Rain Garden Filters Runoff July 27, 2017 | Village Greens Golf Course, Port Orchard, Wash. By USGA Green Section

The rain garden filters runoff from the parking lot through plants and soil, removing pollutants and improving water quality.


The Village Greens Golf Course is an 18-hole, 3,244-yard public golf course that is owned and operated by Kitsap County. The small property is surrounded by housing, with an elementary school directly across the street from their clubhouse and parking lot. Research has shown that parking lot runoff can introduce contaminants into water bodies, so the county wanted to find a low-cost way to filter the stormwater runoff from the golf course parking lot. They also hoped to educate golfers and the nearby elementary school children about the environmental risks that parking lots can create.


A simple and descriptive sign placed next to the rain garden provides an excellent educational opportunity for golfers, neighbors and children.


Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management (SSWM) and the Parks Department developed a plan to build a rain garden at the end of the parking lot to filter all of the water from this impermeable surface. Rain gardens filter runoff through plants and soil, removing pollutants. When built properly, rain gardens are a simple and inexpensive way to improve the water quality of runoff, as detailed in the article “Managing Stormwater One Parking Lot at a Time.”



The rain garden at Village Greens has been very successful. The plants in the garden are growing well and they are filtering water from the parking lot on a year-round basis. An informational sign describes how the rain garden works and what it is accomplishing, providing a good educational opportunity for golfers, neighbors and especially for the children at the nearby school. 


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