Purdue Rainscaping Education


​Rainscaping includes the use of sustainable landscape design and management practices at both the household and community scales to prevent pollution from reaching water bodies by directing stormwater to be absorbed by plants and soils. Rainscaping practices can range from simple solutions to more complex engineered systems and include:

  • ​Installing rain barrels to collect rain water to irrigate landscapes​
  • ​Constructing bioretention areas such as bioswales and rain gardens
  • Disconnecting downspouts f​rom storm sewers and redirecting into lawns or gardens
  • Maintaining and protecting existing trees and shrubs and other natural features
  • Using native and well adapted plant species
  • Reducing impervious surfaces through installing brick pavers, pervious concrete,
    or gravel in place of traditional concrete or asphalt
  • Planting buffer strips around water bodies

The Purdue Rainscaping Education Program provides training and resources on practices that can be installed in a residential setting or small scale public spaces project.  The program development focus for 2013-2016 includes community awareness and education for bioretention/ rain garden planning, installation, and maintenance using an advanced training model for Purdue Master Gardeners, conservation agencies and organizations, stormwater professionals, and landscape companies and consultants. Participants are encouraged to attend as a community team to support implementation of public education programs and provide technical assistance to homeowners upon completion of the training. The model consists of four, three-hour training modules in a workshop setting and educational service opportunities for Purdue Master Gardener volunteers. The workshops include flipped classroom instruction, online learning opportunities, experiential training activities, field techniques, and field trips to community examples of rainscaping projects. Participants also receive hands-on experience through creation of a demonstration bioretention /rain garden project with community partners in a public space such as a county Extension office.Increased community bioretention / rain garden implementation is also an important outcome for this program. A customized website and associated database tracks state-wide rain garden installation projects and calculates related ecological benefits such as reduction in stormwater runoff. ​

Visit the program website​​ for updated training opportuities and resources. For additonal information or quesitons, please contact program co-chairs, Kara Salazar or John Orick​​.