Resources for Rain Gardens

Stewardship Partners and Washington State University work with numerous partners all over the state to increase education and outreach around rain gardens and clean water solutions. We’re all working together to reach our goal of 12,000 Rain Gardens for Puget Sound. Join us and be a part of this exciting campaign.

WSU Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington
Rain Garden Care Guide

City Habitats Seattle Times Insert

Rain Garden Brochure
(Available to educational efforts across Puget Sound at no cost)

RG VideoWSU Video:
Building a rain garden in the Pacific Northwest

Outside our Doors: the benefits of cities where people and nature thrive


Seattle Public Utilities and King County WTD: RainWise


Washington Storm Water Center
Low Impact Development Resources

Rain Garden and Bioretention Assessment Protocol

IslandWood Community Waters Science Unit

WEC Video: Polluted Puddles


Department of Ecology: State of Washington, Low Impact Development

Resources by Topic:




Rain Garden Handbook For Western Washington

This will be your best source on building rain gardens in Western Washington. Contains everything the typical private property owner needs to know about rain gardens. An easy to read guide fit for all people.

Washington State University Extension
City Habitats Seattle Times Insert

This insert in the Seattle Times discusses why Puget Sound is important, and how rain gardens offer a solution to that problem.

The Seattle Times
The Oregon Rain Garden Guide

A guide by Portland, Oregon following the steps of planning, constructing, and maintaining a rain garden, as well as layout ideas and plant lists.

Oregon Sea Grant
Rain Garden Overview and ProcessSimilar information to that of the Handbook with different format. Topics covered within the web source are: Sighting & Sizing (picking a location), Design and Installation, Plants (Small Database), Maintenance Cost calculator

NOTE: Smartphone App for Rain Garden Design and Planning available

NEMO, University of Connecticut
Landscapes for Life – Sustainable Sites Initiative

“Landscape For Life shows you how to work with nature in your garden, no matter where you live, whether you garden on a city or suburban lot, a 20–acre farm, or the common area of your condominium.”

Landscapes For Life, Sustainable Sites Initiative
Catching Rain: Rain Garden Construction Checklist

Construction tips from experienced rain garden builders.Catching Rain series, WSU Extension
Catching Rain: Construction Sequencing for Rain Gardens

Fact sheet identifying the best order and timing for constructing a rain garden.Catching Rain series, WSU Extension
Grattix – Rain Garden in a Box How to Flyer

This flyer produced by the Port of Vancouver explains what a Grattix is, and how to put one together!

Port of Vancouver 
Stormwater Planters Guide

This page describes stormwater planters, and gives the basic information about how they work and how they should be installed.

East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District
Rain Garden Planter Project Guide

This project was undertaken as a demonstration and proof of concept in order to provide improved guidance, based on direct experience, for how to create a successful rain garden planter in the Pacific Northwest.Stewardship Partners & Seattle Garden Club 




Rain Garden Handbook For Western WashingtonThis will be your best source on building rain gardens in Western Washington. Contains everything the typical private property owner needs to know about rain gardens. An easy to read guide fit for all people.

Washington State University Extension
Rain Garden Care Guide This straight forward guide helps community members and organizations care for their rain garden after installation. 

12,000 Rain Gardens
Rain Garden & Cistern Maintenance GuideThis easy to use guide from RainWise will help you keep your rain garden or cistern working all year round!

RainWise Cistern and Rain Garden Spring Maintenance Guide Use this handy postcard to get your rain garden or cistern ready for summer!

Catching Rain: Key Maintenance Tips for Rain GardensFact sheet outlining rain garden maintenance.

Catching Rain series, WSU Extension
Field Guide: Maintaining Rain Gardens, Swales, and Stormwater Planters (2013)Maintenance field guide of low impact development systems. NOT a construction guide.

Oregon State University Extension
Rain Garden Care Quick Start Guide (Spanish)This is the 12,000 Rain Gardens rain garden care guide for residents and community members, brought to you in Spanish.

12,000 Rain Gardens
Rain Garden Maintenance TipsThis guide features low-maintenance tips for installing and maintaining rain gardens.

Orcas Love Raingardens
Rain Garden and Bioretention Assessment Protocol
This easy to use field protocol is intended to help interested citizens and local staff gather the necessary information to assess the performance of bioretention facilities and rain gardens. The information can be used to correct immediate problems and by stormwater system managers to inform long term maintenance and design considerations.

City of Puyallup, Stewardship Partners, the Washington Stormwater Center and WSU Extension.




