About Our Rain Garden Program
Rain Gardens in the News
Washtenaw County’s Rain Garden Program began in 2005 with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality grant funding. We worked with homeowners to plan, design, and install rain gardens. Since then, homeowners have learned how to install rain gardens through our Rain Garden Assistance visits and the Master Rain Gardener program. Today, the program continues to assist homeowners in creating and installing rain gardens on their property.
Now the tally is over 1,000 gardens!
- Laugh about it: "I don't thrill you the way our rain garden does." Ann Arbor Observer.
- Rain Gardens 101: Thinking about Building a Rain Garden? Introductory webinar.
- Be Inspired: Former UM Gridiron Great Vincent Smith Digs New Career as Urban Rain Gardening Master.
- Read about it: "Become a Master Rain Gardener: What is a Rain Garden and Why Would you Want One?" Crazy Wisdom Bookstore weekly community newsletter.
- Hear about it: "Rain Gardens Around the Home" Lucy Ann Lance Show, WLBY.
- Hear about it: "Rain Garden Radio" on the Green vs Grey Michigan Sustainability Case study podcast University of Michigan.
- Hear about it: "Ecological Benefits of Washtenaw County Rain Gardens" WEMU Interview with David Fair on the "Issues of the Environment" show.
- Hear about it: "Rain Gardens Fix your Basement Flooding" on the Lucy Ann Lance Show WLBY featuring Master Rain Gardener Roger Moon.
- Read about it: Pipeline Magazine "Lessons Learned in Outreach & Education"
- Read about it: Old West Side News "Rain Gardens Germinate a Movement in Ann Arbor"
- Look at a map: Washtenaw County Green Infrastructure
- Hear about it: "Rain Gardens in schools - building and maintaining" Lucy Ann Lance WLBY interviews Susan Bryan and Eric Robinson of the Huron River Watershed Council, below.
City of Ann Arbor Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Washtenaw County partners with The City of Ann Arbor on stormwater education. The City of Ann Arbor owns over 100 green stormwater infrastructure features, such as rain gardens, wetlands, bio-retention basins, and bio-swales. These features capture, store, and clean stormwater. Since 2015, the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office has collaborated to maintain and care for the public rain gardens.
Through volunteers, contractors, and shared projects across departments, we have been caring for the 30 acres of green stormwater infrastructure. To maintain the gardens, we do controlled burns, remove invasive species, clean out sediment from inlets, collect native seeds, plant, and transplant vegetation.
To learn more about the cost to maintain green infrastructure, see this snapshot from 2017 and 2018: Annual Green Infrastructure Maintenance Costs
Rain gardens capture stormwater runoff before it pollutes our local rivers - while providing beautiful garden scapes throughout the growing season.