Rain Gardens

Rain Garden Project

The first Rain Garden Demonstration Project that the city did was in 2004. The city partnered with the Kinnickinnic River Land Trust (KRLT) to make this project happen. We put an ad in the utility flyers as well as in the River Falls Journal and received 27 responses of people interested in having the garden put in their yard. We then ranked the sites based on proximity to the river, visibility, and amount of impervious draining to the garden. The site chosen for our first project was the home of Geoff and Marcia Scheurman at 409 Church Street.

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Reasons for Doing the Project

A rain garden diverts rain water from the storm sewer system. By capturing the water you are also capturing any pollutants that go along with it. The water is then allowed to soak back into the ground as it did before the lot was developed. Numerous gardens in the City could benefit the Kinnickinnic River water quality. Our hope is that this project will show citizens a practical and aesthetic way to help the water quality of the Kinni.

Plant Your Own Rain Garden

We've provided many links in the right hand column to aid you in creating and building your own rain garden! The cost depends on who does the labor, the size and the need to purchase plants. This is one great way to improve water quality and increase the value of your home.

For some potential rain garden plants, see the list of rain garden plants by the UW Madison Arboretum.  Check out the rain garden manual by UW extension and the DNR for details on building a rain garden.

Project Implementation

Many months of planning and preparing finally led to the planting on September 9, 2004. After a site was chosen we determined exactly where in the yard we wanted to place the garden. We then picked a design from the how-to manual and ordered the plants. City crews helped to dig and shape the garden, although this could be done by hand. Volunteers helped to plant the plants and the grass as well as lay the erosion mat around the berm.