Stormwater Management Manual for Western WashingtonMinimum technical requirements and site planning, Construction stormwater pollution prevention, Hydraulic analysis and flow control design, Source control BMP, Runoff treatment BMP

Washington State Department of Ecology
After the Storm, A Citizen’s Guide to Understanding StormwaterThis brochure provides a broad overview of stormwater pollution, including runoff from residential and commercial properties, farms, construction sites, automotive facilities, forestry operations and others.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Polluted Runoff Learning CohortIn collaboration with The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF), Sightline Institute is working with a small, focused, professional network of 20-25 regional champions who work on low-impact development and related green solutions to stormwater runoff. Find their resources and events here.

Sightline Institute, The Russell Family Foundation
Catching Rain: Low Impact Development-Protecting Our WatersFact sheet addressing the issue of polluted stormwater runoff.

Catching Rain series, WSU Extension
Catching Rain: Washington’s New LID Stormwater RegulationsFact sheet outlining Washington state’s new rules for managing stormwater runoff.

Catching Rain series, WSU Extension
Catching Rain: Understanding Stormwater Management & the Development Process — Guidance for Real Estate ProfessionalsFact sheet outlining how low impact development (LID) stormwater management techniques fit into the development process in Washington.

Catching Rain series, WSU Extension
Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure, Finance Options and Resources for Local Decision-MakersThis document summarizes various funding sources that can be used to support stormwater management programs or finance individual projects.

EPA’s National Estuary Program
Coastal Stormwater Management through Green Infrastructure: A Handbook for MunicipalitiesThe document presents the following process for green infrastructure planning: 1) watershed assessment, 2) site identification and prioritization, 3) site planning, 4) selecting appropriate green infrastructure practices, 5) developing conceptual plans, and 6) effective plan review.

EPA’s National Estuary Program
Low Impact Development Construction Guide Credit Valley Conservation, located near Toronto, has developed a construction guide for low impact development.

Credit Valley Conservation
Combined/Separated Sewer System AnimationsThese simple animations show the difference between combined and separated sewer systems, and how they react to stormwater runoff.

Henderson, Kentucky Water Utility
To Manage Stormwater Sustainably, Understand Your SiteThis guide explains how stormwater runoff moves through a landscape system, and gives key tips to managing it in a sustainable manner.

12,000 Rain Gardens on Houzz
“Protecting Washington’s waters from stormwater pollution”This Environment Education Guide put out by the Department of Ecology describes Washington’s stormwater pollution and some of the solutions.

Department of Ecology
Right Place, Right Project“A Community Guide to Partnership Opportunities”. This handy guide will help communities select the right GSI project for their location and provide resources.

Seattle Public Utilities, King County Wastewater Treatment Division
Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Seattle Draft version of the implementation strategy for 2015-2020, including the overview and expanded executive summary.

Seattle Public Utilities CDWAC
A Business Case for Natural Infrastructure This report summarizes the drivers, applications and benefits of implementing natural infrastructure solutions.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
Stormwater Credit Trading ProgramsThis issue brief from NRDC discusses stormwater credit trading programs within the context of green infrastructure solutions.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Lay of the Land Report: On-the-ground realities in King County Futurewise coordinated with King County stormwater staff, as well as development professionals, who provided their insights about the lay of the land of low impact development/green stormwater infrastructure (LID/GSI) and related issues in King County.

Tools, Strategies and Lessons Learned from EPA Green Infrastructure Technical Assistance ProjectsThis report summarizes practical, successful solutions to inspire city managers, community leaders and engaged citizens looking to bring green infrastructure to their community to improve health and water quality.

Building Cities in the Rain: Watershed Prioritization for Stormwater Retrofits This guidebook presents recommended data and processes for prioritizing watersheds for stormwater retrofit investments and recovery of aquatic habitat in the Puget Sound. 

WA State Department of Commerce 
Green Infrastructure Wizard (GIWiz)GIWiz offers a repository of EPA-sourced Green Infrastructure tools and resources designed to support and promote sustainable water management and community planning decisions.

National Stormwater Calculator (SWC)Designed to be used by anyone, EPA’s National Stormwater Calculator (SWC) is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States.

Storm Water Management Model (SWMM)EPA’s SWMM is a dynamic hydrology-hydraulic water quality simulation model. It tracks quality and quantity of stormwater runoff all over the world. 

Harvesting the Value of Water This report discusses the connections between stormwater, green infrastructure and real estate. It features case studies from around the U.S. including the High Point project in Seattle. 

Urban Land Institute 
Seed Kit This booklet highlights design concepts learned from Pacific Northwest forests. 

Urban Greenprint Project 
Guide to Green Infrastructure This quick and easy guide highlights five green infrastructure projects that any community can do to reduce stormwater runoff. 

