The Bendich residence on the Lake Washington shore in Kirkland has had modifications to the backyard and shoreline to make the property more environmentally sustainable. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

Kirkland, Washington Sea Grant partner to help homeowners restore Lake Washington shoreline

Kirkland has become the first city in the state to partner with Washington Sea Grant in its new Green Shores for Homes (GSH) initiative, aimed at helping homeowners restore their shorelines by getting rid of bulkheads and installing environmentally friendly habitats.

Washington Sea Grant Coastal Management Specialist Nicole Faghin said the bulkheads, which have the appearance of retaining walls, can cause starvation of the habitat. She added that property owners have also had issues with bulkhead erosion, causing frustration on their end. She sees the GSH program as a “win-win” solution for property owners and shoreline sustainability.

“Ninety percent of (Lake Washington) has bulkheads,” Faghin said of the properties surrounding the lake.

One of the first residents to take advantage of the program is Pam Bendich, whose home is located on the Lake Washington shore in Kirkland.

“We used this as our petrie dish, so to speak,” Faghin said.

Paul Broadhurst of Broadhurst and Associates served as the designer for the project and used abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky’s “Composition VIII” as the inspiration for remodeling the backyard and the shoreline.

“I was blessed to have a creative client,” he said of Bendich. “We had an opportunity here.”

The Bendich property’s 150-foot concrete bulkhead was removed, and 85 feet were replaced with boulders. The backyard was then resloped and revegetated with native plants; Broadhurst said about 95 percent of the plants in the new backyard are native.

The shoreline was recontoured with a mix of cobble and gravel. The top gravel layer is meant to enhance the shallow water habitat for salmon.

These kinds of updates are key parts of the GSH program, which is meant to encourage those with waterfront property across Washington state to make environmental sustainability a key factor in remodeling plans.

“We want people to realize their shorelines could look like this,” Faghin said.

The partnership with the City of Kirkland allows homeowners to take advantage of incentives in the permitting process for following the GSH guidelines. Because this partnership is in place, any Kirkland property owners interested in participating the program can start by contacting either GSH staff of City of Kirkland Planning Department staff.

“We want to improve the shoreline and provide as much flexibility as possible for homeowners,” City of Kirkland planning director Eric Shields said of the city’s reasoning for getting involved with the GSH program. “We’re very happy to do this.”

So far, two Kirkland property owners have taken advantage of the program, and City of Kirkland Shoreline Planner Christian Geitz said the other homeowner is “just as happy as Pam is.”

Tools for homeowners to develop environmental, recreational, scenic and shoreline benefits on their property are available on the GSH website, greenshoresforhomes.org. Faghin said the program provides templates and other guidance for those who are interested in participating.

A full case study of the Bendich remodel can be found on the GSH website as “Lake Washington Residence #1.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

City of Kirkland Shoreline Planner Christian Geitz speaks as property owner Pam Bendich listens during an event at her home. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

Designer Paul Broadhurst speaks as Washington Sea Grant Coastal Management Specialist Nicole Faghin listens during an event at the Bendich residence. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

Pam Bendich unveils the Green Shores for Homes plaque on her property in Kirkland. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

The Bendich property is one of the first in Kirkland and Washington state to take part in the Green Shores for Homes program. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

An estimated 95 percent of the plants in the Bendiches’ backyard are native. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

Trees were planted in the backyard of the Bendich residence as part of the remodel. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

The backyard of the Bendich residence looked like this before the remodel. The Watershed Company / Contributed photo

More in News

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Inslee mask graphic
Free mask event for King County residents, Aug. 4 in Bellevue

The drive-thru distribution event will offer two masks per person

Primary election 2020: Who will emerge as Inslee’s challenger?

Voting ends Tuesday in an election without big rallies and fund-raisers and face-to-face debates

Sex ed, local control at heart of race for WA state schools chief

Incumbent Chris Reykdal faces five foes who argue he’s pushing too many state policies on school districts.

A man fishes off a dock at David E. Brink Park in Kirkland, 2018. Aaron Kunkler/Staff photo
City closes two piers due to large gatherings

Starting July 29, Kirkland will be closing piers at Houghton Beach Park and David Brink Park

Back in 2017, local youngster cools off at the sprinkler park at Lee Johnson Field in downtown Kirkland. Now amidst the pandemic, the field is being used for another alternative: after-dark, socially distanced games and activities. File photo/ Samantha Pak
City announces changes to park use, dock use due to COVID-19

Lee Johnson Field will open for evening activities, 6 to 11 p.m., waterfront parks, docks and piers will close daily at 9p.m

(files)
County Fire Marshal issues burn ban

Dry conditions and high heats are in the forecast this week

Most Read