Rain-permeable walkway


What is this?

A rain-permeable walkway is one which allows rainwater and snowmelt to soak into the ground. Some materials direct water around paving materials and other materials allow water to soak right through. Examples of rain-permeable materials include: woodchips, crushed gravel, porous pavers, stone/brick pavers, permeable glass, porous concrete and permeable asphalt.  Examples of walkway surfaces that are not considered rain-permeable are concrete and asphalt.

How do I do this?

On my own

Keep it on site - It would be adventageous if people were to keep more rainwater on their property and let it soak into the ground. Here are some ideas on how:

  1. Use rain-permeable materials when replacing or installing new walkways. 
  2. Design your property – when possible – with a reduced amount of asphalt, concrete or roof.
  3. As you research various materials, ask about winter issues – snow shovelling/plowing, frost heave and the impact of salt or other de-icing agents.
  4. Here are somelaces to see interesting surfaces to consider:
    • Ryerson Woods in Deerfield has a porous asphalt parking lot
    • The Morton Arboretum in Lisle features an interlocking paver parking lot.
    • The Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake features a section of permeable recycled glass sidewalk.
    • The Village of Oak Park has installed a number of beautiful, low-maintenance brick streets.

Hire some help

See our local vendors for sources of rain-permeable walkways and driveways.


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