Green Infrastructure in Parks: A Guide to Collaboration, Funding, and Community Engagement This guide is intended to encourage partnerships between park agencies and stormwater agencies aimed at promoting the use of green infrastructure on park lands.

ESRI Green Infrastructure Infographic and ChecklistThis guide from ESRI includes a green infrastructure infographic and an accompanying checklist. 

Green Infrastructure in ParksThis is a resource guide for planning, designing and implementing green infrastructure in parks.

National Recreation and Park Association 
Financing Green Infrastructure ProjectsThis Great Urban Parks Campaign briefing paper covers the process of financing green infrastructure projects. 

National Recreation and Park Association 
Planning for Equity in Parks with Green Infrastructure This Great Urban Parks Campaign briefing paper covers planning for equity in parks with green infrastructure. 

National Recreation and Park Association 
Rainwater Rewards – Green Infrastructure Benefits CalculatorThis online calculator allows the user to plug in a BMP and see the cost effectiveness of it.

Green Infrastructure and Park System PlanningThis Great Urban Parks Campaign briefing paper covers planning green infrastructure in park systems.  

National Recreation and Park Association 




“Redmond’s Rain Garden Challenge”Discussion of when a rain garden can release more chemicals than it absorbs and a solution.

Sightline Institute
“Are Rain Gardens Mini Toxic Sites?”Discussion on what happens to the heavy elements, chemicals, and bacteria that build up in the soil.

Sightline Institute
“Rain garden Backlash Is All Wet”This article discusses many of the issues raised by Ballard residence pertaining to rain gardens in the pilot program that took place in Seattle, Washington. Ultimately, this is one occasion where rain gardens did not work, but this does not mean rain gardens are not a viable solution once design challenges are addressed.

Sightline Institute
Ballard’s Rain Gardens: A Green Experiment Gone WrongMore on the challenges of the 2011 Ballard rain garden project. Not to take away from the usefulness of rain gardens, but to give landscapers and professionals a mind for design challenges that must be considered for a successful rain garden.

Sightline Institute
Better Design, Better Outcomes: Applying Lean Design to Stormwater RegulationThis case study uses Lean techniques (e.g. value stream mapping) to guide the processes underlying stormwater regulation, with the goal of allowing business and government to become partners in the common quest for improved water quality.

Washington Business Alliance
Frontline: Poisoned WatersFrontline investigation into the health of America’s waterways. This site has many links to more information regarding water pollution, interviews with stakeholders and a link to watch the entire program online.

PBS, MacArthur Foundation, Park Foundation
Virtual Tour of Rain GardensTake a virtual tour of the South Park and Ballard neighborhood rain gardens!

Self-Guided Tour of Island County Rain Gardens Use this list to go on a self-guided tour of Island County rain gardens!

Island County WSU Extension
Case Study: “Wanted: Green Acres”

A new Issue Brief released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Wanted: Green Acres, provides a case study of Philadelphia’s innovative approach to sourcing cost-effective green infrastructure retrofit opportunities on private land through the Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP).

Download the complete PDF document, or read the overview here.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Another Reason to Love Urban Green Space: It Fights CrimeThis article looks at how urban green space can reduce crime, specially citing case studies in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Youngstown, Ohio.

City of Duvall Watershed Plan & Story Map This story map was created to tell the story of the how the City of Duvall crafted a watershed plan to allow for the city’s growth and development while also protecting its environmental aspects.

Department of Ecology 
Green Roof Evaluation ProjectThe goal of this project was to develop a means of quantifying the value of green roof systems in retaining stormwater. The study was composed of 5 green roof test plots at different locations within the city of Seattle.

GGN Ltd. 
Porous Public Space This fun guidebook was created to help planners, designers and community members use stormwater as a resource in the community, and frame a complex environmental issue as a need for safe, educational public space.

UW Green Futures Lab 
Samaritan Center of Puget Sound Case StudyThis case study looks at the RainWise project completed at the Samaritan Center in 2018. The project includes seven cisterns, managing rainwater runoff from a total of over 7,700 square feet of roof area.

Seattle Public Utilities & King County




Great Plant PicksRECOMMENDED plant search database. User-friendly.

Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden
Seattle Green Factor Plant ListSeattle Green Factor Plant list. PRE-MADE list for rain garden viable plants. PDF document.

Seattle, WA
King County Native Plant GuideSearch with filter options, browse photos, or view pre-made plant lists.

King county, WA
Washington Invasive Species CouncilA database of invasive plant and animal species of Washington State. Identification pictures provided.
NOTE: App available for reporting invasive species.

Washington State Conservation and Recreation Office
King County Noxious Weed ListDatabase list of noxious weeds in King county, Washington.

