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A Resource Page for Nursery & Landscape Professionals

Low Impact Development (LID) for Nursery and Landscape Professionals

Stormwater is regulated under the federal Clean Water Act administered in Washington State by the Department of Ecology.

Under Department of Ecology’s direction, cities and counties are required to integrate Low Impact Development (LID) into their local development and re-development regulations when they update them. Western Washington will require the use of LID for new development and redevelopment and Eastern Washington will allow the use of LID. Implementation of regulations will be come between 2015 and 2018 with most cities and counties implementing new regulations by December 2016.

What does this mean for landscapers and nurseries?

Stormwater will increasingly be managed with LID rather than conventional management techniques.
LID strives to mimic pre-developed drainage by using on-site natural features, site design, and runoff distribution. LID strategies include bioretention like rain gardens, permeable pavements, runoff dispersion through natural vegetation, and restoration of soil quality and depth.

Get involved! Provide ideas to your local leaders as they develop new policies encouraging or requiring LID. Municipal Research and Services Center of Washington, provides information on city and county officials in the planning department to make contact with in regard to LID.

Low Impact Development Resources

Low Impact Development Trainings

Rain Gardens

Permeable Paving

Plants for Low Impact Development

Books to assist with Low Impact Development

  • Franklin, Jerry F; Dyrness, C.T. Natural Vegetation of Oregon and Washington, U.S. Forest Service, 1973
  • Kruckeburg, Arthur. Natural History of Puget Sound Country, University of Washington Press, 1995.
  • Kruckeburg, Arthur. Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, 1996.
  • Kozloff, Eugene N. Plants and Animals of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington Press, 1988.
  • Pojar, Jim and Mackinnon, Andy. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.

Recorded Low Impact Development Webinars

In Spring of 2013 the Department of Ecology funded three free webinars about three prominent features of LID landscapes: plants, raingardens and bioretention, and permeable pavement. The webinars also included information about upcoming regulatory changes that will increase the use of LID, the schedule for regulatory implementation, the opportunities for landscape and nursery professionals, and how to prepare. The webinars included presentation and discussion from experienced landscape, nursery and industry professionals.

Plant Selection and Propagation for Low Impact Development

Webinar presenters discuss techniques for selecting plants, broadening the plant palette and growing native plants appropriate for LID in a nursery setting.  Peggy Gaynor - An award winning Landscape Architect, Gaynor focuses on restorative design, restoration, public engagement and public art. Examples of Gaynor’s work include Thorton Creek Water Quality Channel, Carkeek Cascade Natural Drainage System, Viewlands Cascade Natural Drainage System, and ‘Reflective Refuge’ at Meadowbrook Pond. Learn more about Gaynor’s work at

Len Ballek – Currently a Senior Ecologist at Herrera, Ballek helped found native plant nursery Bitterroot to provide native plant restoration services. Ballek specializes in seed collection, plant propagation, development of innovative restoration techniques, wetland mitigation, stream bank stabilization, erosion control, habitat enhancement, exotic vegetation control, out-planting techniques and success monitoring.

Structure, Maintenance and Opportunities for Rain Gardens and Bioretention Facilities

Ever wonder what the difference is between rain gardens and bioretention facilities? Presenters explain the differences of these two types of LID facilities along with their structure and maintenance requirements, and present experience and insight on preparing your business to install and maintain rain gardens as well as market them. Chris Webb – Is a licensed professional civil engineer and LEED Fellow with Maul, Foster & Alongi, Inc. His technical expertise and professional experience are focused on the promotion and implementation of systems and technologies that support sustainable development. He currently serves on the technical advisory committee for the 2012 Eastern Washington LID manual and was on the Advisory Committee of the 2005 LID Technical Guidance Manual for Puget Sound. Some of his notable projects include the Stillaguamish Department of Natural Resources offices and water quality lab—Arlington, WA and Taylor 28 Apartments, rainwater reuse, pervious pavement, and rain gardens—Seattle, WA.

Jessi Bloom – An award winning landscape professional, Jessi comes from a strong background of horticulture and environmental science with a degree in Wetland Science and Management from the University of Washington.  Before starting her business, Jessi organized restoration projects with community volunteers for the King Conservation District.  Jessi has designed and installed hundreds of rain gardens including King County’s largest residential rain garden in Kirkland. She teaches rain garden workshops to professionals and homeowners for Washington State University Extension, Seattle Public Utilities and at the North West Garden Show. Jessi is now a best-selling author of Free Range Chicken Gardens (Timber Press 2012) and is co-author of The Wetland Handbook: A Community Guide to Growing Native Plants (King Conservation District).

Permeable Pavements Slow Stormwater Runoff

Permeable pavements have the potential to play a major role in slowing and preventing stormwater runoff. This webinar describes the products available, their structural requirements and the experiences of a landscape professional incorporating permeable pavements into their business.   Rick Crooks - Rick is the Director of Business Development at Mutual Materials Company, a Pacific Northwest producer of masonry and hardscape products headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. His current responsibility is to provide masonry and hardscape system information to Puget Sound design professionals. Rick has been a nationally respected instructor of quality assurance and special masonry inspection using curriculum developed by The Masonry Society (TMS). Rick holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Utah.

Zsofia Pasztor – Zsofia Pasztor is the owner of Innovative Landscape Technologies and founder of Farmer Frog. She teaches horticulture at Edmonds Community College. She is an award winning landscape designer, certified Low-Impact-Development (LID) designer and construction consultant, wetland delineator, certified professional horticulturist, certified tree risk assessor, and a certified arborist. As a consultant, she often works with bioretention solutions, vegetated roofs, living walls, edible gardens and integrated design principles. Zsofia is the past-president of the Sustainable Development Task Force of Snohomish County (SDTF), a member of the Rain Garden Coalition of Snohomish County, on the Sno-King Watershed Council and a member of the Curriculum Board for Edmonds Community College.  
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