What is Rainscaping?

Rainscaping is a method of watershed restoration that promotes green infrastructure awareness and implementation among homeowners, landscapers, and contractors, highlighting both the benefits of green infrastructure and the skills required for installation.

Phase I - Connect with Watershed partners

  1. Identify your watershed using the Find my Watershed Tool

  2. Contact the Rainscaping partner identified for you Watershed, or LGROW if there is none.

  3. Schedule a meeting with the Rainscaping partner to complete a site assessment, or schedule using the form below.

Phase II - Design and install practices

  1. Select site suitable practices for your property to reduce or capture stormwater runoff

  2. Complete design for site suitable green infrastructure using MS4 tool and manual

  3. Select qualified contractor to complete installation according to design standards

Phase III - maintain and enjoy!

  1. Develop maintenance plan with Rainscaping partner

  2. Conduct maintenance according to maintenance plan

  3. Work with Rainscaping partner to promote your practice and share your story

How Rainscaping Can Help You!

  • Make your yard a haven for bees and butterflies

  • Make your community healthier and more livable

  • Improve wet problem areas in your yard

  • Reach cost-effective and sustainable green decisions

  • Manage your natural resources more effectively

  • Redesign urban landscapes for environmental health

  • Meet regulatory and economic goals


Green Infrastructure: is the practice of infiltrating stormwater by use of natural systems (like rainscaping) in order to reestablish a healthy water flow. These systems allow for the infiltration of stormwater before it is released into conventional storm and sewer system, protecting our lakes, rivers, and streams from harmful pollutants. Learn more

Rain Gardens: are filled with specifically selected native plants that absorb untreated stormwater in their deep root system, preventing it from contaminating our waterways.

Native Plants/Trees: utilizes indigenous plant species and often attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to the site. Native plants have deep root systems which help stormwater infiltrate the ground, they also require less water, fertilizer, and care once established. Trees are increasingly recognized for their importance in managing stormwater runoff. Roots take up water and help create conditions in the soil that promote infiltration. Depending on the size and species, a single tree may store 100 gallons, or more, of stormwater.

Riparian/Buffer Zone: also known as a “streamside buffer”, is made up of native plants that surround a river or waterway and control erosion, filter pollutants, protect fish, reduce flooding, and provide suitable wildlife habitat. “Riparian zones may be natural or engineered for soil stabilization or restoration. These zones are important natural biofilters, protecting aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff and erosion. They supply shelter and food for many aquatic animals and shade that limits stream temperature change. Research shows that riparian zones are instrumental in water quality improvement for both surface runoff and water flowing into streams through subsurface or groundwater flow. Riparian zones can play a role in lowering nitrate contamination in surface runoff, such as manure and other fertilizers from agricultural fields, that would otherwise damage ecosystems and human health. (source)

Learn more about Natural Shorelines

Curb Cuts: are portions of a concrete curb that is removed in order to divert stormwater out of the streets and into streetside rain gardens or other detention basins.

Rain Barrels: usually made from recycled ~50 gallon barrels, rain barrels are connected to a downspout and capture and store rainwater and store it for later use. Rain barrels can me made at home or bought already constructed from a home improvement store.

Grand River Rainscaping Training Video Series

Training Opportunities

There are no upcoming training opportunities at this time, fill out the form below to be added to the list to be contacted when a training is scheduled.

Name *
Training Interest *
Shoreline Messaging Seed Postcard.png

Upcoming Events

Schedule a Free Residential Site Assessment

A site assessment is used to determine site suitability for rainscaping practices. A trained assessor will visit your property to discuss ideas, goals, problems and solutions for your site. The site visit will take between 30 and 60 minutes and the homeowner must be present. The assessor will write up a report and you will receive a personalized site assessment summary along with other helpful resources depending on your site.

Site Assessments are available April through October

acuity Block
This is example content. Double-click here to enter your account ID and display your online booking widget. Learn more

Grant Funded Projects Photo Gallery

Grant Project Partners: