Plant a rain garden.

Rain gardens can filter and infiltrate stormwater that flows across your yard.


The resources and organizations below may be able to help you with this mitigation strategy or to learn more. 

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
National Stormwater Calculator
EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records.It is designed to be used by anyone interested in reducing runoff from a property, including site developers, landscape architects, urban planners, and homeowners. 

The Calculator accesses several national databases that provide soil, topography, rainfall, and evaporation information for the chosen site. The user supplies information about the site’s land cover and selects the types of low impact development (LID) controls they would like to use. The LID controls that the user can choose are the following seven green infrastructure practices: disconnection; rain harvesting; rain gardens; green roofs; street planters; infiltration basins; and porous pavement.

Tags: Stormwater, Planning, Development, Rain Gardens, Tools and Applications


U.S. Forest Service
Freshwater Live
FreshWaterLIVE is a website created by the US Forest Service and other partners. Visitors to the site can learn about ways to get involved in conserving and learning about freshwater, to learn about water and watersheds, to accesslesson plans, and check out videos and interactive games. The site also lists a number of education related grants that could be used for rain gardens, gardens or other projects involving fresh water. 

Tags: Education, Grants and Funding, Raingardens, Stormwater



KY Department of Agriculture
Find Kentucky Agriculture Businesses and Products
Kentucky agriculture-related companies promote their businesses, products, and services in the KDA Agriculture Business Directory.

Tags: Tools, Agriculture

Plant Availability Guide
The Kentucky Grown Landscape Plant Availability Guide searchable database allows users to search for plant material available in wholesale quantities from Kentucky nurseries. Users can search by common plant name, genus and species, or company name. 

Tags: Trees, Plants, Rain Gardens, Nurseries, Tools



TN Department of Environment and Conservation
Landscaping and Plant Lists for Stormwater Control Measures
Plant lists for stormwater control measures in Tennessee categorized by plant type including: canopy, understory, shrubs, vines, herbaceous perennials, grasses and sedges, ground cover, and ferns.

See also: Tennessee Permanent Stormwater Management Training

Tags: Stormwater, Plants, Rain Gardens, Best Management Practices

Permanent Stormwater Management Training Manual
A stormwater management and design guidance manual covering a variety of stormwater control measures including: Dry DetentionWet PondsVegetated SwalesManaged Vegetated AreasFilter StripsBioretentionUrban BioretentionInfiltration Areas; Permeable PavementGreen RoofsRainwater HarvestingStormwater Treatment Wetlands; and Manufactured-Proprietary Treatment Devices.

See also: Tennessee Permanent Stormwater Management Training

Tags: Stormwater, Guidelines, Technical Resources, Best Management Practices, Rain Gardens, Permeable Pavement, Green Roofs, Rain Barrels, Wetlands, Urban, Runoff, MS4s

TN Wildlife Resources Agency
Landscaping Native Plants

Guides for landscaping native plants in WestMiddle, and East Tennessee.

Tags: Rain Gardens, Native Plants, Guides

UT Water Resources Research Center
Guide to the Selection & Design of Stormwater Best Management Practices (2003)
This manual provides general guidance in developing and implementing postconstruction best management practices (BMPs) for both stormwater runoff quality and quantity (flow). Topics covered include non-structural practices such as: Comprehensive Planning; Zoning, Ordinances, and Codes; Landscaping and Vegetative Control Practices; Public Outreach and Education; Good Housekeeping; Urban Stormwater Pollution Prevention Planning; and Non-Stormwater Discharges to Storm Drains. Structural practices covered include basin ponds; constructed wetlands; infiltration systems; and filtering systems.  

Tags: Best Management Practices, Stormwater, Education, Technical Resources, Guide, Regulation, Policy, Outreach; Education; Rain Gardens, Urban; Structural Practices; Wetlands

Tennessee Permanent Stormwater Management and Design Guidance Manual (2014)
The permanent stormwater control measures (SCMs) identified in this manual, are runoff reduction best management practices that are intended to address the traditional permanent stormwater management limitations mentioned above by reducing stormwater runoff volume and/or pollutants. Stormwater control measures include: Dry DetentionWet PondsVegetated SwalesManaged Vegetated AreasFilter StripsBioretentionUrban BioretentionInfiltration AreasPermeable PavementGreen RoofsRainwater HarvestingStormwater Treatment Wetlands; and Manufactured-Proprietary Treatment Devices

Tags: Stormwater, Best Management Practices, Permeable Pavement, Rainwater Harvesting, Rain Gardens, Urban, MS4s

UT Extension
Native Plants for Tennessee
Tennessee Smart Yards provides a comprehensive listing of Tennessee native plants that are available commercially. This site helps you select native plants for use in your yard. In addition, the site has a list of TN native rain garden plants

Tags: Plants, Rain Gardens, Urban, Stormwater, Biodiversity, Native Plants, Habitat

Rain Gardens for Tennessee
Information about UT's Rain Gardens for TN program. Resources include a rain garden builders guide, video of a rain garden being built, and a rain garden database and webmap

Tags: Rain Gardens, Guides, Education, Maps and Tools, Stormwater

Rain Garden Toolkit
Resources for creating or educating others on building a rain garden. Resources include the Rain Garden Builders Guide, Rain Gardens Educator's ToolkitRain Gardens for Tennessee Site Summary, and Rain Garden Facts and Tips.