King County, WA
Plant Search Databases; USDAPlant Search Databases of various depth and usability. Filter Options.

USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service
NGA Plant finderPlant Search Database with filter options.

National Gardening Association
Species Selection GuideThis selection guide tool includes many useful categories of PNW native plants including: steep slope, wet slope, and moist area, dry area, deer resistant and restoration sites.

Sound Native Plants
Native Plant Identification CardsPlant identification cards. i.e. a listing of plants and not a search database.

Washington Native Plant Society
Guide to Low Maintenance Gardening RemediationMainly plant and design ideas

Sunset magazine
The National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils“The National Association of Exotic Pest Plant Councils is a coalition of state and regional Exotic Pest Plant Councils (EPPCs) and Invasive Plant Councils (IPCs) representing professional natural resource managers, scientists and others with an interest in invasive plant management.” –

Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, University of Georgia
Rain Garden Design Templates (cost approximations)Examples of rain garden designs (templates) based in the east coast region. Though, they can likely be applied to any similar region such as the Washington and Oregon coast. Throughout the website are other useful tabs with information pertaining to
•Plant list
•Construction sequence
•Cost approximations
As well as templates on this linked page.

Low Impact Development Center, Maryland
2013 Bioretention Soil Mix GuideCedar Grove Landscape and Construction services produced this three page document outlining bioretention soil mix specifications and recommendations for bioretention swales and rain gardens.

Cedar Grove
Hardy Plants for Waterwise LandscapesThese plant lists have been developed to highlight plants that aid in water conservation and do well in the Northwest Region. 

Washington State University 
Grow Your Own Native Landscape Guide This 124 page guide helps gardeners identify and grow plants that are native to Western Washington.

Washington State University & Native Plant Salvage 
University of Washington Herbarium (WTU) Image CollectionThis directory of photos and information on plants and lichens in Washington state might be one of the largest and most complete. It has over 50,000 photos! 

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture 
Ecotope Cistern Sizing ToolThis tool helps size rainwater collection systems for Northwest buildings using four basic inputs: the size of the cistern, size of the roof (collection surface), daily water demand, and seasonal water demand.

Audubon Native Plants DatabaseEnter your 5-digit zip code to use Audubon’s native plants database and explore the best plants for birds in your area, as well as local resources and links to more information.

National Audubon Society
Super nature: creating a wildlife garden
This article covers which plants can turn your garden into a haven for bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife.




Civic ecology practices: Participatory approaches to generating and measuring ecosystem services in cities“Explore protocols for monitoring biodiversity, functional measures of ecosystem services, and ecosystem services valuation that can be adapted for use by practitioner-scientist partnerships in civic ecology settings.”

Ecosystem Services, Volume 7, March 2014, pg. 177-186
The Value of Green InfrastructureAn extensive guide to the potential economic, environment, and social value of green infrastructure. Covers the benefits to water quality, energy, air quality, climate change, heat islands, community livability, habitat, and public education.

Center for Neighborhood Technology
The Green Edge: How Commercial Property Investment in Green Infrastructure Creates ValueA source of case studies, discussion, and blogs on green infrastructure benefits. Explore the many web links to learn much more.

Natural Resources Defense Council
Assessment of Life Cycle Costs for Low Impact Development Stormwater Management Practices This project evaluates the capital and life cycle costs of Low Impact Development (LID) practices over a
50 year time horizon based on a detailed assessment of local input costs, maintenance requirements,
rehabilitation costs and design scenarios relevant to Canadian climates.

Toronto and Region Conservation, University of Toronto
The Effect of Low-Impact-Development on Property Values
This report analyzes the effect of LID on property values in Seattle.

NRDC Report: Getting the Green Out This report summarizes the findings of NRDC workshops aimed at accelerating in increase of GSI within the commercial real estate sector.

Natural Resources Defense Council
A Tale of Many Cities: Using Low-Impact Development to Reduce Urban Water PollutionThis article discusses new approaches to using green infrastructure to manage stormwater, and also highlights examples of these practices in Portland and Philadelphia.

Choices Magazine and the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association
Performance of Natural Infrastructure and Nature-based Measures as Coastal Risk Reduction Features This report is a review of the performance of natural infrastructure, based on existing literature and workshop input.

Environmental Defense Fund

Household response to environmental incentives for rain garden adoption

 This article discusses how homeowners in DC/Baltimore are willing to pay (WTP) $6.72/ sq.ft on average, for a rain garden and respond with a 3-fold increase in willingness to install when offered a government rebate. This is only the abstract, you must pay for the full article.

