resources are part of the Roger Bannerman Rain Garden Initiative.

Watch a Video

The Wisconsin Gardener:
Rain Gardens

Brochure mentioned in the video
A How-To Manual for Homeowners

Area Rain Gardens

Click on each to see phases

Olin Turville Rain Garden

Olin-Turville Park

Warner Park Rain Garden

Warner Park

Spaight Street Rain Garden

Spaight Street

Adams Street Rain Garden

Adams Street

Adams Street Rain Garden

Adams Street

Brittingham Park

Brittingham Park

Starkweather Creek Rain Garden

Starkweather Creek