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Washtenaw County Rain Garden Program

Washtenaw County
Rain Garden Program


What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is an attractive landscaping feature planted with perennial native plants. It is a bowl-shaped or saucer-shaped garden, designed to absorb stormwater run-off from impervious surfaces such as roofs and parking lots. Rain gardens can be small, formal, home-owner style gardens, large complex gardens, or anywhere in between.


Program Information

Our program will assist by providing one-on-one assistance in creating your garden. We provide full design services by an experienced landscape architect who will meet with you individually to develop your garden. These meetings have proven valuable in designing the size and shape of gardens to suit each individual circumstance, and creating a planting scheme compatible with your visual preference and use of the surrounding space.

The labor and material costs (plants, mulch, and topsoil) are the property owner’s obligation.

Typically, these costs are about $2-3 per square foot (SF). Gardens can be as little as 70 SF and as much as 400 SF for a residence. The gardens involve some digging, so if you choose to hire someone else to do the work, the costs are higher.

Just to make clear the expectations from the beginning. Drain Office staff time and the landscape architect costs are covered by the County. The Drain Office will order the plants from the nursery for you. All other costs (including plants) and labor are up to you.


Moving Forward

Currently, we are working on gardens that will be designed and constructed in the fall of 2010 and planted in the spring of 2011.  If you have any questions, please contact Harry Sheehan @ 222-6851. If interested, email

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