Located on the south side of 28th Street East, just west of Hiawatha, behind the Smith Foundry. The East Phillips Rain Garden is located just one mile from our Mississippi River and is designed to filter water before entering a storm drain directly adjacent to it. The Twin Cities storm drain system does not have a filtration system and so all water goes directly into the river and other water bodies with all its contaminants. In order to combat this issue the garden is planted with native plants that have very long root systems and do a fantastic job of slowing down and filtering the water before entering the drain system. The plants vary from short, drought-tolerant edging plants up near the sidewalk to head-high wetland plants down in the center of the basin. The plants also offer nectar, seeds, nesting materials, cover, perches, and even drinking water to attract birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Several area organizations donated resources and ongoing support crucial to the garden's existence. The Smith Foundry, which is adjacent to the garden, supplied water to help get the garden established. The Midtown YWCA, located a few blocks away, sponsors the garden, and this sponsorship includes an ongoing commitment to supply volunteers for maintenance. The Midtown Greenway Coalition received grant money in 2005 from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and Bush Foundation for implementation, along with three others on the corridor.