Buckley rain garden will set example

Volunteers turned out in Orting earlier this year to install a community rain garden. - Donated photo
Volunteers turned out in Orting earlier this year to install a community rain garden.
— image credit: Donated photo

Installation of a free rain garden for the city of Buckley also will serve as a hands-on workshop for volunteers interested in learning how to develop a rain garden of their own.

The event is set to begin at 9:30 a.m. July 25 and is tentatively planned for July 26 also. Organizers, note, however, that the last two projects have taken just part of the first day.

Buckley’s rain garden is planned for the grounds of the Buckley Youth Activity Center. Anyone interested in lending a hand is encouraged to provide their own hand tools, gloves and boots.

Rain gardens are shallow depressions filled with amended soils and planted with water-loving, drought-tolerant plants. Rain gardens mimic the hydrology of the natural forests and wetlands that once covered all of the Puget Sound basin. They hold water from hard, impervious surfaces, like roofs and driveways, during rainstorms to release it slowly into  streams, groundwater and aquifers.

The native plants and amended soils hold onto pollutants so far less pollutants go into our city and county stormwater systems, reducing the pollutants going  into local waters. If every home and business voluntarily managed its “stormwater” from impervious surfaces on-site, with a rain garden or larger storm-wetlands, we could reduce the pollutants endangering our health and that of the Puget Sound ecosystem.

Register to volunteer by contacting the Pierce County Conservation District Stream team at or 253-845-2973.

Sponsors of the Buckley project, aside from the city and the Stream Team, are Stewardship Partners, Washington State University Native Plant Salvage, Puyallup River Watershed Council, Sustainable Foothills citizens (a new coalition) and Friends of the Lower White River.

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