Mar 21, 2014

Capitol Hill Transition Home Goes Green

Native plants attract wildlife
There is a new rain garden in the ground in the Capitol Hill neighborhood!  In an installation powered by donations, volunteers and the community, Madison Inn, a transition home for men managed by Pioneer Human Services, gained an environmentally sound solution to rainwater runoff in an urban space.

This was the second time Sustainable Seattle and Pioneer Human Services teamed up to install a rain garden – with the first installed at Helen B. Ratcliff House in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.  These rain gardens soak up rain from big storms as well filter and break down pollutants we often leave behind – from cars, fertilizers, and other sources.  Learn more about rain gardens and their benefits here.

This rain garden, though, promised more than just positive environmental impacts – it was an opportunity for the men at Madison Inn to connect with nature.

“PHS and this program were interested in the rain garden at Madison Inn because of the clear environmental benefits, but also because it would help the residents learn about the importance of environmental stewardship, as well as give them the opportunity to work on the installation and maintenance,” says Rebecca Judy, a Director at Madison Inn.  “It also contributes to the facility, which aids in this transitional environment feeling more welcoming and like a home.”

“For Sustainable Seattle, rain gardens are about more than just the environmental benefits,” says Hannah Kett, Neighborhood Programs Manager. “From installation to maintenance to just enjoying the new green space, these gardens provide a place to build relationships and launch transformation.”



John, the contractor, adjusting downspouts so the
new rain gardens can capture pollutants from the roof. 


PHS first contacted Sustainable Seattle last year after the successful installation at Helen B. Ratcliff through the Sustainable Rain project.  Since then, we have been working together to raise funds and make this project a reality!  It really was a community funded project – take a look at who was involved:

We worked with the RainWise contractor Homegrown Organics and their landscape designer John Coughlan to install the garden – and we could not be more pleased with the results.

Want to be involved and support more projects like this?  Learn more about our current projects--such as the transformation at Highland Park Improvement Club--by contacting us at!

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