Hope Academy and Alnoor Mosque recently celebrated the completion a new RainWise rain garden and cistern project, the first ever at a mosque in Seattle.
In addition to two rain gardens and four cisterns that will keep polluted runoff and sewage out of local water ways during heavy rains, the project offers the Somali and White Center communities the opportunity to be involved in protecting water quality.
Environmental nonprofit ECOSS guided the mosque through the project, supporting project management logistics and engaging the community in planning and building the gardens. Community members are now developing a maintenance plan with teachers and students to monitor and care for their new rain gardens.
“It’s been especially rewarding to have the community so involved in the project,” said King County Wastewater Treatment Division Director Pam Elardo. “We hope it inspires more young people to think about environmental career opportunities in the operations, science and technology fields.”
ECOSS collaborated with Seattle Public Utilities and King County WTD on technical support, grants and RainWise rebates, which were provided by the City of Seattle. Additional funding was provided by the Russell Family Foundation and Google.
RainWise is a partnership program of Seattle Public Utilities and King County that offers rebates to property owners for rain gardens and cisterns which help to reduce polluted runoff and combined sewer overflows. A rain garden is bowl shaped and filled with spongy soil and hearty plants, designed to capture rainwater and cleans it before it enters our waterways or groundwater, and reduces the amount of water flowing into combined sewers or storm drains. Cisterns are large barrels that collects roof water, also reduce runoff, and the harvested water can be used for watering in the summer.
More information about the RainWise Program is available at www.700milliongallons.org.