Rainscaping is any combination of plantings, water features, catch basins, permeable pavements, and other activities that manage stormwater as close as possible to where it falls, rather than moving it someplace else. Below ground level, improved soils store and filter stormwater, allowing the surrounding area to slowly absorb it over time. Above ground level, native plants, basins, and water features create public green spaces that also help store water.

Used effectively, rainscaping can reclaim stormwater naturally, reduce sewer overflows and minimize basement backups. The Old North Rain Garden is part of the five-year, $3 million pilot program for MSD Project Clear’s overall $100 million rainscaping effort. The pilot program is designed to understand how these rainscaping components impact combined sewer overflows that can happen as a result of heavy rain events.

Learn more about the Rainscaping Small Grants Program.

Learn more about the Rainscaping Large Scale Grants Program.

Photos of the Old North Rain Garden

Map of the rainscaping program area

Click the image for a high resolution version.