What is Rainscaping?

Rainscaping is a method of watershed restoration that uses practices to manage rain water where it falls. The Macatawa Rasincaping program promotes awareness and implementation of these practices among homeowners, landscapers, and contractors. The program highlights the benefits of these practices and the skills required for installation.

Some rainscaping practices are also referred to as green stormwater infrastructure. This is a broader term encompassing many more practices that manage rain water where it falls. Rainscaping practices are a subset that can be easily used at home. They include:

  • Rain barrels
  • Rain gardens
  • Native plants
  • Tree planting
  • Riparian buffers

These practices help manage rain water where it falls while improving water quality, providing wildlife habitat and enhancing aesthetics.

Macatawa Rainscaping

The MACC and partners at ODC Network, Holland BPW and Hope College developed a rainscaping program in the Macatawa Watershed with the aid of a gran from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This program is modeled after Grand River Rainscaping, an LGROW Program. We have worked closely with LGROW staff to honor this program while adapting it to the Macatawa Watershed. As of 2021, the Macatawa Rainscaping Program is managed by the ODC Network. Contact Kelly Goward, kelly@outdoordiscovery.org, for questions or more information.

How does the Program Work?

The Macatawa Rainscaping program includes multiple components and various ways to participate.

Volunteer Training

The goal of volunteer training is to deploy volunteers to complete site assessments for homeowners and provide recommendations for rainscaping practices. Training is available for anyone ages 18 and up. Training includes a classroom session where participants will learn about rainscaping practices and how to conduct a site assessment, including some hands-on practice. We’ll also provide background information about our watershed, stormwater and other general concepts. Part two is an outdoor session where participants will practice conducting site assessments. After training is complete, we will assign program graduates to conduct site assessments as homeowners request them. But don’t worry, your trainers will be available to provide support and answer any questions!

There are no trainings scheduled at this time, but you can fill out this form to indicate interest in training and we will notify you when the next training is scheduled.

Contact Kelly Goward at kelly@outdoordiscovery.org if you have any questions about becoming a Rainscaping Volunteer.


Homeowners can sign up to request a free site assessment by filling out the form below. We will provide your responses to a volunteer (or project partner) who will schedule a site visit to walk the property and discuss rainscaping with you. Within a couple weeks, the volunteer will provide a written summary of recommendation and additional resources. MACC staff or other project partners will follow up to see if you want to implement any of the recommended practices.

If you’re ready to plan and install rainscaping practices on your own, we created this Google folder of resources to help you on your journey. Feel free to request a site assessment or contact Kelly if you need some guidance!