About the Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza

Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza

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The City of Elk Grove's Rain Garden Plaza, located on Laguna Springs Drive across from Colton Park, is the first comprehensive large-scale rain garden in the Sacramento region and the State of California.

It's a beautiful, serene open space with gardens that is a magnet for wildlife - as well as one that is low maintenance and habitat-friendly.

The Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza is designed to educate and build community awareness to conserve water resources, improve water quality, attract wildlife habitat, and promote watershed stewardship through both passive learning and hands-on fun interactive educational components. The Project features a creatively-designed and aesthetically-pleasing outdoor open space that includes a rain garden, biofiltration swales, pervious paving systems, water harvesting features, and California native, drought resistant plants. The Rain Garden Plaza features low-impact development (LID) practices that work with nature to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible by incorporating “river-friendly” landscaping techniques. The Rain Garden Plaza acts like a living laboratory teaching people of all ages to have fun as they learn about sustainable stormwater practices. 

The Rain Garden Plaza also features a canopied picnic area, fitness equipment, and local artwork.

The unique and creative solutions to preserve our natural resources today, will lead to a better tomorrow and sustainable urban regeneration for the future.

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Best education destination

The Rain Garden was ranked 38th by Study.comin the Top 56 Educational Places to Visit in the Sacramento Area

Elk Grove Rain Garden Podcast

(Courtesy of Thankyouocean)

What is a rain garden?

Rain gardens are shallow depressions in the landscape designed to catch and filter rainwater from roofs and pavements, allowing stormwater runoff to be used for plant growth and soil enrichment rather than allowing it to run directly into the storm drainage system.

Rain gardens provide an inexpensive and effective way of maintaining eco-friendly landscaping within an urban area. They require little maintenance with no fertilizers or pesticides. Rain gardens also improve the appearance of developed sites, absorb noise, provide beneficial wildlife habitat, and reduce heat. Read More.


Elk Grove Rain Garden Awards

The Elk Grove Rain Garden Plaza project has been recognized and received ten prestigious statewide and regional awards:

  • 2015 Honorable Mention Sacramento Area Sustainable Business Award
  • 2015 A success story for the new Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan for "Water and Energy Conservation"
  • 2014 Featured in the Western City Magazine for the 2013 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence "Planning and Environmental Quality"
  • 2014 Recognized by Senator Pan, California Legislature Assembly Resolution
  • 2014 Recognized by Congressman Bera, Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition
  • 2014 Recognized by the State Water and Regional Water Board "Board Members"
  • 2013 League of California Cities Helen Putnam Award for "Excellence for Planning and Environmental"
  • 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers Region 9 "Sustainability Project of the Year"
  • 2012 California Stormwater Quality Association "Outstanding Sustainable Stormwater Project Award"
  • 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers "Sustainability Project of the Year"
  • 2012 Sacramento Environmental Commission "Award of Leadership"
  • 2012 California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) "Award of Excellence"
  • 2012 California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) District 2, Sacramento Region "Award of Excellence for Facility Design and Park Planning"
  • Laguna Creek Watershed Council "Green Seal Award"
  • 2012 Sacramento Magazine's "Best New Park"

Frequently Asked Questions

How is this project funded?

The City’s Rain Garden project is being funded by restricted drainage funds which have no impacts on your property taxes or to the City’s general fund. These restricted drainage funds are exclusively used for the operation, construction and maintenance of the City’s public drainage system, including pipes, channels, detention basins, pumps, drainage engineering & construction, storm response, flood preparedness, storm water quality, education, etc., and cannot be used for any non-drainage-related purpose. The water quality and educational components of this project are consistent with the requirements of the City’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit under the Clean Water Act. The funds used for this project will not take away from the funds budgeted for on-going improvements and maintenance of the City’s public drainage system. Volunteered labor and donated materials will also be used to help subsidize the cost of this project.

Where will I be able to park?

Parking will be available on Laguna Palms Way, Studio Court and any of the parking lots located on the City Hall campus that are not gated.


City of Elk Grove

Shoaib Ahrary

Email or (916) 627-3445

Cosumnes Community Services District

Paul Mewton

Email or (916) 405-5309