Lafayette’s 1st Street Rain Garden: A Step Towards a Greener Future

Lafayette, California is taking significant strides towards environmental sustainability with the construction of a rain garden on First Street.

Scheduled to open in November 2023, this project marks a commitment to preserving the city’s natural resources while providing a passive park for residents to enjoy.

The Bay Area Telegraph visited the construction site of the new rain garden recently. In this blog post, we’ll explore the details of the project, its benefits, and what it means for the future of Lafayette.

Contract Award and Construction Details

At a meeting on August 8, 2022, the Lafayette City Council awarded a contract to Grade Tech Inc., valued at $546,883.00, for the construction of the rain garden project.

This decision came after the original low bidder withdrew its bid. The garden will be located at the southwest corner of First Street and Golden Gate Way.

Construction underway

What is a Rain Garden?

A rain garden, also known as a bio-retention basin, is a landscaped area designed to collect and treat stormwater runoff. Rain gardens use natural processes to remove pollutants from the water, which ultimately protects local creeks and the bay from contamination. By incorporating native plants and specialized soils, these gardens not only enhance local biodiversity but also help to manage water resources efficiently.

Project Features and Benefits

The First Street rain garden will serve multiple purposes. It will treat stormwater runoff from a portion of Golden Gate Way, which helps to improve the water quality of local creeks and the bay. Additionally, the garden will provide a beautiful, passive park for residents to gather, with picturesque views of the creek.

One of the key features of this project is the inclusion of educational signage. These signs will explain how bio-retention facilities work and their positive impact on water quality. This educational aspect aims to raise awareness about the importance of environmental conservation and inspire further initiatives in the community.

A Greener Future for Lafayette

The First Street rain garden is a significant investment in the future of Lafayette. By prioritizing environmental sustainability and education, this project demonstrates the city’s commitment to protecting its natural resources. As the garden flourishes, it will serve as a model for future sustainable initiatives in the area and provide a space for residents to connect with nature and learn about the importance of environmental stewardship.


The First Street rain garden in Lafayette is an exciting project that combines environmental conservation with community engagement. As construction continues, residents can look forward to the opening of this unique space in November 2023. The garden will serve as a reminder of the importance of preserving our environment and provide a beautiful, educational setting for everyone to enjoy.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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