Our COVID-19 Response

Rain Gardens Galore!

April 25, 2018 By Stacy Aleksich

Swamp Creek Map

from “North Creek and Swamp Creek Watershed Guidebook” by Snohomish County Public Works as seen on the Little Swamp Creek website (link)

Last year, Farmer Frog received a contract working with Earth Corps and the Sno-King Watershed Council to install rain gardens in the Swamp Creek watershed. The map shows the watershed area which originates near Paine Field (South Everett) and extends southeast under the freeway, toward Brier, eventually draining into Lake Washington.

If the term “rain garden” is new to you, a rain garden is a depression created in your landscape to allow rainwater from your roof or driveway to slowly soak into the ground instead of running off into the nearest stream or Puget Sound. Native soils are removed and replaced with a special blend of soil and then mulched with wood chips. , then mulched. Rain gardens are then planted with beautiful, hardy, low-maintenance native perennial plants, which can withstand drought and wet root conditions.

This was a tremendous opportunity and a great project for the Farmer Frog work crew. A large number of site assessments were conducted searching for suitable properties for a rain garden installation. Eligible properties included those built between 1950 – 1990, properties that had enough room, plus adequate slope and drainage. To date, 17 rain gardens have been installed and have done a great job managing all the rainfall we’ve received this winter.

Before the Rain Garden

Before the Rain Garden

Kathy Anderson, who helped manage the project for Farmer Frog said, “The rain garden project is really cool. It provides an awesome landscape feature that also has this “side benefit” of managing the water that comes off of their roof. Most people don’t consider that their roof water can be reused, or that a rain garden is intended to help recharge our aquifers. When a rain garden is complete, homeowners have a visual of the actual hydrology at work in their front yard.”

Excavation and inlet complete, ready for rain garden soil mix

Excavation and inlet complete, ready for rain garden soil mix

In addition to all the great project outcomes we were also able to work with a few interns from UW Bothell and Edmonds Community College during this project. Having them helping along the way was a great opportunity for them and for our team; everyone learned from each other.

Completed rain garden

Completed rain garden

If you think your property is in the watershed and would like to see if you qualify for a rain garden with the remaining funds please contact zsofia@farmerfrog.org. To learn more about rain gardens or build your own you can check out this book, written by one of our Directors, Zsofia Pasztor.



Filed under: Garden Thoughts


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