News Flash Home
The original item was published from 3/13/2013 12:34:08 PM to 12/31/2020 12:00:13 AM.

News Flash

Planning & Public Works

Posted on: October 2, 2012

[ARCHIVED] Public invited to help high school club install rain garden Oct. 13

Oct. 2, 2012

Pierce County residents are invited to help Curtis High School's Environmental Club install a rain garden on the school's campus in University Place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct 13. The rain garden will be installed off of 40th Street W between buildings 200 and 300.

“A rain garden is a native plant garden with a special purpose: to capture, soak up and filter rain water runoff before it enters local waterways,” said Ryan Misley, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities environmental educator. “The Environmental Club decided to take action after studying how runoff affects local streams, rivers, lakes and Puget Sound.”

When it rains, water flows over hard surfaces such as roofs, parking lots, and roads, collecting pollutants such as motor oil, bacteria from pet waste, fertilizers and pesticides. The polluted runoff enters storm drains and ditches that flow to local waterways without treatment. Rain gardens filter runoff as it soaks into the ground and recharges groundwater, instead of polluting waterways.

“The students have worked hard to organize the event and are looking forward to planting a garden at their school that will also help reduce the amount of polluted runoff coming from their school,” Misley said.

The club is working with staff from Pierce County, the City of University Place, and the Pierce Conservation District to complete the rain garden. They also received donations from University Place Refuse.

Project overviewThe site was selected by the club with the help of Curtis High School Principal Terry Jenks and Misley, because of its visibility and source of considerable roof runoff. Students and volunteers will carry out tasks such as digging the garden, filling it with rain garden soil mix, planting native plants, and applying mulch and water.

“As District Athletic and Activity Director, it is my job to support the ideas and work of students that extend the learning beyond the classroom,” said Jenks. “In regards to the Curtis High School rain garden project, the students have done a lot of great work that I have been able to support and assist in moving forward."

Sophomore Christine Phan designed the rain garden with oversight by Misley.

"I really hope we move forward this year and install more rain gardens in our schools,” Phan said.

Get involvedVolunteers should come prepared for the weather. Work will proceed rain or shine. Gloves, tools and light refreshments will be available at the site.

To volunteer, contact Melissa Buckingham, Pierce Conservation District urban conservation program coordinator, at (253) 845-2973 or email [email protected].

Learn simple steps you can take on your property to reduce polluted runoff entering local waterways, as well as techniques and guidelines for designing a rain garden, at

MEDIA CONTACTS:Ryan Misley, Public Works and Utilities environmental educator
(253) [email protected]

Sheryl Rhinehart, Public Works and Utilities outreach coordinator
(253) [email protected]

Other News in Planning & Public Works

New Updates: Pierce County Stormwater Manual Webpage and Manual Update Process

Posted on: February 23, 2024 | Last Modified on: December 5, 2018

Rate, fee, and fare changes coming in 2024

Posted on: December 15, 2023

8th Ave. S culvert replacement, Nov. 6-8

Posted on: November 3, 2023

Groundwater Monitoring Season Reminder

Posted on: September 21, 2023

No building inspections on May 24

Posted on: May 9, 2022

Please Continue to Use Online Services

Posted on: January 21, 2022

Annual Fee Changes Coming in 2022

Posted on: December 17, 2021

New septic-to-sewer conversion process

Posted on: November 10, 2021

New application requirement coming Oct. 1

Posted on: September 28, 2021

Recording fees increase on July 25

Posted on: July 16, 2021

Development Center Operations Update

Posted on: March 23, 2021