This weekend, EcoSuperior is hosting a free tour of residential rain gardens to showcase natural approaches to reducing runoff, managing stormwater, and increasing urban beautification. “Rain gardens can be attractive, cost-effective measures for homeowners to utilize for managing stormwater while adding value to their property at the same time,” says Julia Prinselaar, program coordinator for EcoSuperior, the organization that delivers the City of Thunder Bay-funded Rain Garden Rebate program. The program offers homeowners up to $500 in rebates toward expenses for the installation of a residential rain garden. “They can often look like regular perennial gardens, only with the added function of capturing water from a downspout,” added Prinselaar.
A rain garden is shaped like a bowl that soaks up runoff from a rooftop or other hard surface like a parking area. The rainwater is absorbed into the soil instead of flowing into a storm drain that empties into local streams. Rain gardens and other green infrastructure are often planted with wildflowers or other native perennials that provide homes and food for birds and insects.

The public is invited to tour five residential rain gardens on Saturday, September 9 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Homeowners who have participated in the rain garden rebate program will be available to discuss their rain gardens and take questions from visitors so they can learn about rain gardens and the rebate program. Participants will be provided with a list of the garden locations when they register by calling 624-2141 or visiting Light refreshments will be provided at each location.