Photo: Homegrown rain gardens win award

A rain garden is designed to naturally absorb and filter stormwater, preventing flooding.

Do you have problems with a wet basement or flooding in your yard? Ranger Marc Yamaguchi has an idea for you.

As part of the David Suzuki Foundation's Homegrown National Park Project, Marc launched the Rain Gardens of East Danforth Village project this summer. The project grew from his desire to convert his front yard into a rain garden, designed to absorb and store rainwater, keeping it away from his basement.

Marc learned that easy-to-maintain rain gardens attract bees, birds and butterflies, and are able to weather severe storms and extreme heat. He reached out to his neighbours with the idea of creating a rain garden network.

As part of 100-in-1-day on June 6, 2015, Homegrown National Park Project volunteers and local residents helped Marc dig out his yard and create the first rain garden. Then the project won the Toronto Foundation's 2015 Vital Innovation Award, including $10,000 to expand the project to 10 more yards.

In August, the Homegrown National Park Project team began digging and planting. The rain gardens all feature locally adapted wildflowers, shrubs and trees that will need little to no watering once established. A landscaped, shallow depression in each yard will naturally absorb and filter stormwater, preventing flooding.

The project will be used to encourage other homeowners to create rain gardens across the city. For information, check out www.davidsuzuki.org/raingardens.