The Park People
Sunday, July 14, 2024

Rainwater Harvesting

Get information on rainwater collection, including learning about Denver’s laws on collection, building and utilizing rain barrels, and how to make the most of your harvest.

Rainwater Harvesting

Denver summers are getting hotter and longer. We need shade trees and cooling greenery around our homes. Rainwater -- a free resource! -- can help us save on water bills while also directing water to grow healthier shade trees and flowering perennials. Each year some 10,000 gallons of rainwater, snow, and dew collects on our roofs, only to go down storm drains. How do we harvest this valuable rainwater??

Our west Denver Rainwater Harvesting project is working with community leaders to provide residents with information and tools to:

  1. Lower their water bills while still keeping their garden growing, and
  2. Collect FREE rainwater to irrigate their trees and perennials. 

Added bonuses include conserving drinking water for all of Denver, and reducing pollution that runs into our streams from stormwater runoff.

The goal? Greener, cooler neighborhoods!

Events and Workshops


FREE Workshops and Materials for Barnum, Barnum West, Villa Park & Valverde! Paid for by Denver's Office of Climate Action Sustainability & Resilience, to help communities that have historically received fewer resources become more climate resilient. So let's take advantage! :)

Join us for a 3-part workshop series to find out how you can harvest your home's rainwater to grow more flowers and to water your trees. You'll end up with a design plan for your home, that meets your home's needs. And then you'll schedule a time this summer, when we'll help you install your rainwater harvesting design. 

You are welcome to sign up for one, two, or all three workshops. We look forward to learning with you. 

Hot breakfast, coffee, and hot chocolate included. 

Apply for FREE Materials!

FREE rainwater harvesting materials are available to community members in:

  • Valverde
  • Barnum
  • Barnum West
  • Villa Park

Rain barrels and downspout redirect materials will be available for pick-up in May, June and July, 2024. Mini rain garden kits with colorful perennials will be available in September. "How to" workshops and installation guides are available to all community members. Free installation help will be available to community members who need it.

Since all materials are FREE, they’re available “first come, first served,” with priority given to workshop attendees. Please apply for YOUR free materials to collect rainwater to water your trees and plants. 

Please Note: Due to high demand, rain barrels and rain garden kits are now waitlisted. You are welcome to still apply for those options, but please be aware that you'll be placed on a waitlist. DOWNSPOUT REDIRECTS are the easiest option to install, and the most low maintenance. They are the simplest way to get started with rainwater harvesting, and we encourage all our community members to apply for and receive downspout redirects!




Instructions & Guides


How-to Videos on installing and maintaing your rain barrel from Colorado Stormwater Center

Rain Barrel Installation Guide from Colorado Stormwater Center


Rain Barrel Maintenance Guide, from Groundwork Denver, English

COMO MANTENER, LIMPIAR, Y CUIDAR TU BARRIL, de Groundwork Denver, español



Painting rainbarrels at the Valverde block party at Ulibarri Park.



Rain Barrel Video Tutorial

YouTube video tutorial on How to Install a Rain Barrel from Groundwork Denver.

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond

Click on the book cover for more information about THE comprehensive guide to rainwater harvesting, by expert Brad Lancaster.



Yes, rain barrels are legal in Colorado!

In 2016, the Colorado legislature amended laws to make it legal for residents to collect and store up to 110 gallons of rainwater on their property. That would be two 55-gallon rainbarrel per plot. 

Downspout redirect installed by the Colorado Water Center, to irrigate plants in a small rain garden.







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