Thursday, October 11, 2012

First Rain Garden Installed In Laurelhurst Through Seattle Public Utilities Rebated RainWise Program

Rain Garden In Laurelhurst

Laurelhurst's first City approved "Rain Garden" has been recently installed in the 4700 block of 47th Avenue NE, through the Seattle Public Utilities RainWise program, which offers rebates for construction of rain gardens at private residences to control combined sewer overflows into Lake Washington during heavy rainfalls.

SPU's RainWise program started two years ago in Ballard as pilot project and has recently been expanded to include parts of Laurelhurst, which also now qualifies for free rain gardens, as well as Windermere and Wedgwood. 
Tonight from 6:30-8pm Sustainable Seattle will be having an information session at the Wedgwood Elementary School Library (2720 NE 85th Street), to learn more about stormwater management through SPU's RainWise program as well as their green infrastructure program called Green Blocks Blue Sound.

SPU's Residential RainWise Program was established to manage stormwater at home and the information says:

Rain falling on roofs, driveways, or compacted soil rushes off quickly to the nearest drain or stream. In big storms, this excess “storm water” can cause sewer backups, or pollute and erode our streams.  
We can all help reduce runoff and pollution with simple RainWise practices of reducing flooding, protecting property and restoring our waters, for people and wildlife.

Steve Appleyard, who owns Seattle Rain Gardens, is a qualified contractor with the City, and installed the Laurelhust rain garden, among 62 other rebated rain gardens he has completed in the last 2 years.

Steve told us that one of the stipulations to be a part of the project is that the work must be done by a qualified contractor as well as having your property qualify which includes numerous design specifications. Steve told us that if a homeowner can qualify "it is a great way to get a free landscape improvement an help save Lake Washington!"
Seattle Rain Garden can conduct an assessment to see if a property qualifies and if it does, Steve manages the SPU process from inspection to rebate and will, professionally design and "install a beautiful garden that fully complements your existing landscape at the cost of the rebate. There is no cost to the homeowner," Stephen told us.

The owner of the Laurelhurst rain garden, Mark, told us that the whole process takes about a week from start to finish and said that "It was easy and professionally handled." And he said the best way to get started is to call Steve who makes the process very easy.
 Mark gave us this helpful information about the process: 

Steve will take a look at your roof to determine the amount of gallons of water being diverted through your gutters and downspouts. He applies that amount to the appropriate size of rain garden. He then advises you as to the best location for the rain garden on your property taking into consideration how it will work with your existing landscaping and your preferences. 
With Steve’s help you then apply for the rain garden. Steve handles the approval process so it is pain free. After the rain garden is installed the City inspects and approves of it. You get a rebate payment that covers the cost of the rain garden.

Steve selected the plants installed in our garden, but he will work with you if you have ideas. He repeatedly requested we give him ideas as to the plants we might want in the garden. We do not have green thumbs, so we just told Steve to go for it based on his experience. We could not be happier with the beautiful maple and ground cover he selected.  

Steve founded Seattle Rain Gardens a few years ago. He has years of experience in the landscaping business. When he first learned of this innovative approach the City was taking to combat sewage overflow from storm events he attended planning meetings and developed a business plan for Seattle Rain Gardens. Steve’s sole focus is rain gardens.  
The overall experience was excellent and painless. We are very pleased with how the rain garden has helped us with our landscaping. We are excited to see how it performs this winter, and have little doubt it will work well. Living so close to Lake Washington and enjoying the beach club all summer long, it is nice to know we are doing our little part to keep sewage overflow from entering the Lake during storm events that flood the system.
For more information go to the SPU Rainwise Program website. And to contact Steve Appleyard at Seattle Rain Garden go here or call 206-409-4578,






Anonymous said...

Another installer is Lisa Harbert, who has her own civil engineering business and has done a few rain gardens through this program.

Lisa Harbert said...

Thank you Anonymous. I have a website dedicated to rain gardens also. I did the first rain garden through the RainWise program in Delridge. I'm doing his neighbors in the next few weeks.