Greg Rabourn

Spring Flowers and Rain Garden Rebates

Willi Galloway, Greg Rabourn, Steve Scher and Mary Wingate started wandering around the spring flowers popping open. That somehow wound its way to rain gardens and much more.

Seattle Public Utility Rain Garden Program
Portland Rain Garden Promgram
Snohomish County Rain Gardens

Below find the recent press release from SPU including upcoming workshops.

14,000 Seattle homes just became eligible for big rebates
Rainwise Program rebates average $4,500 for approved rain gardens or cisterns

SEATTLE—Fourteen thousand homes in north Seattle just became eligible for big rebates—average rebate $4,500—under the popular RainWise Program. A joint effort by Seattle and King County to fight water pollution, the RainWise Program offers rebates to cover up to 100 percent of the cost of a professionally-installed rain garden or cistern on private property.

In all, 55,000 homes and businesses in the City of Seattle are now eligible for the program.
Expanding RainWise into Seattle’s University and Greenlake neighborhoods could help keep up to 18.2 million gallons of stormwater out of Lake Washington and the Ship Canal during heavy rains.

Besides being beautiful, rain gardens help reduce one of the largest sources of water pollution by naturally cleaning and controlling stormwater. Cisterns can store runoff from rooftops that can later be used to water outdoor plants and gardens.

More than 600 customers have already received RainWise rebates, collectively reducing stormwater runoff by 9 million gallons annually.

“Working together, one home at a time, the RainWise approach adds big value to the larger effort to protect our waters,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “It’s a win for all, because we can all be part of the solution.”

It’s exciting to see the RainWise program expand, because smart stormwater management is crucial for achieving regional water quality goals, such as protecting Puget Sound,” said King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks Director Christie True. “Green infrastructure also enhances neighborhoods and supports resilient, healthy communities.

The city and the county will also host a series of free RainWise events March and April, offering people an opportunity to learn more about the program and meet contractors who are trained and ready to install these systems.

RainWise Events in Seattle

Tuesday, March 17 – 6 to 8 p.m.
The Hall at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse
9131 California Avenue S.W.

Saturday, March 21 — 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hunter Farm Gathering Place
7744 35th Ave N.E.

Sunday, March 29 – 3 to 4:30 p.m.
King County Library Southwest Branch
9010 35th Ave. S.W.

Wednesday, April 1 – 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Ballard Public Library
5614 22nd Ave. N.W.

Saturday, April 11 – 11 a.m.to 2 p.m.
West Seattle Nursery
5275 California Ave. S.W.

Additional information, including a complete list of workshops and event registration, is available online.

Ann Burchart, a RainWise customer said, “I am happy to have a sign in my yard letting neighbors know about the rain garden on my property. I hope to inspire them to get their own. At the very least, I can help them learn more about the problem and how we all can pitch in to reduce pollution going into Lake Washington.”

The RainWise Program is part of a larger plan to reduce combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, which occur when stormwater causes sewer lines to overflow into local waterways during heavy rains.

Reducing CSOs is imperative to people and fish, since our waters are shared. CSOs are 90 percent stormwater but contain enough sewage to put public health at risk when they happen in areas where people swim and play.

King County and the City of Seattle are working with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Ecology to reduce combined sewer overflows using a combination of methods, including green infrastructure that enhances natural systems to filter and slow stormwater, and traditional “gray” facilities such as underground storage pipes and tanks.
Additional information about the RainWise Program is available at https://rainwise.seattle.gov/city/seattle/overviewor by calling the Garden Hotline at 206-633-0224.