What Is Rainscaping?

Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavement and other activities that manage stormwater onsite where it falls, rather than moving it through a pipe or offsite. In addition to rain gardens and bioswales, a diverse landscape that includes trees, shrubs, perennials, mulch and amended soils intercepts rain, slows runoff, and allows more water absorption into the soil and by plants. Click on each rainscaping option below to explore the range of possibilities:


RainScaping graphiclawn alternatives green roof soil amendments yard management woodland restoration creek corridor vegetative buffer rain garden bioswale rock weirs and sock dams rainwater harvesting permeable pavers

Why Rainscape?

Lawns and impervious surfaces such as rooftops, parking lots, patios, and driveways have replaced healthy soils and natural plant communities that once readily absorbed rainwater. The resulting runoff contributes to water pollution, health challenges, streambank erosion, and property damage and loss. You can landscape your yard for both beauty and function. Address specific water issues on your own property such as erosion, wet areas of the yard and difficult-to-mow places, while positively impacting adjacent properties and area streams. Use our Benefits and Goals Checklist to clarify which rainscaping benefits are most important to you.

How to Rainscape

For guidance on which rainscaping features will work best on your property and how to install them, follow our Rainscaping Flowchart below. Click on a step to go to that section:

RainScaping FlowchartLink to Select Other RainScaping Options section Link to Is a Rain Garden Right for Your Site? section Link to Design & Build a Rain Garden section Link to What Do You Know About Your Site? section