Burien neighbors build rain gardens
On May 14th, a group of dedicated Burien neighbors joined together to build seven rain gardens in an effort to protect Puget Sound, reduce flooding and attract beneficial birds and butterflies.
These neighborhood cluster rain garden projects require a champion to contact neighbors. Stephanie Berg was a great champion on her block on Southwest 150th Street. She was able to convince six other neighbors that the gardens look great and also serve many beneficial functions.
Berg just bought her house and this gave her a chance to meet new friends on the block.
"Beyond solving a flooding problem, I really appreciate that I'm helping to protect our local stream and Puget Sound," Berg noted.
This project was funded through a generous grant from Boeing Charitable Trust and additional funding is being sought to install more rain gardens in an adjacent neighborhood.
The non-profit Stewardship Partners and Washington State University are working with communities across Puget Sound to build 12,000 rain gardens by 2016 collecting polluted runoff before it reaches local streams and waterways.
These 12,000 rain gardens will soak up and filter an estimated 160 million gallons of polluted water a year.
When rain water runs off from roofs, driveways and other hard surfaces it collects heavy metals and chemicals creating a toxic soup that is the number one source of pollution in Puget Sound.
Said Stacey Gianas, the rain garden program manager for Stewardship Partners, "This community should be applauded for building these rain gardens and helping achieve the goal of a 12,000 rain gardens in Puget Sound."
A rain garden is a landscape feature for yards designed to capture and filter polluted stormwater runoff from rooftops and driveways, using it to grow a variety of flowers and plants and create habitat for birds and butterflies. More information on building your own rain garden and upcoming workshops is available at www.12000raingardens.org.