The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) builds and maintains rain gardens (also known as right-of-way bioswales) to manage stormwater runoff from streets and sidewalks and improve water quality in local waterways.

Rain gardens are planted areas that may look similar to a street tree pit or small garden. You can identify a rain garden by the following features:

  • Black metal fence with a bright blue rain garden decal along the fence post
  • Tree and/or a variety of plants
  • Curb inlet and outlet that allow stormwater to enter the rain garden
  • Low area in the center to collect stormwater

Rain gardens are identified with blue DEP stickers.

You can report a drainage or maintenance issue with a Rain Garden.

DEP schedules new Rain Garden plantings and manages regular planting maintenance during the spring and fall seasons.

Rain gardens and other types of green infrastructure have positive environmental impacts, including:

  • Beautifying neighborhoods
  • Purifying the air
  • Reducing temperatures during hot weather
  • Improving street drainage, and
  • Reducing puddles and ponds

If you have questions or want more information about rain gardens you can contact DEP by email or phone.

By Email

By Phone

Call 311 for assistance.

  Was this information helpful?   Yes    No