Rain Gardens

What is a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens are landscaped areas planted with wild flowers and other native vegetation that soak up rain water from the roof of a house or other building. After a storm, the rain garden fills up with a few inches of water and slowly infiltrates into the soil. This reduces the amount of water running off the ground and into a storm drain. A rain garden allows about 30% more water to soak into the ground than a conventional lawn. 

Why are Rain Gardens Important?

  • Increases infiltration into ground which recharges aquifers.
  • Helps protect communities from flooding and drainage problems.
  • Helps protect lakes and rivers from pollutants carried off urban stormwater.
  • Enhances the beauty of yards and neighborhoods.
  • Provides habitat for birds and butterflies.

More Information

Rain Garden Brochure

new rain garden with pondingtwo year old rain garden in bloomresidental rain garden during plantingresidental rain garden with decorative borderplanting of James P. Coughlin Center rain gardenJames P. Coughlin Center rain garden after planting
(click on image to enlarge)


James P Coughlin Center Rain Garden Tour

Installed in 2018, the Rain Garden takes drainage from about 6,000 square feet of the Coughlin Center's roof. During a 1 inch rainfall, this is 3,700 gallons of rain water. Rain Gardens are designed to keep rainwater, and the pollution it may carry, from eventually flowing into Lake Winnebago. Plus, they are beautiful gardens with a variety of plants that attract and provide a healthy habitat for birds, bees and butterflies! With roots growing down twice as deep as the plants are tall, the NATIVE PLANTS used in this garden are great at soaking up water.