Option 1: Dig Day

  • Before

The Rain Gardens and More Program provides green stormwater practices to landowners of Unincorporated Kitsap County. The program only applies to existing structures (new construction or significant remodel does not qualify).

  • It starts with a site visit. Contact us.
  • We evaluate the property to see if a project is feasible according to site constraints.
  • If the property qualifies, the landowner fills out the Rain Garden Program agreements.
  • KCD does the preliminary work and installation of the rain garden, and you add the finishing touches (outside perimeter plants, rocks, mulch).
  • KCD covers labor and material costs, including bottom zone plants. You do not have to pay anything other than your own finishing touches.

If you live within city limits, Kitsap Conservation District's Rain Gardens & More Program does not apply but you may request technical assistance from WSU's Rain Garden Mentor Program.

Option 2: Build Your Own!

Congratulations on your decision to build your own rain garden! Remember to keep your receipts and a labor log of your own hours. Following are step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process. For a more detailed explanation, refer to the Rain Garden Handbook for Western Washington at: https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/publications/publications/1310027.pdf

Planning your rain garden:

Build your own rain garden

  • Email or call us for a free site evaluation. We can help you with placement and design considerations according to site constraints.
  • Fill out the program application (available on our website at http://kitsapcd.org/wpcontent/uploads/2019/06/2019-RG-Program-Application.pdf - or we can email it to you)
  • If your site is suitable, we'll send you the Rain Garden Program agreements Cooperative and Cost share agreement
  • sign and send the agreements back
  • Build your own rain garden

  • Mark general outline of rain garden using white spray paint.
  • Take a photo showing some of the background.
  • Send us the photo (we need "before pictures" for every project)
  • Call 811 (http://www.call811.com) at least one week prior to digging to request a Public Utility Locate. Your local utility company will mark the location of water, electricity, gas, cable/phone and sewer lines on your property. We can also request the utilities locate for you if you want.
  • Infiltration Test: Dig a test hole (2 ft. deep if possible) Pour water in it and record how long it takes to infiltrate (check it every hour to get an average of inches per hour) Email us the results once all the water has disappeared, or after 24 hrs. Sometimes it takes less than an hour.
  • Build your own rain garden

  • Call an equipment rental company to reserve machinery on your installation day (if needed) Call soil supplier a few days in advance to order delivery of rain garden soil mix or to make sure they have it in stock if you plan to pick it up yourself.
  • Purchase all necessary PVC pipes, fittings and glue and keep all receipts. We can help you estimate what you will need.
  • Purchase plants (only Zone 1 plants are required for reimbursement, but you can get all the plants at once if you want). We can help you estimate what you will need.
  • Decide what you want to do with excavated soil and sod (use as fill, other purpose or haul away)

Installation day:

Build your own rain garden

  • Rent machinery as needed (backhoe or excavator; trencher)
  • Mark and dig the trenches for pipes leading from downspouts to the rain garden. Keep the pipes as shallow as possible, with a slight slope towards the rain garden (1" of fall per 10 ft. is enough). Glue pipes and fittings, except for the downspout adapter. Place a grate at the end of the pipe to prevent rodents from entering and a temporary protective cover.
  • Re-mark the outline if it has faded, and remove the sod (you can rent a sod remover just for that purpose). If you want to create a low berm around the rain garden, add 2' – 3' to the outer perimeter. Sod needs to be removed where the berm goes.
  • Build your own rain garden

  • Dig the rain garden to a depth of 2 feet with approx. 45° side slopes. Rake the sides and bottom, making sure that the bottom is level and uncompacted.
  • Take inventory of pipes and fittings used, take pictures of your work and make a drawing of the location of the pipes for your own records, then backfill the pipe trenches
  • Place rain garden soil mix inside rain garden to a depth of 18 inches. You should end up with 6 inches of ponding. NOTE: the soil mix must be installed before any significant rain event, in order to keep water and sediment away from the native soil at the bottom (sedimentation prevents proper infiltration, which is the purpose of the rain garden).
  • Build your own rain garden

  • Rake rain garden soil mix evenly, trying not to compact the soil as much as possible.
  • Plant Zone 1 plants (you can use our sample planting plan or do your own), rake between plants. Water plants right away if the soil is dry. Add your own touches and extra plants if you want.

You are done!

Contact us to schedule a site visit to collect your original receipts, labor log and sign project completion. You will be reimbursed within two weeks.