Land and Water Works

Application to Host a Rain Garden Workshop
with Hands-on Rain Garden Demonstration
for Non-profit and Faith-based Organizations


The Land + Water Works Coalition is embarking on a journey to help Detroit become a greener, more sustainable city by preventing stormwater runoff and creating healthier communities. Sewage and urban runoff are polluting Detroit’s rivers. We invite you to help prevent this pollution by planting a Rain Garden!

The Land + Water Works rain garden workshop, repeated in each council district, provides a one-day 4-hour training that includes a 1-hour class and 3-hour hands-on garden installation. The workshop is designed to teach you about rain gardens, their purpose and the steps to take to create a rain garden of your own. Garden installations provide an opportunity to educate your constituents to do the same.

Non-governmental organizations/institutions (i.e. community development organizations, non-profit and faith-based organizations) are encouraged to apply to participate in the program.
**Applications are due by August 27, 2018**

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a garden with a purpose. The garden is designed to temporarily store rainwater so that it infiltrates the soil or evaporates, rather than running off into storm drains. To construct a rain garden, a shallow depression is dug in the ground and planted with native flowers that tolerate varying water levels and weather conditions. Rain gardens help reduce pollution in lakes and streams by reducing storm water flowing into combined sewer systems, which overflow to the river when they reach capacity.

In addition, rain gardens:

  • protect our properties from flooding
  • beautify our yards and neighborhoods
  • improve quality of life
  • provide habitat for birds, butterflies, and many other beneficial creatures
  • increase the amount of water infiltrated into the ground, which helps recharge our local aquifer
  •  may be eligible to receive “green credit” to apply against drainage fee
  • attracts pollinators and beneficial insects that help gardens/farms be more productive.

Application process and qualifying information

  1. Sierra Club and Friends of the Rouge will review all applications.

Project sites will be selected with the intent to have one in each Detroit City Council District. Applications will be rated on:

a. Completeness of the application

b. Potential for managing rainwater

c. Potential for community engagement

d. Space for the rain garden and indoor workshop

  1. If your application/rain garden is selected, Friends of the Rouge and Sierra Club will work with you to design the best rain garden for your site. The rain garden must be constructed and installed in a publicly visible location according to these plans.
  2. Selected applicants must schedule a site visit with program staff at the location where the rain garden is to be planted.
  3. Selected applicants will work with project partners to complete a binder that includes a map of the rain garden and logistics, plant list, budget, planting prep, maintenance schedule, and contacts and resources.
  4. Selected applicants are required to invite 20 volunteers to help plant their rain garden.
  5. Friends of the Rouge will purchase all supplies (plants, mulch, compost, etc.) to be used for the installation of all rain gardens.
  6. Rain gardens, depending on size, are valued at approximately $2,000 per garden.
  7. After the rain garden is completed, partners will provide plant labels and a yard sign that identifies the garden as a rain garden. Selected applicants will keep plant labels and yard sign in garden for at least five years.
  8. Rain gardens must be maintained by the selected applicants for a minimum of five years.
  9. Selected applicants will photograph gardens throughout the seasons and share with program partners annually over the five year maintenance period.
  10. Organizations not selected to receive a rain garden through Land + Water Works program are invited to attend the workshops and assist with rain garden plantings to learn how to create a rain garden on their own. Registration is required. Register by calling (313) 965-0055.

You can complete the application online below OR print the completed application and deliver it in-person or mail it to
Sierra Club at 2727 Second Avenue, Suite 112, Detroit, MI 48201.
Applications must be received by August 27!!!

If you need assistance with the application, contact Erma Leaphart with Sierra Club at (313) 965-0055 or (313) 444-3705 or

Land and Water.JPG
Rain Garden 1.JPG
Rain Garden 2.JPG

Application to Host a Rain Garden Workshop with Hands-on Rain Garden Demonstration

Name *
Home Phone
Home Phone
Cell Phone *
Cell Phone
I would like to be contacted (check all that apply)
Address where garden will be planted *
Address where garden will be planted
Phone for the contact person
Phone for the contact person
Choose 1
Choose 1
If you do not own the land, are you able to get signed permission from the owner?
Choose 1
A minimum of 15 volunteers are needed to help dig and plant each garden. Volunteers may include your organizations members, friends, family, and neighbors
Are you a Land + Water Works Coalition partner or Ambassador?
Choose 1