In 2006 the Demonstration Rain Garden was created through a joint effort between the City of
Novi and the MSU Tollgate Farm and Education Center. The goal was to provide a sample rain garden that could inspire businesses, homeowners, and communities to not only learn about rain gardens but to create them as well. Plants in a rain garden need to be able to grow in a wide variety of conditions: wet in rainy weather and dry between rain events.
The Tollgate Rain Garden was replanted in 2019 after removal of invasive plants. The process involved removing all the plants, covering the entire garden with a combination of paper and cardboard and then topping the garden with a few inches of mulch. The Rain Garden is beginning to flourish again with a variety of plants including: swamp milkweed, butterfly weed, New England aster, bee balm, columbine, coreopsis, turtlehead, liatris, and blue flag iris. The Tollgate Rain Garden is planted in a sunny location and so requires plants that thrive in full sun. Rain gardens can also be designed for shade. Click on the
brochure link below to learn more about the importance and construction of rain gardens.