Water Smart

Watershed Girl

Learn about our local watershed and keeping it healthy through sustainable gardening techniques.

Urban Water Pollution

When it rains or we water our gardens, the excess water carries pollutants into the storm drains. The storm drains connect directly to local streams and lakes, ending up in Puget Sound.

Toxins from our yards, gardens and streets, like fertilizers and pesticides, bacteria from animal waste, motor oil, soap are transported into the watershed,  poisoning fish and our marine ecosystem.

Much of Seattle operates on a dated drainage system that links stormwater and sewage lines. During big storms, storm drains overflow and mix with sewage water, yielding an even more potent pollution cocktail that is deposited directly into our local bodies of water.


The good news is that individuals can do a lot to stem this pollution. The garden is a great place to take action! By using sustainable gardening principles, Seattle residents can save money and grow beautiful landscapes while protecting the water we all share.

This summer, Seattle Tilth is offering free educational workshops  and delivering free resource kits to eligible residents. These resources will encourage practices that improve water health for the whole community.  Details TBA, or, if interested contact Maren Neldam at marenneldam@seattletilth.org or (206) 633-0451 ext. 109.

Thanks to the Russell Family Foundation for supporting the Water Smart program.

Maren Neldam recently joined the Environmental Programs team after 3.5 years maintaining learning gardens and inspiring a love for worms and kale as a Seattle Tilth children’s garden educator in SE Seattle. She is so excited to share her love for the natural world and the science of decomposition with others. Before joining Seattle Tilth, she studied at the University of Washington, spent several years working on organic farms in Vermont and the Snoqualmie Valley, and coordinated experiential education programs for elementary aged children. She believes that growing and cooking food can be a powerful vehicle for social change and everyone should spend a little time in the soil. Outside of work, she spends time making art, cooking from the garden and adventuring around the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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