Rain, rain, don't go away

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The rain garden next to the grand staircase near Jefferson Street helps filter rain water.

Rain gardens are specially designed and planted with two environmental goals in mind — to decrease storm water runoff and to filter urban runoff before it reaches Puget Sound.

This rain garden, built on campus by students and faculty in the Environmental Sciences program, does that by slowing water flowing down the hill, allowing it to soak into the ground and then into the aquifer. By contrast, rain water that runs into the street picks up oil and pollutants from cars and sediment from the ground that is not held in place by plant roots.

The garden provides an attractive spot to showcase native plants for students and visitors. Designed as a service learning project for students, the garden is located beside the central stairway in front of Metro Coffee. It was funded in part by the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.

Written by: 
Beth Luce / August 18, 2010
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, Associate Director of Communications, johnbjr@uw.edu or 253-692-4536