 Water Resources Research/Wiley Online Library

Green Infrastructure Policy Integration in Puget Sound Municipalities: An Ethnographic Perspective

This report discusses the barriers that municipal governments may face in the implementation of the Action Agenda priorities related to green infrastructure in  the Puget Sound region.

Puget Sound Partnership

Green Infrastructure and Climate Change: Collaborating to Improve Community Resiliency 

This report discusses how communities all over the country are looking to green infrastructure to become more resilient in the face of climate change.


Exploring Roles for Communities in Green Infrastructure Projects

Through a series of interviews with green infrastructure experts  (including Stewardship Partners) in eleven different programs across the United States, this thesis explores stakeholder roles in a variety of green infrastructure programs, and considers strategies for improving outreach and overcoming community engagement barriers.

Elise J. Simons, Tufts University 

The Translation and Use of Green
Infrastructure Evidence

The success of green infrastructure (GI) depends on the sharing of good practice and research between disciplines and sectors. This paper presents findings from a study to examine how GI research is shared with non-academic audiences.

Institute of Civil Engineers 

Factors Contributing to the Hydrologic Effectiveness of a Rain Garden Network

Over a four-year period, this study tracked whole-system water fluxes in a two-tier rain garden network and assessed near-surface hydrology and soil development across construction and operational phases. The monitoring data provided a quantitative basis for determining effectiveness of this stormwater control measure.

Infrastructures — Open Access Journal

City of Auburn Low Impact Development Cost Analysis

This report offers an analysis of costs derived from a literature review and Phase I permittee respondents’ data from western Washington to evaluate anticipated costs and help streamline investments in LID. The focus is on exploring two main types of LID facilities found in the City of Auburn: bioretention and permeable pavements to evaluate M&O costs.

University of Washington 

Community, Equity, and Placemaking with Green Infrastructure in Seattle

This report is the result of teams of interdisciplinary experts and local stakeholders reimagining their communities using green infrastructure. A cost-benefit analysis was conducted on the results, showing a compelling argument for green infrastructure.

Green Infrastructure Foundation 
Phong Thuy: Benefits and Barriers of Building a Rain Garden in the Vietnamese Community This report discusses the importance of rain gardens, as well as the benefits and barriers that may be experienced by Vietnamese communities interested in installing rain gardens.

Edmonds Community College Foundation
Jardines de Lluvia: Building Rain Gardens for Spanish Speakers in Snohomish CountyThis report summarizes the findings of research on the motivations and barriers for installing rain gardens among Spanish speaking communities in Snohomish County (available in English and Spanish).

Edmonds Community College Foundation
Introducing Rain Gardens to Korean HouseholdsThis report summarizes the results of a rain garden survey administered to Korean residents of Snohomish County (available in English and Korean).

Edmonds Community College Foundation
Cantonese Community Rain Garden InvitationThis report summarizes the results of a rain garden survey administered to Cantonese residents of Snohomish County (available in English and Cantonese).

Edmonds Community College Foundation
Green Infrastructure Maintenance Cost Model
This report summarizes a presentation given by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission about the importance of maintaining GI and how the GI Maintenance Cost Model can be used.

San Francisco Public Utilities Commission




Voluntary Curbside Rain Gardens                                                                               This memo outlines the installation of voluntary curbside rain gardens, for which SDOT now issues free permits.

Seattle Department of Transportation
Seattle Stormwater CodeThis site has the Stormwater Code and Manual as well as other useful information on stormwater regulations and requirements.

City of Seattle
Active Rules that Interpret Stormwater Code (Ch. 22.800)Stormwater flow control and water quality treatment technical requirements, rules by code.

Department of Planning and Development, Seattle WA
The Codes Innovation DatabaseThis handy code look up tool allows you to search for site and stormwater code innovations.

NW Eco Building Guild
Tackling Barriers to Green Infrastructure This report details specific approaches and key areas to address in local regulations.

Sea Grant
Seattle Green Factor CodeInformation on this code requirement that increases the amount of and improves the quality of landscaping in new development.City of Seattle




Visual Story LabThis project from Resource Media works to provide the best knowledge, ideas, and experience about visual storytelling to help social change agents deliver compelling messages that drive action.

Resource Media
Rain Gardens: An Outreach and Communications How-to GuideThis is a community outreach guide, NOT a technical guide to building and designing green infrastructure.

Resource Media
Stormwater Smart Outreach ToolsEPA has developed a collection of communication tools you can use to promote the value of sound stormwater management for creating a community where your residents want to live and work. Public works managers can use these as part of the public education and outreach efforts of their stormwater permit programs.EPA




Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project The Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project is a regional tool that compares areas of the Puget Sound basin in terms of their suitability and value for restoration and protection.

