tall flowers in the sun

The Horticulture program designs, installs and maintains gardens throughout Three Rivers Park District. From rain gardens, to pollinator gardens, native landscapes, to public gardens, the Horticulture program is an important contributor to the health and beautification of Park District properties and the education of park users. 

Formal Gardens

Three Rivers’ horticulture staff are responsible for all of the formal gardens around the Park District’s buildings and facilities. Each year, the horticulture program works around the Park District to: 

  • Install and maintain more than 800 trees and shrubs to enhance Three Rivers’ facilities and amenities.
  • Design and maintain all formal gardens and plant beds, including Noerenberg Gardens.
  • Perform all maintenance associated with landscape upkeep - including weeding, watering, pruning and plant replacement.

wide gardens at noerenberg

Rain Gardens

Currently, Three Rivers has created 28 rain gardens featuring over 100,000 square feet of native plants. Rain gardens are used to help slow the flow of water and remove potential contaminants before the water enters lakes and streams.

Similar to formal gardens, rain gardens are often planted in high profile areas and require a high level of regular maintenance to meet the program’s high standards. In addition to their purpose in protecting our lakes and streams, the native plants used in rain gardens also provide beautiful spots of color throughout the year.

The Park District uses a Rain Garden Management Plan to identify the various types of plants used, to guide design principles and to establish a maintenance plan for each garden. Maintenance of the rain gardens includes planting, weeding, fall clean-up and monitoring each garden’s effectiveness.


The horticulture staff appreciates the help volunteers provide throughout the year. Volunteer opportunities exist for tending to rain and formal gardens through the Adopt A Garden program.

Related Blog Posts

What's Blooming at Noerenberg?

By: Arla Carmichiel

August 13, 2018

August can often be a difficult month for tired gardeners. A walk through Noerenberg Gardens might be just the thing to get through the “dog days” of summer. Learn which plants to look for this August.