Rain Gardens

Free Rain Garden for New Haven Residents
(some restrictions apply, see below)


Rain gardens can make a beautiful addition to any home. They work by diverting roof runoff water away from the stormwater system and into a garden filled with water-tolerant plants. This means that the water from rain and snow will seep into the ground, to be naturally filtered and returned to the ground water table, instead of flowing into the ocean. Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution for our rivers and oceans, so having a rain garden means you're both reducing water pollution and restoring natural groundwater.


The benefits of a rain garden are numerous:

  1. Reducing water pollution from lawn fertilizers, automobiles, and sewers (among many others!)
  2. Replenishing the natural ground water table, which can then become drinking water
  3. Preventing catastrophic flooding by allowing stormwater to infiltrate where it falls and keeping it off streets and out of the stormwater system
  4. Providing a source of food for nectar-eating insects, including butterflies and bees (depending on plant selection)
  5. Enhancing the aesthetics of your yard and beautifying the neighborhood with flowers and ornamental grasses that are beautiful yet low-maintenance


We are currently accepting applications from those who would like to have a rain garden installed. We are also recruiting volunteers to help with installation of rain gardens. If you are interested, please fill out the rain garden application.


Please note, we are currently focusing on homeowners living in New Haven within the West River Watershed, but all who are interested are encouraged to apply. If you are renting your home then the owner's permission will be required. If you do not live in New Haven and within the West River Watershed then you may be eligible for a free rain garden in the future, or you may use the resources below to install one yourself.


The University of Connecticut offers an excellent guide, with an FAQs section and plant selection database: http://nemo.uconn.edu/raingardens/index.htm


You can also download or print out a comprehensive guide in PDF by going directly to this link: http://nemo.uconn.edu/raingardens/pdf/rain_garden_design_guide.pdf