Dept. of Ecology
EJSCREEN ToolIn order to better meet the Agency’s responsibilities related to the protection of public health and the environment, EPA has developed a new environmental justice (EJ) mapping and screening tool called EJSCREEN.

2030 District Stormwater Calculator The Seattle 2030 District, in partnership with Herrera, created a stormwater calculator that members can use to explore stormwater management strategies, and estimate baselines and potential savings for both stormwater management and potable water consumption.

 2030 District 
Green Values® Stormwater ToolboxUnderstand the costs and benefits of using green infrastructure to mitigate the need for different types of built water infrastructure, such as sewers and detention basins.

Center for Neighborhood Technology
The Green Infrastructure Decision Support ToolThe Green Infrastructure Decision Support Tool focuses on the Kinnickinnic River watershed and is designed to help decision makers in the watershed explore the potential of green infrastructure to help manage stormwater.

Climate Interactive
Storm Smart Schools Guide This guide provides a series of Storm Smart Steps that local governments, schools and other community stakeholders can follow to integrate green infrastructure.
Storm Smart Cities GuideThis guide examines how communities can integrate green infrastructure into their Local Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Green Infrastructure & Health GuideThe guide was built for the Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange to help local government, communities, and health care organizations connect green infrastructure and public health in new ways.

Willamette Partnership & Oregon Public Health Institute
The Return on Investment of Natural InfrastructureThis infographic from Canada makes the business case for green infrastructure and provides a framework for evaluating it’s return on investment.

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC)
Is Green Infrastructure a Universal Good?This web resource presents findings from an examination of 122 GI city plans in 20 diverse US cities with an aim to discover how best to improve the equity of GI through policy and practice.
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Green Stormwater Infrastructure Assistance Program GuidebookA tool for managers, planners, and other agency staff to update or create a Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Assistance Program.Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities (STORM)




Rain Garden outreach, advice and education from WSU Extension Rain Garden Program and the 12,000 Rain Garden CampaignThe 12,000 Rain Gardens for Puget Sound campaign has established a rain garden education and resource hub in each county through WSU Extension. Contact your local Extension office for rain garden help and resources in your community.

Washington State University

Free Wood Chip Mulch


This website helps arborists to off-load their wood chips to gardeners and landscapers who want inexpensive mulch.
Local help from Conservation DistrictsConservation districts across the state offer conservation assistance for landowners, including help with rain gardens in many areas. This is a page with a conservation district map and directory.

Washington State Conservation Commission
The Garden HotlineA web listing of potential gardening classes in the Seattle region, often located through the left side bar under “Quick links”.

Tilth Alliance
RainWise Tools (Rebates)RainWise Tools (Contractors)You may determine whether you are eligible for rebates on your rain garden.
Also, you may find contractors that are specialized in building rain gardens.

King County WTD and Seattle Public Utilities
Thurston County ECO Network Webpage This page is a great resources for homeowners and professionals wanting to improve their community and environmental health.Thurston ECO Network


Clallam (360) 565-2679
Island (360) 240-5558
Jefferson (360) 379-5610 ext. 222
King (206) 685-5104
Kitsap (360) 307-4378
Mason (360) 427-9670 ext. 690
Pierce (253) 798-3264
San Juan (360) 378-4414
Skagit (360) 428-4270
Snohomish (425) 357-6010
Thurston (360) 867-2164
Whatcom (360) 676-6736

Other Partners & Collaborating Organizations:

These resources are specifically designed to help cultivate and create interactive green infrastructure curriculum in the K-12 classroom environment.




“Cleaning Water with Dirt” Rain Garden Demo“Cleaning Water with Dirt” is a rain garden demonstration template created by 12,000 Rain Gardens to teach students and adults about rain gardens.

12,000 Rain Gardens
IslandWood Community Waters Science UnitThe Community Waters Science Unit is designed for 4th grade students.  It incorporates Next Generation Science Standards* and the Ambitious Science Teaching framework.Over the course of the unit, students use science and engineering to understand and develop a solution for a real world stormwater runoff problem in their community.

Nature Works Everywhere Educational ToolsThis link has many educational tools, including lesson plans about rain gardens, urban runoff and street trees.

The Nature Conservancy
Rain Garden BrochureThis educational brochure is available for educational efforts across the Puget Sound region at no cost.

12,000 Rain Gardens
Sustainability Ambassadors One of our powerful partners in connecting rain gardens with education is Sustainability Ambassadors. Check out their collection of “Stormwater Pollution Solutions” such as the  Stormwater Neighborhood Atlas, the LID Manual For Schools, Stormwater Videos, and an extensive, annotated Library of Stormwater Links.

