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YardSmart - Residential rain gardens

Rain gardens are a landscaping feature placed in a low lying area of your garden. The rain garden collects and filters water from your property before it returns to our waterways.

Rain gardens are shallow depressions filled with loose amended soil and planted with beautiful, hardy low-maintenance water-wise plants. When the downspout from your roof is directed toward the rain garden, the plants and soil naturally filter the runoff before it enters our stormwater systems and eventually our creeks and rivers. Silt and other natural solids (leaves) collect on top of the gardens.

Looking for more details on how rain gardens work and benefit your yard and community? Find answers to common rain garden questions on our Calgary Rain Gardens page. You can also find more information in ourYardSmart Rain Garden Brochure.

The benefits of residential rain gardens

  • Save on your water bill by using rainwater to keep your rain garden looking healthy
  • Reduce pollutants that run into our waterways untreated from your lawn
  • Attract birds, butterflies and beneficial insects, such as mostquito-eating dragonflies
  • Complement any landscape and enhance the beauty of the surrounding neighbourhood

Building your own rain garden

Visit the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation for a step-by-step guide on how to build a rain garden, select a site, amend your soil and improve stormwater management in your yard.

To learn about other ways you can help protect our rivers, creeks and wetlands while beautifying your yard, visit www.calgary.ca/yardsmart.

Will a rain garden create a pond for mosquitoes?

No, a rain garden is not a pond. Mosquitos won't find rain gardens to be a good breeding area because they need more time to lay and hatch eggs.

Mosquitos take 10 to 14 days to develop depending on the air temperature (it takes 24-48 hours to hatch and the mosquito larva must live in water for 7-12 days). Additionally, the Culex mosquito (the kind that transmits West Nile Virus) prefers breeding in small, stagnant containers of water.