Creating Seattle's Largest Living Wall

Photos by Marissa Singleton

As an industrial zoned region located next to the Duwamish River, a newly added Superfund site, Georgetown residents are burdened with a few less than desirable environmental factors. A big concern for Georgetown residents is centered around declining air quality due to industrial facilities, frequent freight trains and large diesel trucks. After years of research, it is believed that residents living in South Seattle are expected to live 13 years less than those who live in other neighborhoods. In addition, the rates of childhood asthma in South Seattle are found to be the highest in the entire city. With more and more evidence clearly pointing out a public health issue for Georgetown residents, it became apparent that action was necessary. 

King County Wastewater Treatment Division, Just Health Action, and Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition joined forces and began researching potential solutions to air quality issues. This lead to the development of a 126 feet long and 13 feet high green wall in front of CDL Recycle facility in Georgetown. The green wall will help filter harmful toxins from the air with carefully selected plants to improve air-quality in industrial neighborhoods. On October 22nd, volunteers came together to begin planting vines near the wall which will slowly grow up the 13 foot tall structure. View the picture slideshow above to see volunteers in action and stay tuned for photo updates on the living green wall. 

Making a Difference One Rain Garden at a Time

October 22nd was a successful (and sunny) day for communities and Puget Sound! Make a Difference Day (MDDAY) is a one of the largest annual single-days of volunteer service nationwide. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and dedicated partners, we truly witnessed the difference happen right before our eyes. Check out the amazing outcomes from a few of the MDDAY projects and see the photos from each event. 

MDDAY Project Outcomes

8 Rain gardens
1 Green Wall (Seattle’s longest at 136 feet in length!).
4,000 sq. ft + of depaved space planted with native plants.
150 Rain Barrels
Around 3000 plants planted
Around 300 volunteers

A rough estimation of the combine impacts of these MDDAY projects will be able to reduce about 473,000 gallons of polluted runoff that enters Puget Sound each year. That’s a half a million gallons of harmful pollution being redirected to attractive, healthy garden spaces that was made possible by hard working volunteers and dedicated staff from many organizations! 

 Read more about the success of a few these projects below


After removing 4,000 square feet of unsightly pavement from two asphalt islands in Tacoma, staff from Pierce Conservation District and City of Tacoma led a group of 90 volunteers, including staff from Lowes and KING5, who planted hundreds of trees and shrubs to beautify this space.  By removing this impervious pavement the site will allow 86,400 gallons of rainwater to naturally infiltrate into the ground, water the plants, and reduce the amount of pollution each year.  

Photos by Christin Hilton, Conservancy Urban Partnership Director


Around 40 volunteers helped Kitsap Conservation District and the Conservancy to plant 6 residential rain gardens complete with native and edible plants! These rain gardens will help clean Liberty Bay by reducing the amount of polluted run off that flows into this body of water. 

Photos by Emily Howe, Conservancy Aquatics Ecologist

Mill Creek

Volunteers from Lowes Heroes, KING5 News, and Phillips Law Firm participated in some friendly competition while building rain barrels for MDDAY.  The barrels used were re-purposed from containers for fruit juice concentrate, complete with a fruit punch aroma. After a demonstration from Snohomish Conservation District staff, these fast working volunteers built 150 rain barrels in less than 2 hours! Rain barrels help the environment by capturing rain water that flows off of rooftops before it runoffs onto roads and driveways, where it picks up pollutants and eventually flows into Puget Sound. 

Photos by Kat Mogan, Puget Sound Communication Partnership Manager

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