Sustainability Ambassadors 
Green STEM Interactive GuidebookThis interactive guide shows how environmental education can be used to boost student engagement and achievement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

National Wildlife Federation 
The Green Levine MachineThe Green Levine Machine: Sustainability Education in Action is all about bringing sustainability and science into education.

Green Levine 
Drain Rangers The purpose of the Drain Rangers! and Engineering Solutions curricula and materials is to develop and cultivate an understanding of the serious issues facing our community from stormwater runoff and to share specific actions we can take to improve the quality of our water.

Puget Sound Starts Here
Watershed Education Lesson PlansThis is a collection of lesson plans from a variety of sources designed to help teachers plan hands-on activities centered around watershed system education.

Rivanna Stormwater Education Partnership 
Ward’s Stormwater Floodplain Simulation System

This stormwater simulator helps students understand the critical role that floodplains play in the life of a watershed and the potential impact of unplanned development and human activity.

Ward’s Science
Elementary Stormwater Runoff Education Resource Guide

This guides lists resources that include curricula, transportation, in-class trainers, workshops, costs, presentations, camps, and grant and professional development opportunities.

King County
Secondary Stormwater Runoff Education Resource Guide

This guides lists resources that include curricula, transportation, in-class trainers, workshops, costs, presentations, camps, and grant and professional development opportunities.

King County

In the Puget Sound Region, education and incentive programs help homeowners with rain garden installations at little to no cost. Stewardship Partners and WSU offer free rain garden education workshops to homeowners. You can learn everything you need to know about Rain gardens, from start to finish by taking one of these workshops.




ProHort: Professional Continuing EducationInformation about seminars, workshops, education/training for professionals and the general public.

University of Washington, Botanic Gardens
RainWise Contractor Skill-BuildingThe RainWise program’s Contractor Skill-Building page is designed to help increase contractors’ skills and capacity so that they can build more successful RainWise installations and incorporate RainWise as a profit-making part of their business.700 Million Gallons
City of Tacoma Home and Garden WorkshopsFree monthly workshops covering everything from solar power to rain gardens and rain barrels.

City of Tacoma
Thurston ECO Net Education GuideFind fun, memorable, hands-on presentations, field experiences, destinations, and ways to get involved in your community.

Thurston County ECO Network
Green Career ResourcesThis helpful page talks about green careers for students.

Affordable Environmental Science Degrees This handy tool outlines the 50 most affordable schools for environmental science.

College Affordability Guide
Green for AllThis PDF discusses the importance of jobs in green infrastructure and their impact on the economy and the community.

Urban Water Sustainability Conference 
Soil and Water Stewardship TrainingReceive hands-on training and join a team of community members to empower friends and neighbors to support local food systems and practice environmental stewardship in their everyday actions.

Tilth Alliance 




Trees for Resilience ToolkitA Toolkit to Grow Tree Canopy and Forests for Puget Sound Communities
Better Ground
California Water Reuse Road Map                                                                 This PDF document shows a flow chart of how water can be mapped for reuse in the state of California.

Arch Nexus
Utah Water Reuse Road MapThis PDF document shows a flow chart of how water can be mapped for reuse in the state of Utah.

Arch Nexus
National Tree Benefit CalculatorThe Tree Benefit Calculator allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits individual street-side trees provide.

Casey Trees & Davey Tree Expert Co.
i-Tree Tool: Calculate the Impact of Treesi-Tree Design allows anyone to make a simple estimation of the benefits provided by individual trees. With inputs of location, species, tree size, and condition, users will receive an understanding of tree benefits related to greenhouse gas mitigation, air quality improvements, and stormwater interception.

US Forest Service
“Trees Tame Stormwater” Interactive PosterThis cool poster allows you to fade between a water system with few trees, and one with abundant trees, and see the changes this has on cities.

Arbor Day Foundation
The Meadowscaping Handbook This wonderful handbook is designed guide the process of designing and installing meadows of native prairie plants in urban settings of the Willamette Valley.

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District 
The Case for Open SpaceThis 2018 report discusses why the real estate industry should invest in parks and open spaces.

Urban Land Institute
Forest Service Guide to Urban Tree Canopy AssessmentAn Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) assessment provides a measure of a community’s tree canopy cover at high resolution, and is often used for establishing and implementing municipal tree canopy goals as part of broader urban greening and sustainability initiatives.

 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service
Energy Efficient Tax Credits & LoansFinancial Incentives And Funding For Going Green: A Guide For Consumers And Businesses

The Credit Review

Photo albums: Rain Garden Variety & Before and After

View all of our albums on Flickr!

