Rain Gardens in Victoria

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a shallow depression that uses soils and plants to slow and clean runoff from hard surfaces such as your roof or driveway. The plants and compost-amended soil can hold several inches of rain water, allowing the water to slowly seep into the ground.

The first 2.5 cm of rainfall, also known as the first flush, is responsible for carrying most of the pollutants in stormwater runoff. A rain garden is designed to temporarily hold rain and slowly filter out many of the common pollutants in the water, such as oil, chemicals and pet waste that would otherwise make their way to our streams, inlets and ocean. During heavy rainfalls, rain gardens can also help minimize flooding to nearby properties and roads.

With our changing climate of wetter winters and more frequent, intense storms and sea level rise, rain gardens will play an increasingly important role in keeping our water clean and managing the flow of rain in our community.

Rain gardens mimic a natural forest's drainage system by collecting, absorbing and filtering stormwater runoff.  They can be shaped and sized to fit your yard and landscaped with plants that fit the surrounding elements, improving the appearance of your home.

Where can I visit a rain garden in Victoria?

Fisherman's Wharf Park:

The Fisherman's Wharf Park rain garden is 352 square metres in size and is the largest rain garden in Victoria.  It intercepts two storm drains that currently collect runoff from 14,250 square meters of hard and paved surfaces in the James Bay neighbourhood.

The park features a picturesque retaining wall that outlines the Inner Harbour's original shoreline, a viewing bridge and seated stairway to provide park visitors a close view of the garden. The plants used are drought resistant in the summer and can survive in standing water during the winter months.

Cecelia Road Playground:

Tyee Road near Dockside Green:

Yates Street near The Atrium:

Spirit Garden (next to Centennial Square):

Trent Street Rain Garden:

Victoria West Elementary School:

Other examples of rain gardens can be found at BMW Victoria, Victoria Compost Education Centre and other residential and commercial properties throughout Victoria.

Rain Garden Resources

Learn about the City's Rainwater Rewards program

CRD Information on Rain Gardens