Rain Gardens

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy has developed conservation gardens since 2009 as part of watershed restoration projects.

Conservation gardens include rain gardens, bayscape gardens and edible bayscape gardens. These gardens are attractive, practical, and can be sized to fit any yard or landscape. Designed to mimic nature, these gardens are comprised of hardy regional plants that naturally provide food and habitat for species native to the Gunpowder watershed.

Click here for a printable rain garden brochure.

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a beautiful and functional solution to storm water runoff. Water-loving native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and/or trees are planted in a low spot on a property to absorb and filter rainwater.  A typical rain garden is designed to capture water from a 1" rain storm and drain within 24-28 hours of a rain event.

gardenPromote flowers not flooding

Storm water runoff is the water that flows over hard (impervious) surfaces, including roads, rooftops and driveways, to the storm drains or directly to a water body.  This excess water can easily become polluted by automotive oils, garbage, sediment, and lawn chemicals as it flows through developed areas. Flooding has become a common problem in our communities due to the loss of natural areas that allow rain water to soak back into the ground.

Rain gardens are a great solution! When you plant a rain garden on your property you are:

  • Promoting clean water by filtering storm water runoff before it reaches local waterways
  • Improving water drainage issues
  • Creating an attractive landscape that enhances the community
  • Supporting native plants and wildlife, including pollinators
  • Reducing yard maintenance

Native plants are adapted to Maryland's climate, so they can handle our seasonal droughts with little watering and don't need as much fertilizer to grow in local soils.  Less fertilizer means less nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. 

We're here to help!

The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy is dedicated to helping property owners learn how to manage their storm water using Bay-Wise practices. Join us at an upcoming free workshop to learn more about how to create a rain garden.

If you live in one of our project areas, you might be eligible to receive an 80% discount on the installation of a professionally-designed rain garden!  We work with businesses, HOA communities, churches, homeowners, and other organizations. We currently have funding to work in the Bird River, Middle River, Tidal Gunpowder, and Lower Gunpowder Falls watersheds. Don't know your watershed?  Visit Baltimore County's My Neighborhood website to determine your watershed based on your street address.

We can provide this service thanks to funding provided by the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund, administered by Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Chesapeake Bay Trust; National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability; and BGE.

For more information, or to see if you are eligible for on-the-ground assistance, contact Darcy Herman, Assistant Clear Creeks Project Manager.

Start making a difference today!

Looking for a do-it-yourself project that will beautify your home and benefit the environment?  Dig into the following resources on how to build your own rain garden.