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What's new in Surface Water?

Spring 2019
City of Bothell’s Surface Water Division works to protect our local streams through storm system inspection, maintenance, construction oversight, stream monitoring, and education and outreach opportunities to foster healthy watershed stewardship. 

Spring has sprung, and we are starting to see more bursts of green pop up alongside our streams. Plants play a critical role in helping capture rainwater and filter out pollutants so they don't end up in our streams. Check out what’s going on with Surface Water this spring.


Volunteer events

Apr. 20: Earth Day at North Creek Forest

City of Bothell is joining Friends of North Creek Forest for an Earth Day volunteer event! Get your boots on and join us on Apr. 20 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to give part of the forest a makeover. You’ll help remove invasive plants from an area of the forest, then you’ll spread fresh mulch and plant lots of young native species in that same area. We will provide gloves, shovels, buckets, loppers, and refreshments. You bring your sturdy shoes and your willingness to do something good for the environment. Sign up online at

Apr. 27: Arbor Day at the former Wayne Golf Course

Join the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at their annual Arbor Day volunteer event on Apr. 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Help beautify Bothell's newest park, the former Wayne Golf Course, by planting trees and shrubs. All ages are welcome. Equipment is provided, but please bring gloves and shovels if you have them. Learn more at

Puget Sound Starts Here logo

Change your habits for Puget Sound Starts Here Month

May is Puget Sound Starts Here Month, a time for us to celebrate our connection to Puget Sound and our local bodies of water. We all share Puget Sound and our local lakes, rivers and streams – and everything they have to offer. We ride and play in its waters, harvest its bounties and marvel at its beauty. The region is also home to countless species, including orcas, sea lions, salmon and shellfish, along with 4.5 million people. Learn small changes you can make to help protect this extraordinary resource at 

Survive the Sound

Cast your vote for the winning fish

In May, as part of Puget Sound Starts Here Month, we’re participating in Survive the Sound. It’s an interactive online game where we follow our favorite fish character for five days as it migrates through Puget Sound. The game uses real data collected as part of Long Live the Kings' research efforts to tell the story of imperiled steelhead and the challenges they face during migration. During the journey, you'll develop a deeper connection to your local environment, encouraging you to take action to protect it. Last year we sponsored Sammy, a tough old pirate-ish steelhead. He didn’t fare so well and ended up dying not farrrrrrr from where he started. So this year we want you to choose our fish. Meet the candidates and “cast” your vote at   

What does 435 yards of mulch look like?

It looks like a beautiful thing, that’s for sure! Our Storm Operations crew has been working hard to help protect the habitat next to Horse Creek by the Sammamish River. Just this year, they have spread over 14 dump truck/trailer loads of mulch to absorb rain, protect the plants, preserve water quality, and keep weeds away. They’ve also put a number of new plants in the ground that are still delicate, so please be sure that you (or your dog) don’t step on them. The next time you’re walking along the creek, take a look around to admire the beauty. Hard work pays off!

Storm Operations spreading mulch
Dump truck dropping mulch
Storm Operations planting trees
Spring shoots coming up through ground

Spring lawn and garden care

Spring is such an exciting time for your yard! Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start, but here are some basic natural yard care tips for this season:

  • Prepare new planting beds for flowers and vegetables by mixing in 1 to 3 inches of compost.
  • Buy plants that resist disease and use less water. Look for species native to the Pacific Northwest.
  • April and May are great times to overseed and topdress your lawn with compost or amend your soil.
  • Consider holding off on using natural organic or slow-release synthetic fertilizers until fall. Fertilizing now just makes faster growth, which means more mowing.
  • Set mowing heights between 2 and 3 inches for most lawns, and grasscycle (leave the clippings on the lawn) so the clippings can act as free and natural fertilizer.

Questions? Call the Garden Hotline at 206-633-0224 or visit to ask questions about seasonal lawn and garden care. Want to attend a workshop right here in Bothell? Right now we're determining which topics to cover, so stay tuned for more information about our Natural Yard Care workshops happening in September.  

King and Snohomish conservation district logos

What can your conservation district do for you? 

Conservation Districts were established across Washington State in the 1940’s to help landowners protect land, water, forests, wildlife, and related natural resources through responsible stewardship. The laws established in Chapter 89.08 RCW govern their purpose, powers, duties, and restrictions for protecting these important natural resources. City staff work with King Conservation District and Snohomish Conservation District to provide you with guidance, technical assistance, and outreach programs to help your conservation efforts succeed. Learn about their “better ground” initiative and the many services available to you at and   

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Save the date for Sustainamania

Summer seems far away, but we’re already planning for this year’s Sustainamania, Bothell’s yearly sustainability festival! Mark your calendars for Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Interested in hosting a booth, sponsoring, or volunteering? Visit for details.

Learn more about City of Bothell's Surface Water Division.

Report spills 24/7 by calling 425-806-6750.

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