Guardians of the Rain Gardens

Last month, the SFPUC launched its new sewer program for community members: Rain Guardians. Similar to the Adopt a Drain program, the Rai​n Guardians program enables San Francisco residents to take an active role in caring for rain gardens in their neighborhood and improving the area where they live and work.

Participants of the Rain Guardian program caring for rain gardens in their neighborhood.

A rain garden is a green infrastructure feature that uses the natural processes of soils and plants to slow down and clean stormwater and keep it from overwhelming the City’s sewer system. Rain gardens are designed to improve habitats, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and beautify neighborhoods. Rain gardens are a party of San Francisco’s initiative to manage 1 billion gallons of stormwater through green infrastructure by 2050.

There are currently about 60 rain gardens constructed across San Francisco. Residents can sign up to join the Rain Guardian program online and name the garden they adopt. Program participants are given the proper safety equipment (safety vest, gloves, trash picker) and are responsible for removing trash and debris and reporting issues, such as significant damage or hazardous materials to 311.