What is a Rain Garden?

Youth Rain Action Storyboard

Post 1: What is a Rain Garden?

Water is beautiful and essential to everyday life, but too much of a good thing can also be bad, floods for example. Throughout history there have been natural ways to deal with floods, even benefits from floods.

  • So why is it that the rate of flooding has been increasing in an age where technology is so prominent?

Problems with floods come down to poor city planning and urban development. With increasing populations in cities, urban centres have more pressure to build more houses to accommodate more people and more roads so that more people can travel easily in and out. Thus increasing the land size of impermeable surfaces on previous vegetative areas.

  • So when it rains, where does the water go?

Sewers. The waters travel down the impermeable surfaces collecting all the different types of chemicals that collected on the ground and draining into the sewers, which leads into a major water source without being treated first.

  • What natural solution can there possibly be to counter flooding from heavy rainfall in urban areas?

For one, installing more permeable surfaces. But here is a nifty little secret, what about rain gardens? Something that looks aesthetically appealing at the same time serving as an important aspect to collecting rain. Rain gardens are great – they absorb water that drains in and recharge the ground water, which flows cleaner water into the closest body of water.

This is where the Youth Rain Action project comes in. Throughout the summer, we, the youth of the community, will be taking charge of our community and will be leading the designing of the rain garden project at Sheridan Nurseries. In the process we hope to change the view that our community has towards storm water management.


Visit the Youth Rain Action project page to learn more or contact Emily Dutton at edutton@ecosource.ca.

The Youth Rain Action Project is led by Ecosource in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Burnhamthorpe Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), and Sheridan Nurseries, and is generously supported by the Government of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund.