Residential Rain Gardens

Rain gardens are an attractive, low-maintenance way to reduce individual impacts on water quality while attracting birds and butterflies. These bowl-shaped flower beds capture and soak in roof runoff, reducing the amount of polluted runoff draining to local waterways.

Scroll down to see pictures of rain gardens we’ve helped homeowners install.

Design by Jamie Stamberger

Design by Jamie Stamberger

rain garden raffle winner

Design by Jamie Stamberger

Rain garden

Design by Jamie Stamberger.

rain garden

Design by Kate Hibschman.

Rain garden

Design by Eva Birk.

rain garden

Design by Jamie Stamberger.

rain garden

Design by Eva Birk.

rain garden

Design by Keri Handaly and Gabby Fraley.

Hollydale Elementary Rain Gardens

In 2008, Jamie Stamberger of Stamberger Outreach Worked with the City of Gresham Watershed Division, school district maintenance department, the principal, and school staff to gain approval and plan a rain garden and rain water harvesting demonstration project at Hollydale Elementary School.

The projects would serve as public demonstration gardens and would be featured in city outreach materials and on garden tours. Students helped plant the gardens and maintain them in perpetuity.

Hollydale Elementary rain garden project Phase I, before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The project included two phases, phase I pictured left included a rain garden off the playground to solve drainage issues and reduce runoff to the underground storm pipe system that leads to nearby Johnson Creek.

Both phases were funded by the city and grants from EMSWCD, Metro and ODEQ.  Planting plans and project management were done by AmeriCorps volunteer Katie Boyd, with oversight by Jamie Stamberger.

Project phase II was installed in the school Nature Leaders area used for school vegetable and habitat gardens. Phase II included a 2500 gallon rain water harvesting cistern that captured water from the school roof to provide a source of water for school gardens.  A rain garden was also installed to capture and soak in overflow from the cistern during winter months.  Gardens were planted with Nature Leader students and parent volunteers, specifically parent volunteer Julie Melton. (More photos below)

Phase II, before

Project Phase II, before

Spring 2009 - Garden is installed and receiving it's first rain.

Phase I, complete.

Fall 2009 - Phase II is complete and soaking in it's first rain.

Fall 2009 – Phase II complete and soaking in it’s first rain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Demonstration Rain Gardens

From 2006 to 2012, Jamie Stamberger helped the City of Gresham Watershed Division encourage rain gardens by building demonstration projects in highly visible places.  She worked with property owners, volunteers and construction professionals to install attractive public amenities that met the needs of all parties involved.

Scroll down for demonstration project examples.

Garden design by Katie Boyd.

 

Covenant Presbyterian Church – Built in 2009 in response to interest from church grounds volunteer. Designed and installed by City of Gresham Watershed Division staff and AmeriCorps volunteers, and maintained by church staff and volunteers. Captures and infiltrates 28,000 gallons of runoff annually from 1,000 square feet of roof.

Supported by funds from EMSWCD and grants from DEQ and Metro.

Watershed Division staff and AmeriCorps volunteers.  Maintained by Snow Cap staff and volunteers. Captures and infiltrates 10,000 gallons of roof runoff per year.  Project managed by Jamie Stamberger.

Garden design by Kate Hibschman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Cap Charities – Rain garden installed in 2010.

Project built by Watershed Division staff and AmeriCorps volunteers and maintained by Snow Cap staff and volunteers.

Captures and infiltrates 10,000 gallons of roof runoff per year.

Funded by City of Gresham and East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District.

Garden design by Kate Hibschman.

Garden design by Kate Hibschman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Henry’s Church  – Rain garden installed 2012 near community garden to demonstrate rain water harvesting and rain gardens for overflow.

Designed at built by City of Gresham staff and AmeriCorps volunteers, and maintained by church volunteers.

Native plants and community garden fruit trees are featured in the garden design.

Interpretive signage encourages visitors to implement their own projects at home.

Project funded by City of Gresham, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, and Metro Nature in Neighborhoods.

West Gresham Elementary Rain Garden

Jamie Stamberger worked with City of Gresham staff, school teachers, principal and maintenance staff, the Parent Teacher Coalition, AmeriCorps volunteers, OSU 4-H, and students to install a rain garden in front of West Gresham Grade School.

Winter 2010 – rain garden area before excavation.

 

Runoff from the school roof ran down the driveway to a storm drain in the street, causing icy conditions for buses in winter, and carrying pollution and erosive volumes of storm water to nearby Johnson Creek.  High visibility along busy Powell Boulevard made  it a great location for a demonstration project.

This project was funded by East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Gresham Watershed Division.

Bowl-shaped area excavated by City Stormwater Operations staff.

Garden size and shape were designed to provide safe overflow during very heavy rains and enough ponding area to handle average local storms, while providing for student safety, aesthetic concerns and protecting the large historic big leaf maple onsite. City of Gresham Stormwater Operations staff excavated and added soil amendments to improve drainage and fertilize newly installed plants. The school district hired a local contractor to re-route roof drains under driveway and to the rain garden.

Parent volunteers and students planted native plants.

Parents, teachers and students helped plant the rain garden with native plants that are tolerant of both drought and standing water. Jamie worked with a subset of those volunteers, the Rain Garden Team, to help design the garden and plan for its long term maintenance.

The planting plan was designed, drawn up and implemented on site by AmeriCorps volunteer Ben Morelli. On planting day, Jamie taught students about storm water runoff and how it impacts on Johnson Creek while they worked on their rain garden to help reduce impacts from their school.

Fall 2011 – Garden establishing and soaking in fall rains.

west gresham rain garden

Enter a caption

At one year old, plants are getting established, and soaking in spring rains.  This rain garden captures, filters and infiltrates an estimated 96,000 gallons of roof runoff from the school each year, reducing pollution in nearby Johnson Creek, and reducing icy conditions for buses and students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gresham High School Rain Garden

In 2010, Jamie Stamberger worked with City of Gresham staff, high school principal, teachers and maintenance staff, and students to install a demonstration rain garden and improve an unsightly area on the school campus.

Project site before excavation, winter 2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This site on the high school campus along a busy street in Gresham was a highly visible target for vandalism. This project was funded by East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District and the City of Gresham Watershed Division. Garden size and shape to were designed to capture runoff from 1,000 square feet of roof and allow for safe overflow.

Excavating garden, spring 2011.

Excavating garden, spring 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In spring 2011, Jamie worked with City of Gresham Operations staff to excavate and install soil amendment and bark dust.

Botany class plants garden.

Botany class plants garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The GHS Botany class competed to design garden planting plan. Jamie incorporated winning designs into one plan and helped class install them as part of their landscaping and native plants unit. Jamie also created a stormwater scavenger hunt on school grounds for students to identify sources of stormwater pollution and ideas for reducing it.  The classes and their teacher continue to maintain garden as part of their curriculum.

Established garden at one year old.

Established garden at one year old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamie installed interpretive signage installed to educate passers-by, and a student group painted and installed a water-centered mural to discourage vandalism and help promote efforts to reduce water pollution.  The garden filters and absorbs an estimated 28,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year.

Return to the Rain Garden Projects page for more examples of our work.