case study

Highland Park Elementary

"We really enjoyed watching the students study Rain Garden plants and come up with their own design ideas."
- John Coghlan, HomeGrown Organics
Project Facts
HomeGrown Organics
2 rain gardens
Roof Captured
1,656 square feet
Amount Rebated
Project Summary

Located in the Highland Park neighborhood of south Seattle, Highland Park Elementary serves a diverse population of underserved children, with nearly 80 percent of students qualifying for the free and reduced-price lunch program. Highland Park Elementary’s RainWise installation includes two rain gardens, managing rainwater runoff from a total of nearly 2,000 square feet of roof area. The project

  • keeps 25,500 gallons of stormwater out of the combined sewer system every year,
  • maintains a habitat for pollinators and native plants,
  • provides an educational opportunity for students to learn about clean water, and
  • protects the Duwamish Waterway from combined sewer system overflows.

The project was completed in September 2019, with a total of $XX covered by the RainWise rebate program.

Project Specifications

RainWise contractor, HomeGrown Organics, designed a site plan for Highland Park Elementary that includes two rain gardens installed in two triangular shaped lawns. Soil excavated for the rain gardens was then turned into a berm, similar to a terrace, creating a new, dynamic landscape. Rainwater falls onto the school’s roof top, flows through downspouts and into the rain gardens. One rain garden captures 1,026 square feet of roof area, while the other captures 630 square feet. In very heavy rains, the larger rain garden overflows into the small rain garden, which overflows to the sidewalk and continues into a catch basin in the school’s driveway. Together, the rain gardens capture rainwater from 1,656 square feet of roof area and keep 25,500 gallons out of the storm system every year.

Environmental Education & Stewardship

Highland Park Elementary is the first school with Seattle Public Schools to go RainWise! Students helped HomeGrown Organics with the rain garden design and even helped plant most of the rain garden plants. This collaboration between stakeholders is one of the many reasons to become RainWise.

Project partners include school leadership, Seattle Public Schools, King County staff, RainWise outreach staff and the creative design talents of the RainWise contractor, HomeGrown Organics.All stakeholders worked together to keep thousands of gallons of rainwater out of the sewer system each year.