Green Stormwater Resources
Are you ready to tackle stormwater runoff with a project of your own? Whether your planting a rain garden, harvesting rain water, removing pavement, or replacing lawn with habitat, the resources below can help you get started.
It doesn't take much to get started on a Green Stormwater project of your own! There are several small-scale projects that anyone can do without a ton of money. Follow our DIY Pages for step-by-step tips on projects that will soak up stormwater, create habitat for pollinators, and beautify your space!
- Sheet Mulching - Almost ever green stormwater project starts with killing off grass and rebuilding soil health. Sheet mulching is a great and easy way to do this!
- Evergreen Understory - Do you have big evergreen trees shading out your yard and dropping needles, making it hard for other plants to grow? You can have it all by planting an understory! Pick out plants specially adapted to thrive under shady and mature evergreen trees.
- Right of Way Restoration- What to do with the patch of grass next to the road outside of your house? Or is that patch of grass paved over in more pavement? Transform this narrow strip into urban wildlife habitat and fill it with trees and flowers!
- Spread Wildflowers - Replace your grass with wildflowers! Pick out a portion of your yard, remove the grass, sprinkle seeds, and then watch the flowers grow. Bees and butterflies will thank you for it.
- Wild Hedge Row - Hedges and fences give us privacy, shade, and quiet from our neighbors. Why not also make a hedge row that attracts birds, butterflies, and other wildlife?
- Rain Gardens: Plan, Prep, Plant, Maintain - In this EnviroHouse talk, PCD's Green Stormwater Program Manager, Robb Krehbiel, shows you how to install your own rain garden with the help of local resources.
- Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington Homeowners - An excellent overview and reference book for planning out your rain garden. It has an extensive and detailed plant list and example rain garden designs.
- Rain Garden Care Guide - Once your rain garden is planted, make sure you take care of it by following this maintenance guide.
Rain Barrels and Tanks
- How To Build a Rain Barrel - In this EnviroHouse talk, Dan Borba shows you how to make your own rain barrel.
- How To Install a Rain Barrel - After your rain barrel is assembled, watch this second video for installing it so you can start capturing the rain.
- Rain Barrel Maintenance - Care for your rain barrel and tank properly by following some simple dos and don'ts.
- Rain Barrel Water Management - With all the rain we get in the Northwest, rain barrels and tanks fill up fast over the winter. Learn when to harvest and when to disperse water throughout the year with your barrels and tanks.
Depave Puget Sound Resources - People across Western Washington are taking action to turn parking lots into paradise. If you want to transform a space from gray to green, explore the videos and documents on Depave Puget Sound's website with stories and suggestions from community members who have successfully Depaved a part of their neighborhood.
Urban Trees and Wildlife Habitat
- Find an Arborist - The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) offers searchable, online list of certified arborists based on the area of service. Companies and individual arborists offer a range of services. Some work on shrubs as well as trees.
- Native Plants of Pierce County - Replacing your grass with native plants is a great way to reduce stormwater runoff and provide habitat for pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.
- Sheet Mulching - One of the fastest ways to kill off unwanted grass is sheet mulching. Save up on cardboard and start reimagining your yard!
- Common Weeds - Aggressive and non-native plants can crowd out and kill many native plants we want in our green stormwater projects. Looking for weeds often and removing them early help to keep you landscape healthy and vibrant. Stay on top of our region's most common weeds.
- Looking to grow some shade? Check out PCD's Urban Tree Sale, Grit City Trees, Tree Coupon program, and Tacoma Tree Foundation to find free and discounted trees.
Nurseries, Landscapers, and Grants
- Local Nurseries, Landscapers, and Cistern Suppliers - Find local businesses to help you with your green stormwater project. These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive or recommended use lists. To have your company added to this list, please contact Sarah Pyle, Green Stormwater Program Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
- Green Stormwater Mini-Grant - Get up to $4,000 and technical assistance for your project from the Pierce Conservation District. Eligible projects include: rain gardens, urban wildlife habitat, depave, and rain tanks.
- Make A Splash Grant - Got an idea for a project that will help protect local waterways from stormwater pollution? Apply for a Make a Splash grant through the City of Tacoma’s Surface Water Management program, to be eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $4,000 for projects which prevent stormwater pollution or protect and restore our lakes, streams and Puget Sound.
- Sustainability Small Grant - Reimbursable, maximum awards of up to $5,000 are available to eligible projects within Tacoma city limits that help protect and restore our environment. Projects that help educate residents and/or businesses on the environment and sustainable practices are encouraged to apply.
- Watershed Council Small Grants - Get up to $2,500 for projects that help recover one of Pierce County's three watersheds: Chambers-Clover, Key Peninsula-Gig Harbor-Islands (KGI), and Puyallup-White.