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Rain Gardens

Building a rain garden to capture rainwater is a great way to both provide extra water for landscaping and to reduce the amount of polluted stormwater that ends up in our creeks and rivers.


What exactly is a rain garden?

A rain garden is simply a planted, mulched basin in your yard that is designed to capture runoff before it reaches the street, allowing it to naturally infiltrate into the ground.  A properly designed rain garden can capture 30% more rain water than grass can, preventing pollutants from entering our creeks and oceans.  Rain gardens are usually designed to hold the first inch of rain during a storm, which is usually responsible for the bulk of pollutants th

at enter our waterways.  These gardens store the water, allowing it to soak into the ground,


and naturally filtering out the pollutants.

Why are rain gardens so important?

  • Less imported water used for yard irrigation.

  • Helps reduce storm drain pollution & keep  our oceans safe & clean to swim in.

  • Helps increase groundwater recharge, which many of our communities and wildlife rely on.

  • Attractive yard feature and often brings in wildlife like hummingbirds and butterflies.

  • Reduces erosion and flooding.

Want to learn more?

The San Luis Rey Watershed Council, through funding provided from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, produced a series of water harvesting videos. Click here to learn more about building a rain garden!

Additional Resources

Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens Program: http://www.surfrider.org/programs/ocean-friendly-gardens

San Diego’s Sustainable Landscape Program: http://sustainablelandscapessd.org/resources/

USEPA’s Plant Lists for each state: https://www.epa.gov/watersense/what-plant

San Diego’s Rain Water Guide: https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/water/pdf/conservation/rainwaterguide.pdf


This project was funded by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife,
 Upper San Luis Rey River Groundwater Recharge & Habitat Protection, Agreement #D1596037 (2016).