Poulsbo gets new rain gardens to clean stormwater run-off

KING 5's Allison Morrow reports.

Each crew member building a rain garden in Poulsbo Wednesday had a story about flooding.

“A miniature boulder or really big rock was floating down the road, and I ended up hitting it,” said Kelly Stroh, who works with the Kitsap Conservation District.

The conservation district is building seven rain gardens in a Poulsbo neighborhood. The gardens slope about a foot down to catch storm water. That doesn’t just reduce flooding – it also reduces pollution.

“Impacts Puget Sound, salmon habitat, water quality, and any number of things that stormwater carries off,” explained Puget Sound Regional Manager and Policy Assistant at Washington Conservation Commission Shana Joy.

Rain gardens don’t just trap stormwater. The soil also filters pollutants. It’s why Marlene Shepherd is so happy about her new front yard.

“All of my rain gutters on the front of my house are going to drain into here, and I will be off the grid with a good part of my storm run-off,” she said.

A rain garden can cost a couple thousand dollars, and they’re not always easy to install. With this project, conservation funding pays for three-quarters of the work – including the crew.

“This is a big deal,” said Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson.

Mayor Erickson has worked on flooding issues for five years, but it’s not just about keeping Poulsbo residents safe.

“A clean Puget Sound is what we all strive for, and this is one of those steps,” she said.

Poulsbo is one of the locations where KING 5 will be volunteering for Make a Difference Day on Saturday, Oct. 22. Learn how you can get involved and find a Make a Difference Day project near you at makeadifferenceday.com.

Related: Make a Difference Day in the Puget Sound area

Copyright 2016 KING


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