Kitsap Conservation District’s Rain Garden program will be working with landowners in the Blackjack Creek watershed to help them implement best management practices for managing polluted runoff before it reaches streams and the Puget Sound.
Blackjack Creek extends 7 miles SW of Port Orchard, where it empties into Sinclair Inlet. The 12.3 square miles watershed is considered one of the largest and most productive salmon watersheds in South Kitsap (May and Peterson, 2003). The Suquamish Tribe, in partnership with several County and State organizations, completed an extensive study and restoration plan at the end of 2017. Research determined that many areas of the creek and its tributaries were impacted from pollution, and a plan was developed towards restoration.
The Conservation District is following in this effort by providing incentives and rebates to those who wish to participate in the Rain Garden program. We started contacting landowners in priority areas of the watershed by mail in the Fall of 2020 and will offer a free workshop event in June 2021. Homeowners and businesses who respond will receive free site visits, technical and financial assistance to install rain gardens on their property. For the first time and for a limited period, residents and businesses in the City of Port Orchard can qualify for the Program. Funding is provided by grants from the EPA, Ecology and Clean Water Kitsap.
Rain Gardens and More Program Criteria:
- The Rain Gardens and More Program provides green stormwater practices to landowners of Unincorporated Kitsap County and the City of Port Orchard within the watershed. The program only applies to existing structures; new construction does not qualify.
- Green Stormwater Solutions can include Rain Gardens, Soaker Trenches, Permeable Paving, Cisterns, and Rain Barrels, but priority is given to rain gardens for this program.
- The program offers two options: Dig Day or Cost Share
- With a Dig Day, KCD supplies installation and materials, and pays the contractor directly instead of reimbursement. Landowner supplies mulch, rocks and perimeter plants.
- With the Cost Share option, KCD reimburses landowners up to $1000. This includes contractor labor or equipment rental, plants and materials.
- The Rain Garden Program process steps are:
- Landowner contacts KCD’s Rain Garden Program staff, fills out the Program Application, and schedules a site visit
- KCD staff evaluates the application using a matrix of criteria to determine if the site meets prioritization criteria for funding
- If project is approved for funding, Landowner signs and dates the Rain Garden Program Agreements (Cooperator and Assistance Agreements). Contractor and material receipts are eligible for reimbursement after approval signature from KCD.
- KCD can contribute technical assistance for design or construction. KCD design specifications must be followed to receive reimbursement, even if using a contractor.
- After project completion, landowner submits original receipts (Cost Share only) and schedules with KCD to inspect the finished practice and get completion signatures.
- Reimbursement check is issued to landowner (for Cost Share only)
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement PC-01J18101 to the Washington State Department of Ecology. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.