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University of Washington Botanic Gardens


Washington Park Arboretum
Center for Urban Horticulture

Rain Garden & Stormwater Seminars

Since 2006, University of Washington Botanic Gardens has partnered with local organizations and agencies to deliver quality instruction in the field of rain garden and stormwater design. See below for information on current and past workshops.

Rain Garden Training for Professionals 12,000 Rain Gardens for Puget Sound

October 23-24, 8:30a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105

Resources for Workshop Attendees:

Rain Garden Marketing Presentation

King County Rain Garden Garden Permit Discussionby Mark Wilgus, Senior Engineer, Stormwater Services, King County, and Jeff Pray, Stormwater Engineer, King County

Landscape designers, installers, and maintenance technicians are invited to take advantage of a two-day training.  This professional level training will focus on rain gardens and other low-impact development practices gaining in popularity with savvy homeowners who want to control run-off and beautify their yards.  The class will cover site selection, soils, new regulations, designs, plant selection, and more.

The demand for properly installed rain gardens is growing, creating a new niche and business opportunity for those with adequate training.  State and local programs are, or will soon be, requiring low impact development on new construction and several are offering incentives for retrofit projects.  These regulations are and will increasingly result in the creation of new jobs in the landscape industry.  The workshops will include lunch and refreshments, a copy of the new rain garden handbook, and other take-away materials.

View the workshop schedule.

Questions? Email us at urbhort@uw.edu or call 206.685.8033.

CPH, PLANET, and ISA credits approved: 11

Presented by:

UW Botanic GardensStewardship Partners WSU Extension

Rain Garden Training Flyer

Past Stormwater Design Seminars and Resources

Sponsored by Seattle Public Utilities
and UW Botanic Gardens

Below, you will find the presentations from seminars and workshops designed to help landscape architects, contractors, designers, builders, architects, planners, and engineers start using innovative “Low Impact Development” strategies for on-site stormwater management. If you would like to be notified of future training opportunities, please contact Jenna Smith at jenna.smith@seattle.gov .   

These seminars were developed and funded by Seattle Public Utilities
(all presentations are in PDF format):

November 3, 2011
INSTALLING RAIN GARDENS & CISTERNS (training for contractors)

October 17, 2007

January 25, 2006 basic seminar (overview of all on-site strategies)


January 26, 2006 advanced design and construction workshop

Start with the Soil

Natural Drainage Infrastructure: Design and Construction Principles

Designing, Building, and Operating for Success

March 15, 2006 advanced design and construction workshop



Best resources are in bold.

Low Impact Development - On-site Stormwater Management

Low Impact Development - Puget Sound Partnership - website
Low Impact Development Technical Manual - guidelines and specs for Western Washington
Natural Drainage Systems designs, photos, homeowners manual, plant list and specifications from Seattle Public Utilities projects
RainWise and RainWise Tools two linked Seattle sites with interactive information for homeowners and contractors
Rain Garden Handbook - plus bioretention soil specs and more
Low Impact Development Center
Seattle’s Green Building Program - local resources on sustainable building

Natural Landscape Maintenance

Practically Easy Landscape Maintenance - A Care Manual for Natural Drainage Systems –easy steps for homeowners and professionals

Soil Biology and Soil Functions: Why Soil Life Matters, and How it Works

USDA NRCS Soil Quality Institute see especially the Soil Biology Primer
Washington State University - Soil Management research site

Soil Restoration with Compost

Soils for Salmon - Soil Best Practices Guide plus many resources and specifications for designers ;  basic soil information for builders is at BuildingSoil.org
Washington Organic Recycling Council - compost use and suppliers
U.S. Composting Council - compost specs, use, and testing standards
Ecologically Sound Lawn Care for the Pacific Northwest - see sections on soil prep, and topdressing.

Soil and Compost Design Specifications

Soil Bio-Engineering from WA Dept. of Transportation
Highway Compost Applications Research by Iowa State University
Compost Use Specifications by Iowa DNR
and see Seattle Public Utilities' Natural Drainage Systems

Compost Berms, Socks, and Blankets for Erosion Control

Compost Berm, Blanket and Sock specifications from US EPA (look down this page to select)
BioCycle Journal - Search the index under “compost berms,” “compost blankets” and “erosion”
Erosion Control and Environmental Uses for Compost by Rod Tyler et al
Search the Internet under “compost berms” and “compost blankets” for current information.

Porous Paving - Design and Installation

City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development Client Assistance Memo #515 Green Parking Lots
LID Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound - see Porous Paving specs and installation
And see many more paving references in slides #38-39 of the 2007 presentation “Permeable Paving - Examples and Lessons Learned” at top of this page, and local examples and specifications available at Seattle’s RainWise site

“Porous Pavements,” by Bruce K. Ferguson; Taylor & Francis Group, 2005.
“Pervious Concrete Pavement” by Paul Tennis, Michael Leming, and David Akers; Portland Cement Association and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
“Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership: Porous Concrete” By Robert Traver, Andrea Welker, Clay Emerson, Michael Kwiatkowski, Tyler Ladd, and Leo Kob, in Stormwater magazine July/August 2004

Green Roofs

Seattle’s Green Roof website - best resources for this region
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
a green roof industry portal
Portland Eco Roof Q&A
Portland & Vancouver green roof clearinghouse site
Michigan State University Department of Horticulture Green Roof Research Program
Livingroofs.org UK resource about green roofs
Northwest Eco Building Guild
Roofscapes one of many emerging companies
Emory Knolls Farm Green Roof Plant Resource

“Green Roofs: Ecological Design and Construction” by Earth Pledge; A Schiffer Design Book, 2005.
“Planting Green Roofs and Living Walls” by Nigel Dunnett and Noel Kingsbury, Timber Press
“Guidelines for the Planning, Execution and Upkeep of Green-Roof Sites” by FLL, 1995 edition
“Roof Gardens: History, Design and Construction” by Theodore Osmundson, Norton Press
Search the Internet under “green roofs” and “eco roofs” for current information.

Cisterns for Stormwater Management and Rainwater Harvesting

American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)
Texas Manual on Rainwater Harvesting (updated 2005)
LID Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound Chapter 6, page 133

Elisabeth C. Miller Library's Recommended Information Resources - Stormwater Solutions and Green Roofs (books, articles and websites most appropriate for homeowners)

Last modified:
Thursday, 29-Jan-2015 15:47:41 PST