Bluff Country Co-op’s rain garden is one of our most visible efforts to lessen our impact on our ecosystem. Look below for information on what a rain garden is, why they are so important, and how you can become involved in BCC’s effort to improve our environment.

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is a low-lying area in a street, yard, parking lot or driveway that collects polluted stormwater runoff. The rain garden naturally filters this runoff through the roots of native grasses and perennials, preventing polluted water from entering lakes, rivers and streams.

What's the history of BCC's rain garden?

In 2015 Bluff Country Co-op grew from a small grocer to a full-sized grocery store, but what wasn’t foreseen was the inadequate drainage of the municipal parking lot outside our doors. After acquiring a grant from the State of Minnesota, the Co-op worked with the City of Winona to create a rain garden in the middle of the lot, the only sacrifice being a half dozen parking spaces. Now, the rain garden regularly saves over 80 pounds of sand and sediment from entering the Mississippi River every year!

How can you help?

Throughout the spring, summer and autumn, BCC needs to maintain our rain garden. This entails pulling weeds, removing litter and scooping out buckets on buckets of sand. By the help of dedicated volunteers we keep our rain garden beautiful and functional throughout out all the warm months Minnesota has to offer. If you’re interested in helping out with the rain garden maintenance, please reach out to BCC’s Community Outreach Coordinator at