Puyallup 1

Rain Garden Signage: 

12000 Raingardens Sign 2 4M
2015 Educational Rain Garden Sign

New video content will be posted here as we create it including public service announcements and instructional videos
12,000 Rain Gardens for Puget Sound: Stewardship Partners & WSU Extension

videoGreen Solutions to Stormwater Runoff (4 min) This video shows the benefits of rain gardens in the community and provides information on how homeowners can get their own rain garden! Sightline Institute 
Neighbors Fight Stormwater Pollution by Building Rain Gardens (7 min) on a Stewardship Partners rain garden cluster built in the Delridge Neighborhood of Seattle in 2012.EarthFix, PBS, KCTS9
RG Video

Building a rain garden in the Pacific Northwest (32 min) This instructional video was created as a companion to the Rain Garden Handbook. If offers clear instruction and demonstration of all the key stages of: plan, build, plant and maintainWSU Extension

This brief video (33 sec) talks about how all of us are a part of Puget Sound and the actions we take have an impact on the home that we love.Puget Sound Starts Here
Únase con nosotros mientras aprendemos juntos cómo nuestras acciones contribuyen a la contaminación de las fuentes de agua y cómo podemos ayudar a prevenir contaminación en Puget Sound.
WSU Snohomish County Extension
ZINC in Stormwater: Galvanizing Business Solutions: (13 min) highlighting ways that industrial sites are addressing zinc pollution in runoff with rain gardens and other best management practices.Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center: PPRC
Sound & Vision: TOXIC RUNOFF | CSOs in PUGET SOUND: (4min) profiling Seattle-based diver/photographer Laura James and the story of the unseen impacts of runoffFrom Eric Becker on Vimeo.
Drained: Urban Stormwater Pollution (8 min) The Clean Water Act took effect in 1972 when stormwater pollution was nowhere near a top priority. Today, it’s taken the lead as the top water contaminator. How bad is it? Puget Sound diver Laura James takes us where nobody wants to go — inside a stormwater outfall — to get an up-close look EarthFix
The San Francisco Estuary Partnership video (10 min) of their take on the importance of rain gardens and how they may reduce runoff and pollution while beautifying the built environment.San Francisco Estuary Partnership
Low Impact Development: Why It’s Working in the Northwest (3 min) Low Impact Development serves as a cost-effective and beautifying way to prevent stormwater pollution. Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC)
pugetsoundstartsThis video is about kids discovering life in two creeks in Poulsbo, and our relationships with the creeks and Puget Sound. (4 min)
whousestherainThis video is about the water flowing from the top of Newberry Hill, through Klahowya Secondary School and the Heritage Park, to Chico Creek. Some influences on this water are shown, from the impact of beavers to a project at the school. (4 min)
King5StoryThis King 5 News story covers the growth of rain gardens in Seattle and the increased incentives available to homeowners. (3 min)King 5 News
videoThis video follows teens they learn about stormwater pollution in Puget Sound and they discover they can do something about it. (30 min)Seattle Public Utilities
stormwatervideolibraryThis set of short videos from Sustainability Ambassadors are narrated by students and cover all of the basic LID strategies.Sustainability Ambassadors
sustainabilitytalksThese videos feature short talks given by stormwater experts plus exceptional student speakers.Sustainability Ambassadors
PuyallupLIDThis video discusses the 8th Ave NW LID retrofit, and its role in the community. Great information on rain gardens and permeable pavers. (16 min)Washington Stormwater Center
SolvingStormwaterThis short video from The Nature Conservancy is about Coho pre-spawn mortality featuring Jen McIntyre. (6 min)The Nature Conservancy 
This video features contractor Roger Cook walking through the process of building a rain garden. (6 min)This Old House 
King 5 and Boeing created this video which explains why rain gardens can help keep Puget Sound healthy and clean. (1 min)The Nature Conservancy 
Dirty puddles are no fun to play in. Arlo and his fellow aspiring scientists learn about the most powerful cleaner-upper for dirty water. (6 min)Washington Environmental Council 
Prevent leaves, dirt and other debris from clogging your RainWise cistern. Follow these easy steps and you’ll also help protect Seattle’s waterways from sewer overflows. (4 min)RainWise
Keep your beautiful rain garden at it’s best by removing weeds and mulching. (3 min)RainWise
Cool animated video about stormwater and some simple things you can do to reduced polluted stormwater runoff. (3 min)Drain Rangers
This animated video follows the main character as she engineers a solution to her family’s problem–flooding in their basement. (3 min)Drain Rangers
In this animated video our characters stumble upon some nasty stormwater runoff coming from their school and decide to do something about it! (4 min)Drain Rangers