Greenroads Certified Bronze

Bellingham Raingardens: East Champion Street



The project upgrades East Champion Street in the downtown business district with stormwater quality upgrades and selected pedestrian improvements. Improvements include native greenspace and pedestrian amenities.

Owner: City of Bellingham, WA

Design: City of Bellingham, WA

Landscaping: SvR Design Company

Contractor: Stremler Gravel

Approximate Cost: $252,057 (allocated for this street segment from the final project cost of $955,717)

Improved Area: 3 intersections (12 corners)

Length: 0.14 mi (0.28 lane-miles)

Functional Class: Arterial

Greenroads Version: v1.5


The City of Bellingham installed 9 raingardens (bioretention facilities) on East Champion Street right in the center of downtown Bellingham, and upgraded pedestrian safety and accessibility with bulb-outs at 2 other select crossings. East Champion Street is a part of a one-way couple with another project in the Bellingham Raingardens Certification Program, East Magnolia Street.

Over the next 20 years, the Project will:

  • Treat and control water from 30 acres of the downtown business district
  • Treat and control more than 3.7 million gallons of water from more than 12.5 acres of previously untreated pollution generating surfaces
  • Remove more than 6,100 lbs of total suspended solids (TSS).

As a small street improvements project with an overall budget of less than $1 million, 96% of East Champion Street remained in place and was preserved as-is with street repairs of 3,600 square feet localized only around the work areas. The City demonstrated that the pavements were in serviceable condition without expected need for maintenance within the next 5 years according to their asset management program. A major feature of the project was also 2,200 square feet of bioretention facilities at the intersection of Ellis and Garden Streets, which helped increase the overall vegetated area by more than 25% from previous conditions along Champion Street as a whole. 

Overall, the entire CBD Raingardens program boasts an average recycled content of more than 31.2% by weight. Recycled content was verified in the concrete sidewalk, curb and gutter and inlet splash block materials. The City made this happen by specifying in the contract that 50% recycled content by weight was allowed for aggregate replacement in the sidewalk materials and bioretention facilities and allowed up to 20% recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) in the pavement materials.

For an example copy of the specifications, please contact the City of Bellingham Public Works. Read more about this project here.

A Champion Raingarden at Champion St & Garden St. How fitting.

Champion at State Intersection Improvements at all corners.

A key corner of Champion Street (at Ellis and Garden) 2200sf effective bioretention area

Champion Street has the largest bioretention facility of all 4 streets in CBD Raingardens Program

A part of the bioretention facilities at Champion & Garden