Tags: Rain Gardens, Stormwater, Urban, Education, Runoff 

Rainwater: Your Liquid Asset A Home Stormwater Exercise
Information for helping homeowners what happens to stormwater on their property and how to mitigate stormwater pollution. 

Tags: Stormwater, Tools, Education, Runoff, Mitigation, Sediment, Pathogens, Trash, Nutrients, Toxins, Best Management Practices, Grass Swales, Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, Pervious Pavement

Teacher Resources - Backyard STEM for Tennessee 4-H
A webpage with a variety of environmental stewardship related teaching resources organized by soils, water and watersheds, wildlife and ecology, and more. Water and watershed related resources include teacher modules on Nutrient Pollution and Eutrophication, Stormwater Mapping, Sediments and Water Quality, Benthic Macroinvertibrates, Rain Gardens, Soil Water Holding Capacity, and Watershed Mapping. 

See also: Watershed Restoration and Management Program

Tags: Education, Nutrients, Sediment, Water Quality, Stormwater, Benthic Macroinvertibrates, Rain Gardens, Soil, Lesson Plans

Virtual Tour of Rain Gardens
Photos and a virtual tour of Tennessee rain gardens are provided within this sites interactive story map. 

Tags: Maps and Tools, Raingardens, Stormwater, Urban, Success Stories

Education and Outreach - Stormwater
This webpage offers residential tips to reduce stormwater pollution. 

Tags: Education, Stormwater, Homeowner, Nutrients, Septic, Pathogens, Erosion, Sediment, Motor Oil, Household Contaminants, Composting, Rain Barrels, Rain Garden

Rain Gardens
Information about rain gardens and resources for building your own. This site links visitors to a Cumberland River Compact Rain Garden Video, a step by step Rain Gardens for Nashville - A Resource Guide and

See also: Rain Gardens for Nashville - A Resource Guide and

Tags: Rain Gardens, Education, Guides, Stormwater, Runoff, Sediment, Nutrients, Homeowners, Urban, Technical Resources offers basic information about rain gardens, a link to the in depth Rain Gardens for Nashville Resource Guide, a gallery of completed rain gardens, information about the Cumberland River Compact, Hand's On Nashville, and the City's Green Alley Project, an interactive map of rain gardens around the City, and offers lesson plans for teachers. Lesson plans include: 1) A Rain Garden Year; 2) Rain Garden Maintenance; 3) Bimodal Botany Boquet; 4) Conjunction Function; 5)Infiltration Test: Exploring the Flow of Water Through Soils; and 6)Let It Rain: The Benefits of Rain Gardens.

Tags: Rain Gardens, Manuals, Stormwater Runoff, Technical Resources, Homeowner, Maps and Tools, Education, Guides

Rain Gardens for Nashville - A Resource Guide
A resource guide for planning, designing, and maintaining a beautiful rain garden. This guide offers guidance on where to locate your garden, how to prepare, excavate, and plant the area, offers a variety of design templates, plant lists, and more. 

See also:

Tags: Rain Gardens, Manuals, Stormwater Runoff, Technical Resources, Homeowners, Guides

Best Management Practices for Homeowners
Resources for helping homeowners manage stormwater pollution. Resources include: the Homeowners Guide to Cleaner Water; how toCreate a Streamside Buffer25 Ways to Prevent Water WasteHow to Make a Rain GardenHow to Make a Rain BarrelHow to Recycle Used OilOil Recycling LocationsSummertime Tips for Water Quality; a Storm Drain Labeling Fact Sheet and Storm Drain Labeling Request Form; and Grass Clipping Disposal and Fertilizer Usage Information.

Tags: Stormwater, Runoff, Urban, Oil and Grease, Common Household Waste, Education, Sediment, Best Management Practices, Riparian Buffers, Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels, Storm Drains, Nutrients, Fertilizer, Grass Clippings, Compost, Outreach



Cumberland River Compact
Green Alley Project
he Cumberland River Compact’s Green Alley project is transforming alleys from asphalt stormwater conveyances that transport pollution to our most vulnerable streams into areas that percolate and clean polluted stormwater, thereby improving water quality throughout the city.

