About the Project:
Beginning in 2021, the Northwest Straits Foundation partnered with the City of Anacortes Public Works, Holly Frontier (formerly Shell), Azusa Farms, and Mt. Erie Elementary School to build a public rain garden at the elementary school located in Anacortes, WA. This project was made possible through administrative and site support of the City of Anacortes Stormwater Program and in partnership with Mt. Erie Elementary School and the Skagit Marine Resources Committee.
The 4,000 square-foot grassy area (seen in the “before” picture below) was flooding often and not successfully filtering pollutants from the surrounding impervious surfaces. Partners came together to dig up the grass and replace the area with cobblestones, topsoil, mulch, and native plants. The school bus roundabout now encircles a lively rain garden (pictured below in the “after” photo).
The project was completed in the spring of 2022 after a volunteer crew of Mt. Erie Elementary School students and families helped with the finishing touch – planting all the native plants! The goal of the project was to build a rain garden comprised of native vegetation that supports environmental education, wildlife habitat and reduces the impact of polluted stormwater flowing into Fidalgo Bay. Students and visitors can now walk a perimeter trail while learning about different aspects of the mini wetland ecosystem.
Poster made by Margeaux Bailey, NWSF Rain Garden Fellow
Rain garden after volunteer planting day in April 2022