Create a Rain Garden

Installing rain gardens can help prevent local flooding and water pollution while creating valuable plant and wildlife habitat in the process! A rain garden works by collecting stormwater runoff from a roof, driveway, or parking lot that would otherwise flow to the street or storm drain. The water temporarily ponds on the surface of the garden and then slowly filters through the soil. The garden is planted with a mix of hearty native plants that can withstand brief periods of standing water yet be able to tolerate extended periods of dryness. These plants filter out pollutants and support wildlife. Often spots that may work for a rain garden are also good locations for a rain barrel project!

Before You Start

Overview: Project Planning Basics

Overview: School Grounds Site Assessment

Test Your Soil to See if a Rain Garden Will Work

Design and Preparation

Overview: Project Design Basics

Estimate Roof Top Area & Surface Area

Mark the Area & Check Utilities

Calculate Excess Fill, Sand, Mulch, Stone

Gather Needed Tools

Watch Rain Garden “How-To” Videos!


Overview: Project Implementation Basics

12 Steps of Rain Garden Construction

Planting Your Rain Garden:

  • Design Considerations
  • Sample Planting Plans
  • Chesapeake Region Native Plants
  • Watch Rain Garden “How-To” Videos!

    Download a Free Rain Garden “How To” App!


    Overview: Project Maintenance Basics

    Rain Garden Upkeep Over Time


    Using Your Project

    Overview: Using Your Project

    Water Quality: Lessons & Activities

    Water Quality Monitoring: Lessons & Opportunities

    Eco School Sustainability Pathways Lessons & Resources

    Eco School National Standards & Curriculum Alignment

    Project Learning Tree Curriculum Offerings

    Eco Schools Green STEM Initiative

    Sharing Your Project

    Overview: Sharing Your Project

    Resource Center

    Project Resource Library: Learn More!
    Eco Schools USA
    National & State Green School Programs
    Bay Backpack Teaching Resources Search Engine
    EPA Learning & Teaching About the Environment (awards, resources, more)