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Ballard Natural Drainage


Project Updates

Project Area Blocks Identified

Thanks to everyone who has attended public outreach events to site and plan the Ballard Natural Drainage Systems (NDS) project. Your input will help to make sure we design and build the best project possible. Based on input through April 2014, these are the proposed locations for roadside rain gardens (pdf).

Through 2014, we will continue investigating underground utilities and soil conditions at the preferred garden locations and will continue to gather your input about the design, including specific locations for rain gardens, access points to your home, preferences for plant palettes, and other design issues.

We are collaborating closely with other city programs and departments, such as the Seattle Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School and Greenways programs, and with the Department of Neighborhoods coordinators in this district on pedestrian and intersection improvements.

We will periodically send project updates by mail to interested parties and will continue individual and block by block outreach in the project area.

For more information, please contact Project Manager Grace Manzano at: or
206-233-1534. You can also sign up for future project updates.

How natural drainage filters pollutants (Sightline article)

Project History

Walk and Talk on Your Block – September 28-29, 2013

We walked around with residents of these blocks in September 2013 to gain specific information about trees, plantings, parking concerns and other important information.

Summer 2013

Over the summer of 2013 we visited Ballard neighbors several times door-to-door to gather input from residents on these blocks. We’ve heard and recorded concerns and comments about trees and plantings, parking, and many other things important to residents and property owners. Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to share information with us. The project team is receiving valuable updates every week from Ballard residents and it’s helping us to develop options that address resident concerns.

Third Public Meeting – June 5, 2013

View the presentation (pdf)

Review the display boards (pdf)

Second Public Meeting – Feb. 12, 2013

If you couldn’t make it to the meeting, please take a look at the display boards (pdf).

See the timeline for the technical analysis and public involvement process (pdf).

See the results of the December 2012 survey (pdf).

First Public Meeting – Oct. 2, 2012

View the October 2 presentation (pdf).

Read the questions and comments from the meeting (pdf).

View the display boards from the meeting (pdf).

Phase 1

The project to construct natural drainage (roadside rain gardens) began in 2009. The Phase 1 rain gardens were installed in the public right-of-way between NW 65th Street and NW 80th Street and 28th Avenue NW and 31st Avenue NW in Ballard. See the Phase 1 project map (pdf).

Rain gardens are designed with carefully mixed biorentention soils and densely planted vegetation, to infiltrate and filter stormwater flowing from the sidewalks and roadway, while also providing attractive landscaping. Rain gardens are located within existing city-owned planting strips, and, in some cases, may extend slightly into roadways.

If you live in Ballard and would like to explore the possibility of having a roadside rain garden installed by the city, please send your name, address, phone number and email address to the project manager at Your block may be considered for a future project.

Sign up for e-mail updates about the Ballard Natural Drainage.