172nd Avenue Rain Garden
In the summer of 2010, the City worked with Stewardship Partners through a WRIA 08 grant funded by the King Conservation District to construct the City's first rain garden in the right-of-way.

The project transformed an unattractive traffic calming grass curb bulb into a functional and attractive rain garden.

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden is a shallow depression planted with a variety of flowers, shrubs, and grasses that "don't mind getting their feet wet." Rain gardens help soak up rainwater from streets, downspouts, driveways, and sidewalks, while protecting local waterways. When planted with the right types of plants, rain gardens also attract birds, butterflies, and bees.

How does it work?

Stormwater flowing along the curb flows through a 'curb cut' into the depressed area of the rain garden. The stormwater runoff is filtered by the soil and plants. In most storm events, this water soaks into the ground. In larger events the water pools until it eventually overflows back to the gutter.

Where did stormwater go before?

Before construction of this rain garden, stormwater flowed into catch basins and directly to Lake Sammamish with no treatment.

Is it hard to make?

As stormwater management facilities go, rain gardens are pretty simple. You need careful thought as to how the water will get in and out of the rain garden and you need to select the right plants to thrive in that environment. Rain gardens in the right-of-way have the added challenges of adjacent pedestrian and vehicle zones, the presence of large areas of pavement nearby, and proper construction of curb inlets that fit into the urban setting and function properly.

Where can I learn more?

An educational sign is posted at the site of this rain garden. You can build your own rain garden using the guidance from the Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington Homeowners