Raingardens for the river


This Twin Cities raingarden features cardinal flowers, yellow and purple coneflowers, sedges and other plants pollinators love. (Photo by Michelle Kopp)

What's a raingarden?

Raingardens beautify a space, while also directly impacting water quality for our river and other waters.

Raingardens are designed to catch rainwater runoff, helping prevent erosion and filtering pollutants. They also provide wildlife habitat, attract pollinators and bring beautiful plants and wildflowers to your yard.

"A raingarden is simply a garden with a depression that is designed to catch rainwater runoff in your yard, growing plants that don't mind getting partially flooded on occasion. Raingardens provide wildlife habitat and an opportunity to create beautiful landscaping. And, by soaking up rain where it falls, raingardens slow stormwater runoff, help prevent erosion and remove pollutants in the process."
——From The Blue Thumb Guide to Raingardens by Rusty Schmidt, Dan Shaw and David Dods

What you can do

If you're ready to get started on your own, here are some great online resources:

  • The University of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wrote this Rain Garden Manual for Wisconsin homeowners, but it includes valuable information for neighboring Minnesotans.
  • We also recommend checking out Metro Blooms classes, or working with one of their consultants. Don't forget to contact your local watershed district for additional assistance, classes and grant or cost-share availability. 
  • Mississippi Watershed Management Organization has a suite of resources about raingarden installation and maintenance on their website.


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