It’s the prime of perennial garden season and you’ve likely noticed pretty flowers around your neighborhood. Could one of them be a rain garden?  Rain gardens, on the surface, look pretty much the same as other gardens (pretty flowers), except that they are bowl shaped.  When it rains, runoff water gathers in the bowl, soaks into the ground, and allows pollutants to be cleansed from the water rather than being carried into lakes or streams.

The Chisago SWCD has been busy over the past 5 years installing rain gardens all around the county. You might stumble across a rain garden on your way into the Rush City High School or the Geise Memorial Library in Wyoming.  Drive by Pumphouse Park in Lindstrom or Lorens Park in Center City and you’ll see rain gardens.  Walking the streets in North Branch?  Stroll along Oak Street or Riverside Court-more raingardens!  If your business takes you to the Chisago County Courthouse, the landscaping in the front is actually a series of rain gardens.  Or perhaps you are golfing at the Chisago Lakes course?  The ditches along the parking lot are filled with native plants and a rain garden is located next to the clubhouse.

For a full self-guided tour, visit the Chisago SWCD’s website ( and scroll down to the bottom of the “URBAN” section. Click on the link for “Chisago SWCD Water Quality BMP Tour.”