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Rain Garden

Rain Garden Banner, photo:


Rain Garden Fact Sheet (pdf)

Building a Rain Gardenlinks to external site (pdf), SPU

Rain Garden Handbooklinks to external site (pdf-19mb)

Soil Drainage Test (pdf)
Rain gardens are bowl-shaped gardens designed to collect and filter water from your roof, driveway, or patio. Rain gardens can be shaped and sized to fit your yard, are filled with a rich layer of mulch and compost to help water soak in, and are landscaped with a variety of plants that fit your yard, sun, and soil. 



Every time it rains, water carries pollutants from our roofs, driveways, patios, and lawns, into the nearest storm drain, and into Forbes Creek and Lake Washington. During big storms, the amount of rainwater runoff can cause neighborhood flooding and erosion hazards.

A rain garden will reduce water pollution, replenish the groundwater supply and provide a self-irrigating landscape. By slowing down rainwater runoff and filtering pollution, it helps protect our local creeks and reduces flooding in our neighborhoods. It also provides great habitat for birds and butterflies.


rain garden slope Your property needs a fairly level yard with a slope less than 5%
space icon Rain gardens need to be located away from large trees and at least 10 feet from your foundation.
water drop Rain gardens need well-draining soils. An infiltration test will determine if a rain garden is right for your property. 
money sign
Rain Garden costs vary depending on site, labor, equipment, turf or pavement removal, planting, and complexity of garden. 


water dropRain gardens must drain a minimum roof area of 400 square feet for single-family properties, or 800 square feet for multi-family or non-residential properties. 

Tips on caring for your rain garden:
Rain Garden Before After Photo Courtesy
  • Water: Young plants need water to grow strong roots. Watering is important during the first two to three summers after your rain garden has been installed. In general, water when the weather is dry and warm, from May through September.
  • Weed: Pull weeds by hand or with a long-handled weed puller. Weed as necessary year round. Never use herbicide or pesticide in your rain garden.
  • Plant: If you need to replant dead or dying plants, replace them in the fall. This will give the plants plenty of time to grow more roots before the dry season.
  • Clean: Trash and debris can block inlets and outlets. Clean any sediment, debris or trash from inside your rain garden regularly.

Next steps:

 Interested in building a rain garden? Be sure to take advantage of the Yard Smart Rain Rewards rebate.

You can enhance the impact of your rain garden by implementing additional recommended projects on your property. A combination of projects will increase your positive impact!

*City of Kirkland will pay between 75% and 100% of project costs, up to $3,500 for single-family homes and up to $7,000 for multi-family and non-residential properties. Learn more about Rain Rewards rebates.


View our Frequently Asked Questions or email

Public Works
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033
T. 425-587-3800 | F. 425-587-3807
Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Operations & Maintenance
915 8th St, Kirkland WA 98033
T. 425-587-3900 24/7 | F. 425-587-3902
Mon-Fri, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

General Inquiries - Contact us via the: 
Our Kirkland Customer Service Portal