Sign up for free rain garden workshop

A free workshop is scheduled for Sept. 17 at Frontier Park in Graham to show residents how to install rain gardens.

A rain garden is a shallow depression with special soil planted with flowers, shrubs, and grasses that can tolerate wet winters and dry summers. The gardens soak up rainwater from roofs, sidewalks, and driveways; filter out pollutants; reduce flooding; and replenish ground water supplies.

Pierce County is collaborating with the Pierce Conservation District Stream Team to conduct this workshop. It is part of Pierce County’s effort to support the “12,000 Rain Gardens Project,” a regional campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Puget Sound area by 2016. More information is online at .

From 10 a.m. to noon, information about rain gardens and other simple rain infiltration techniques will be presented. From noon to 2 p.m., a permanent demonstration rain garden will be installed at Frontier Park by volunteers.

“Fall is a great time to install a rain garden in your yard,” said Dawn Anderson, Pierce County low-impact development coordinator. “These gardens can soak up most of the rain we get in the Pacific Northwest, which helps reduce flooding and filter pollutants that would otherwise enter our waterways. Not only do rain gardens look amazing, they help improve water quality in Puget Sound, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce flooding.”

The workshop will help Pierce County residents make simple, affordable changes to their yards for environmental and economic benefits. To learn more about installing a rain garden in your yard or other simple retrofits that reduce polluted rainwater leaving your property, visit . Space is limited, so those interested should register with the Stream Team by calling (253) 845-2973 or emailing .