Public Works

350 South 5th Street
RM 203 City Hall
Minneapolis, MN  55415-1390

Rain Gardens

What is a Rain Garden?

Rain gardens are native plant gardens that are designed not only to aesthetically improve properties, but they also reduce the amount of stormwater (and pollutants they carry with) from entering our lakes, rivers and streams. 

Build rain gardens near hard surfaces where rainwater can collect and drain into the rain garden.


Planting deep-rooted native plants create beautiful natural areas that attract birds and butterflies.

Polluted runoff is a big problem in urban areas like Minneapolis where it is hard for stormwater to soak into the ground. Rainwater flows faster over hard surfaces, picking up pollutants like sediment, litter, organic particles, pesticides, fertilizers, pet waste, gas and oil, metal that falls off cars and other residue, before entering storm drains. This polluted water then finds its way into our lakes, rivers and streams

Rain gardens help prevent excessive runoff. Strategically placed in shallow depressions in the ground, the plants act as a sponges, drawing water into the soil. Rain gardens reduce polluted runoff from entering our storm drains, as well as helping replenish the groundwater supply and improving the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams. 

Rain gardens can be as simple as a shallow depression or as complex as a large stormwater management system that uses a variety of pipes and grading to divert stormwater runoff to a rain garden. Native plants are ideal for rain gardens because they are hardy and deep-rooted. 

Rain Garden Resources

MetroBlooms, Promotes and educates gardeners, landscapers, community and business gardeners.  Hold rain garden workshops in Minneapolis.

Rain garden FAQ, (pdf), City of Minneapolis

Blue Thumb, Planting for Clean Water

Eco-Yard Midtown, Hennepin County

Last updated Mar 14, 2013