Realizing a Long Term Vision for a Healthy Watershed.
Rain Garden Initiative:
A Natural Solution to Water Pollution

Our Goal:
To help property owners create a low-cost natural stormwater solution to reduce flooding and drainage problems while improving water quality and increasing urban beautification with the bonus of attracting birds and butterflies.

What is a Rain Garden?
A Rain Garden is a landscaped area, replacing areas of lawn, planted with wildflowers and native grasses. A Rain Garden soaks up rain water and slows down stormwater runoff from roofs, driveways, parking lots and streets. Deep-rooted native plants help water percolate into the ground. The ground acts as a natural filter removing harmful chemicals and pollutants before the water reaches groundwater aquifers or storm sewers and retention ponds where it eventually flows into nearby streams and lakes. 

Demonstration Rain Gardens
Our Demonstration Rain Gardens are intended to educate people about rain gardens and their role in reducing polluted storm water runoff, and to inspire people to build a rain garden to help protect our watershed.

Visit our first demonstration Rain Garden in front of the Barrington Area Library 505 N Northwest Hwy, Barrington, IL. The garden was planted on August 6, 2009; watch the garden grow, flourish and work over the months and years to come.

Barrington Area Library Demonstration Rain Garden:
Roof runoff goes directly into the storm drain.

After: Trillium Native Landscapes installation: August 4, 2009

Under construction: Sod was removed and soil worked to a depth of 18". Excess dirt was removed and leaf litter added to amend the soil. The garden is designed to hold 6" of rainwater - a depth that will typically infiltrate in 24 hours.

Roof runoff is piped 10' away from the building, and then flows across the grass to the rain garden.

Volunteer planting: August 6, 2009

A base matrix of sedges was planted 2' apart, then flowers intermingled in groups of five.
Almost finished garden.
(Additional flowers will be added later.)
After the first rain: August 8, 2009

Roof runoff goes into the rain garden; The overflow still goes into the storm drain. The ground was so dry, the water quickly soaked into the ground.

Thank you to Trillium Native Landscapes, Inc. for their generous donation of installation, oversight and two years of maintenance.  Trillium believes that this Rain Garden Initiative project is key to raising community awareness about conservation.

FCWP’s Grant for the Rain Garden Initiative:
Flint Creek Watershed Partnership received a $4,500 grant from the Barrington Area Community Foundation to install several demonstration rain gardens in the Flint Creek Watershed. The Barrington Area Library is our first – and thanks to the landscaper’s donations, inexpensive – so we are exploring 2-3 more sites to install gardens. Please Contact us if you have a visible site that will demonstrate infiltration of rain water from impervious surfaces


Rain Garden Resources:

Protecting Our World With Rain Gardens
Roger Bannerman, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources this pdf is from his presentation at our Fox River Summit 07 Excellent photos and examples of a variety of rain garden projects Left: Diagram of how a Rain Garden with Under Drains Works -- from Bannerman presentation.

Rain Gardens - How-to Manual for Homeowners
Wisconsin DNR/University of Wisconsin Extension publication.

Rain Garden Manual for Homeowners
Geauga (OH) Soil & Water Conservation District publication.

Order Rain Barrels from Lake County Stormwater Management Commission


Rain Garden Links:

Rain Garden Network  

Gov. Quinn's Rain Garden Initiative

Gov. Quinn's Rain Garden Page

10,000 Rain Gardens 

Lake Michigan Rain Garden Initiative

Milwaukee, WI

Cook County Rain Barrel Purchase


As we build this page - you are welcome to send suggested links.
Click here to email us.


Our Vision
Why Should We Care
What can I do
Action Plans
Watershed-Based Plan
Funding Workshop
About FCWP
Contact Us

Check out our new
Rain Garden signs!

Current Rain Garden

Barrington Area Library
Lines Elementary School
Paulus Park (Lake Zurich)