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Volunteer Opportunity for Individuals

Looking for a volunteer opportunity to do on your own? Maintaining rain gardens throughout Stillwater is a full-time job that requires many willing volunteers from neighboring homes. If you live near one of these gems and would like to help out, please contact our lead, Ruth Alliband. Click the button below to view a list of rain gardens that need to be adopted in Stillwater.

This initiative is achieved through partnership with the Washington Conservation District.


The +400 public rain gardens installed within the City of Stillwater mitigate unchecked drainage from impermeable city surfaces into our local watersheds and waterways following storms and snow melt. Besides their usefulness in protecting water quality in our urban environment, rain gardens play an equally important role in strengthening the natural world’s food web, even in our compromised, over-managed suburban setting. Most of our public rain gardens are at least partially planted to native plant species.

Native plants offer many benefits for people and the environment, including supporting wildlife, inviting pollinators, improving soil and water quality, and reducing maintenance costs. By acting as stewards of our individual outdoor spaces, we contribute to greater ecological health that connects us all. In the absence of native plants, suburbia is a food desert for native insects, which depend on native plants for food security and the completion of their reproductive cycles.

“Increasing the percentage of native plants in suburbia is a grassroots solution to the extinction crisis. Our success is up to each one of us individually. We can each make a measurable difference by planting native plants nearby. As gardeners and stewards of our land, we have never been so empowered—and the ecological stakes have never been so high.”

~ Douglas W. Tallamy, Professor of Entomology, University of Delaware and author of Bringing Nature Home.


Since 2006, citizens and local government partners have installed more than 1000 rain gardens in Washington County to protect our lakes, rivers, and streams! Rain gardens catch runoff from a rooftop, driveway, or street and soak it into the ground before it can reach a storm sewer or nearby waterway. Rain gardens also beautify our local communities and provide habitat for pollinators.


Adopting a rain garden is a great way to build community, beautify your neighborhood, protect lakes and rivers, and get fresh air and exercise! In Stillwater, Sustainable Stillwater MN works in partnership with the Minnesota Washington Conservation District (MNWCD) to recruit and support volunteers and plan community clean-up and weeding events.


  1. Use the map to find a rain garden in need of love and sign up using MNWCD online form

    • They’ll contact you in a few days to drop off materials and answer any questions you might have.

  2. Visit your garden 2-3 times per year to weed, thin plants, pick up litter, and remove built-up sediment in the inlet.

  3. Contact Cameron Blake if you notice any major problems with the garden, such as water not draining more than 48 hours after it rains.

*Want an easy reminder when maintenance is needed? Download their Raingarden Maintenance Calendar for Google or Outlook.

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