Rain Gardens


Rain gardens are vegetated areas that collect, absorb and clean stormwater runoff. Using slope, vegetation and well drained soils, rain gardens are increasingly being used by homeowners and municipalities to reduce the impact of stormwater on local waterways and storm drain systems.


MyRWA partnered with the Town of Arlington, City of Everett and local community groups to design and build one to two rain gardens in each city. Community involvement was key to the success of these gardens.

ArlingtonHardy School before rain garden implementation.- now complete!

Two rain gardens have been built in Arlington: one at Hurd Field (on Drake Rd.) and the other at the Hardy School (52 Lake Street). The Hardy School Rain Garden design was generously provided by Fay, Spofford & Thorndike (FST),and the Hurd Field garden was designed by Sally Naish.

The Hardy School Rain Garden was planted by over 15 volunteers on Saturday, May 11th. Come see the garden at 52 Lake Street, Arlington, MA. If you are able to assist with maintenance and/or watering, please contact Beth at 781-316-3438.

Hurd Field was planted on May 4, 2013. Thanks to the many volunteers who lent a hand! If you are able to assist with maintenance and/or watering, please contact Beth at 781-316-3438.

Additional Information:

  • Join the dialogue! MyRWA has an Arlington Rain Garden list serv: ARLraingarden@mysticriver.org. You can submit your ideas for a rain garden location on this list serv and ask questions about the project/rain gardens.

Everett- now complete!

Click to enlarge.On October 26, 2012 MyRWA and volunteers planted the Everett rain garden located on the bike path at West Street and Wellington Avenue. (Map here.) The rain garden survived hurricane Sandy, treating stormwater from the neighboring roads. Rain garden design and consulting by Clay Larsen. View photos of the construction process here.

Additional Information:


The goal of this work is to restore water quality and habitat by raising awareness of stormwater and implementing rain garden structures. Rain gardens reduce stormwater runoff which carries significant levels of pollutants into the river system including nutrients. The rain gardens that will be built in this program will contribute to the reduction of pollutant loads from two sources - impervious surface runoff and failing sewage/stormwater infrastructure. The high percentage of impervious cover allows fertilizers, pet waste, and vehicle detritus to be picked up by rainwater and quickly transported to the river. In the case of failing infrastructure, a significant amount of rainwater is leaking from the surface into the sewer system causing the sewer system to overflow and introduce pollution to the Mystic River or other bodies of water. The rain gardens will allow rain water to be directed to areas that will permit the rainwater to infiltrate into the ground. The infiltrated water thus will not flush pollutants toward the river nor enter the sewer system at capacity. Funding for this project courtesy of National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's 5 Star Restoration Program.