Tags: Rain Gardens, Stormwater, Homeowners, Urban Runoff, Sediment, Pathogens, Nutrients, Volunteers

Rain Gardens
We work with the public to build rain gardens in yards, at schools, churches, parks, and businesses. Rain gardens can capture and percolate tens of thousands of gallons of stormwater a year. This prevents the transport of pollutants into our waterways. The Cumberland River Compact hosts classes, offers site visits, and organizes volunteer groups to build rain gardens. We have built close to 500 rain gardens in middle Tennessee. The Rain Gardens for NashvilleGuide is available from this webpage. 

Tags: Rain Gardens, Guides, Education, Stormwater, Sediment, Nutrients, Pollution, Urban Runoff, Volunteers

Harpeth River Watershed Association
Home and Garden Tips
These tips cover things you can do around the house and in your garden that will affect the health of rivers and streams. Suggestions cover conservation, household contaminants, nonpoint source pollution, oil and gas, environmentally safe products without chlorine and phosphate products and solvents. Links on this page take visitors to a printable River Smart Around the Home Tips Sheet and River Smart Gardening Tips Sheet, a video about where drinking water comes from, non toxic home cleaning products and tips, and information about where to recycle in Nashville. 

Tags: Education, Nonpoint Source Pollution, Household Contaminants, Oil and Grease, Chlorine, Nutrients, Water Conservation, Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, Composting, Erosion, Sediment, Nutrients, Pesticides

Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels
Resources for people interested in creating a rain garden or installing a rain barrel. Link on this page take visitors to HRWA's Rain Garden How-to Brochure, another rain garden guide for Middle Tennesseans by Patty Ghertner, aStart-to-Finish Rain Garden Workbook, information about recycling rain water in rain barrels from the Tennessean, additional links to rain garden resources, and native Tennessee plant resources from Nashville NativesGroWild, andGardens of Babylon

Tags: Rain Gardens, Rain Barrels, Stormwater, Water Conservation, Native Plants, Nonpoint Source Pollution, Homeowners

River Restoration and Wildlife Protection Program
The River Restoration & Wildlife Protection program coordinates and implements projects that restore streams, address stream bank erosion, and reduce pollution from runoff in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Example restoration projects are provided on this page including riparian zone restoration, tree planting, bank stabilization, rain gardens, and stream clean-ups. Links on this page provide information on cedar revetments for repairing stream banks, a rain garden and rain barrel page, recent projects and more. 

See also: Headwaters Restoration

Tags: Stream Restoration, Riparian Buffers, Erosion, Sedimentation, Trees, Clean-ups, Rain Gardens, Bank Stabilization, Cedar Revetments

Mill Creek Watershed Association
Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, and Native Plants
Information about the rain barrels, rain gardens, and native plants, including rain garden guides, and native plant nurseries includingGroWild Nursery in FairviewNashville Natives in FairviewMoore & Moore Garden Center in NashvilleSunlight Gardens in Andersonville, and Native Gardens in Greenback. 

Tags: Rain Barrels, Rain Gardens, Native Plants, Nurseries, Guides, Water Conservation

Tennessee Environmental Council
Citizen Action Guide to Watershed Assessment and Restoration (2015)
This 2015 guide provides citizens with steps for putting sound science to work in their watershed. Interested person or organizations can contact TEC at if they would like to schedule a training workshop that covers these materials. Contents include the action guide for watershed assessment and restoration itself as well as the following appendices: Appendix 1 – Watershed Science and MappingAppendix 2 – Stream Assessment FinalAppendix 3 – Guide to Restoration Activities FinalAppendix 3.1 Tennessee Cedar RevetmentsAppendix 3.2 – Guidance for Riparian Buffer plantings TDOF 2014Appendix 3.3 Combined Rain Garden Workshop GuideAppendix 4 – Guidance for EducatorsAppendix 5 – Permits and Reporting Environmental Violations (TDEC)Appendix 6 – Watershed Restoration Plan GuidanceAppendix 7 CWA overviewAppendix 8 – Glossary Final.

Tags: Guides, Education, Stream Restoration, Monitoring, Assessment, Maps, Cedar Revetments, Riparian Buffers, Rain Gardens, Permits, Regulation, Policy, Plan, Plans, Glossary

Watershed Support Center
The Council’s Watershed Support Center takes challenges and turns them into opportunities for Tennessee rivers and streams and waterways and the wildlife and people who enjoy them.  Work includes: Planting trees to reforest the stream banks and planting live stakes to stabilize the soil and help improve water quality; installing rain gardens, rain gardens add beauty to the landscape and reduce flooding by allowing storm water to be absorbed by the plants and infiltrated into the ground; installing revetments (cedar timbers wrapped in coir mat) on to the eroded bank to prevent further deterioration of the stream bank; fish habitat restoration initiatives in the streams. 

Tags: Stream Restoration, Tree Plantings, Riparian Buffers, Live Stakes, Erosion, Sediment, Bank Stabilization, Rain Gardens, Floodplains, Floods, Stormwater, NPS Pollution, Infiltration, Cedar Revetments, Habitat Restoration, Aquatic Biology, Biodiversity