Rain Garden Planter Project Guide

The finished project!

As some of you may remember, back in October 12,000 Rain Gardens and the Seattle Garden Club worked together to install a planter rain garden in the Laurelhurst neighborhood.  A galvanized water trough was turned into a rain garden which would capture run off from roughly 200 sq. feet of contributing area. While the planter rain garden turned out to be a beautiful addition to the homeowner’s yard, the original methods we used to put together the rain garden were not successful. The homeowner experienced issues with the rain garden’s functionality and drainage.

We recently revisited the site and made some changes to the planter rain garden in order to get it to manage stormwater properly. Through this process of installing and then re-designing the rain garden, we learned a lot about how to successfully put together a planter rain garden. We have put together a document which explores this process and shares the steps that were used to create this planter rain garden. We hope that our Rain Garden Planter Project Guide will be useful to others who are interested in designing and installing their own planter rain garden. 

Two Days in the Other Washington

Our intrepid crewI found myself in what was a departure from my well worn paths across the Puget Sound region. I was joining a group of colleagues to talk with national leadership and decision makers  about the health of Puget Sound and how their  voice and actions were critical to protecting the Salish Sea, the nation’s largest estuary. Our visit was both timely and impactful. Our team represented a partnership from many nonprofit, for profit, public and private organizations. We arrived carrying the weight that our progress to-date has been slow, balanced with excitement because momentum is gaining and the tide is turning. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.

During our whirlwind visit, we met with many elected leaders including, Congressmen Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer and Rick Larson, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Senator Patty Murray. We also spent time with EPA staff who have been dedicated to the health of Puget Sound and other water bodies. Their bold vision and dedication have brought positive impacts, not just for the ecosystem, but for our economy and community. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to thank them for their hard work. We left  inspired, knowing that our local innovations are having an impact, but also with our minds more clearly around the importance of continued collaboration with our federal agency partners along with the local landowners and regional leaders that we usually collaborate with.

I have gained a deeper appreciation for the incredible team that I work with locally. When we first arrived in D.C., we were greeted by the words of Puget Sound Partnerships executive director, Sheida Sahandy. “This group of allies is a family.” I have often felt this way, but the sentiment rings even more true  after this lobbying effort. Each partner is unique, has distinct talents and proclivities and we really do cheer for each other. Our shared love for the work that we do for the amazing place called Puget Sound, it’s people, it’s water, it’s land, it’s air, and many other inhabitants, ties us together.

As a region, there is so much pride, love and respect for our Pacific Northwest home. Sometimes, we don’t agree on the best path forward, but still agree on the goal of a healthy and resilient region full of opportunities. So with that, after spending two days on the other coast thanking federal leaders who may not often hear those words, I turn to you, our friends and partners and want to extend my thanks to you as well.

We are grateful for this Stewardship Partners community that truly is shining a bright green beacon for all to see. 

Sincerely, Dr Aaron Clark

Puget Sound Partnership Press Release
https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAPSP/bulletins/196d3d8

Puget Sound Success Stories
https://pugetsoundinnovationstories.blog/

It’s a Beautiful View from Atop the Summit

Keynote Speaker Majora Carter

Wow! We just wrapped-up the 2nd Annual Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit, and as the dust settles from this landmark event, we are electrified by the range of innovative, collaborative and intersectional “solutions-making” that is happening throughout our region. We definitely have a lot of work ahead of us to scale up to match the immense challenges of building solutions that address polluted runoff as we create healthy, thriving communities for all people, but we are ready to make it happen!

Working closely with an amazing host committee from The Nature Conservancy, City of Seattle, Salmon-Safe, Washington State, University, Washington Environmental Council and MIG-SvR Design, we focused on three interconnected themes: Getting Growth Right at this unique moment in history, using green infrastructure for Climate Resilience, and making green infrastructure into a positive force for Racial and Social Equity. These themes were throughlines for the day’s presentations, discussions, rapid fire case studies and breakout sessions that focused on positive impacts, decision-making and developers going way beyond code requirements.

Among the day’s many highlights:

  • Keynote speaker, Majora Carter challenging our notion that green infrastructure isn’t sexy as she laid out the very real appeal of the path from green infrastructure to community revitalization through jobs and property development investments.
  • Demonstration that Huskies and Cougars alike are bringing innovative perspectives and cutting edge science to bear on polluted runoff. They may be rival schools, but they are collaborating on our shared future. Additional projects from Kitsap County, Tacoma, Seattle, Tukwila, Duvall and Bellingham rounded-out the regional perspective.
  • Of special interest to us at Stewardship Partners was our beta-launch of the Sound Impacts portal, a project that we have been developing for two years, designed to bring organizations, government agencies, businesses and communities together around shared data tracking for the sake of understanding our collective impacts.
  • In the closing call to action, the point was clearly made that we are living in a unique time and the bright green light that Puget Sound shines is an important beacon for the nation and the world.

 

We wrapped the discussion portion of the day with a panel that demonstrated growth, equity and resilience in current ongoing projects, followed by calls to action from Congressman Denny Heck and Seattle Public Utilities General Manager Mami Hara. The Summit closed with recognition of three outstanding community leaders who are driving local movement towards equity, strategy and implementation: Jessica Knickerbocker with the City of TacomaEnvironmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS), and De’Sean Quinn, Tukwila City Council.

This collaborative effort included 16 sponsors. Thank you to our Premiere Sponsors, Boeing and the Nature Conservancy, and to our more than 30 presenters! The Summit was dedicated to building a region-wide collaborative network around the City Habitats Campaign – a virtual gathering space and resource sharing portal for all kinds of green infrastructure work across the Puget Sound guided by the principle that for nature, cities and people to thrive, we must connect all three through green infrastructure, access to nature and sustainable solutions to our biggest challenges.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been a Stewardship Partners hosted event if we didn’t have responsibly indulgent food and drink! We are immensely thankful to Whole Foods for the food, Earth Corps for the coffee, Chateau Ste. Michelle for the wine and the Mountaineers for the space!

Learn more about the Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit.  View event photos.