case study

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary

"Some of the big problems we’re facing are caused by lots of little problems. We want to work on finding little solutions to help solve the big problems."
- Jake Harris, Stone Soup Gardens
Project Facts
Stone Soup Gardens
1 rain garden
Roof Captured
895 square feet
Amount Rebated
Project Summary

Located in the Rainier Valley neighborhood of south Seattle, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary provides education for first through fifth graders. Their mission is for every child to achieve at high levels and for every adult to be accountable for every child’s success. Through this mission, they were inspired to become RainWise. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary’s RainWise installation manages rainwater runoff from 895 square feet of roof area. The project

  • keeps nearly 14,000 gallons of stormwater out of the combined sewer system every year,
  • creates habitat for birds and butterflies,
  • creates a sense of community ownership towards a solution to pollution issues, and
  • protects Lake Washington from combined sewer system overflows.

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

Project Specifications

Guided by IslandWood, an environmental education nonprofit, the students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary developed a site plan for their rain garden. Rainwater falls on the school’s rooftop and into the gutters and downspouts, then into the rain garden. Shaped like a bowl, the rain garden has special soil to absorb large amounts of rainwater, like a sponge. RainWise contractor, Stone Soup Gardens, installed a rain garden that captures rainwater from an 895 square feet of roof area. Rainwater not absorbed into the garden overflows into an existing catch basin or the sidewalk.

Environmental Education & Collaboration

As environmental stewards, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary’s urges other schools to take advantage of this program both to beautify the landscape of private properties and to help control water pollution and combined sewer overflows.

Project partners include school leadership, King County and City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, IslandWood, RainWise outreach staff and the RainWise contractor, Stone Soup Gardens. All stakeholders worked together to keep thousands of gallons of rainwater out of the sewer system each year.