Iowa Stormwater Education Program


Rainscapes look like regular landscapes at a glance.  However one major difference exists: rainscapes are designed to retain and infiltrate a known quantity of runoff generated from a certain area, such as a rooftop, driveway, parking lot, or street.  Rainscapes prevent rain from becoming polluted stormwater runoff.

Above ground, Rainscapes mirror traditional landscape, but their commonalities end with plants and mulch.  A great deal of work below ground ensures that a 1.25" rain infiltrates, or .78 gallons per square foot of area are managed by the practice. Each best management practice falls into one of two categories - the Basic Rainscape or the Engineered Rainscape.

Basic Rainscapes are practices that do not require engineering (just some basic math).


Engineered Rainscapes are practices designed by those with an engineering background, such as a civil engineer, surface water engineer, or landscape architect.  Once designed, a landscape contractor should install the practice to design specifications. (We recommend our Certified Rainscapers!)


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