In natural landscape like a forest or grassland, rain-water soaks into the ground and only after the soil is saturated will it runoff as stormwater. In urban areas however, most of the land has been paved over, shingled, or compacted so that water can no longer soak
into the ground. With nowhere to go, stormwater begins to cause big problems for individuals, municipalities and the government. Municipalities encounter flooding in parks and roadways. The home owner may experience flooding in basements. The quality of our
waters is degraded by chemicals, sand, grass clippings and other debris that rides with stormwater down drains and into local lakes, rivers, ditches and streams.
The nature of a rain garden is to treat stormwater. Water is directed into them by pipes, swales or curb openings. The garden is a depression or bowl in the ground that temporarily retains water. Trees and shrubs growing in rain gardens are water tolerant. Rain gardens can be installed in a variety of soils from clays to sands. They can vary in size and be placed in the corner of a lawn, along the edges of roads, or be placed in the median of parking lots.