Rain Gardens

Plant a rain garden on your property with help from Pierce Conservation District to keep local streams and Puget Sound clean.

What is a Rain Garden?
Rain gardens are sunken gardens that capture rainwater from rooftops, parking lots, and other hard surfaces where it is used by plants or soaks into the group to recharge groundwater, instead of draining off to nearby waterways. As polluted runoff infiltrates into the ground it is cleaned as it passes through plant roots and rain garden soils. Click here to see how a Rain Garden works.
Rain Garden Assistance
Pierce Conservation District staff work with several homeowners each year to design and install rain gardens on their property.  The result is landowners that are happy with their new gardens, while the Puget Sound receives less fertilizers, chemicals and other harmful polluted runoff.  

How it Works
1. Site Visit and Assessment
District staff will meet you on site to determine if the site is suitable for a rain garden.

2. Infiltration Test
Native soils will be tested to ensure the rain garden will function on site.  (Infiltration rate >0.5 inches per hour.)

3. Cost-Share Agreement
Written and signed agreement that rain garden will be installed within one year of the completed design.

4. Rain Garden Design
District staff will work with landowners to design the rain garden.

5. Select contractor and installation
Landowner can select any contractor of their choosing.  If assistance is needed PCD can suggest off a list of trained contractors.
For a site visit to your property contact Melissa at melissab@piercecountycd.org.

Additional Resources
For an easy-to-follow guide to rain gardens, check out the WSU Extension's Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington Homeowners.
WSU has more in-depth information on rain gardens on their website

How-to guide for caring for your rain garden.  Rain Garden Care Guide.

Ecology created a Rainwater Harvesting Calculator (RWH) to help Washingtonians size their RWH system based on the typical climate where you live.


Melissa Buckingham 

Water Quality Program Director 


Phone: 253.845.9770 ext. 109