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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More in News

King County logo
Auditors find racial disparities in King County contracts

BIPOC-owned businesses earn contract bids at a much lower rate than white-owned businesses.

courtesy of Studio East
Studio East presents “Shakespeare in the Park,” as first in-person performance in 16 months

Twelfth Night – Shakespeare in the Park, Performing at Juanita Beach Park June 18-20, 2021

Artist rendering of the park (courtesy of City of Kirkland)
132nd Square Park improvements to begin construction in July

The $8.35 million project will add new park amenities and surface water improvements.

Graphic rendering of ADU design used for Renton’s Permit Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit program (courtesy of City of Renton)
Backyard cottages might offer a partial solution to King County’s housing problem

Some cities are embracing the solution better than others.

Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)
WA firefighters brace for potentially busy weekend

Washington state Department of Natural Resources firefighters were preparing for what could… Continue reading

Kathy Lambert (courtesy of kathylambert.com)
King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert announces campaign for re-election

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

Jeff Duchin, Seattle - King County Public Health officer, said when considering whether to wear a mask indoors in public spaces, people should understand their risk based on local coronavirus activity and make decisions based on their own risk tolerance. (Getty images)
Should you keep masking up if you’re vaccinated?

Think about it, says King County’s top doctor.

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17, 2020, at the state Capitol in Olympia. File photo
Open-carry of weapons now illegal at state Capitol, rallies

A new law bars people from carrying guns within 250 feet of a permitted demonstration.

(Pixabay.com)
As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

WSP trooper said a THC breathalyzer would be a “game changer” for law enforcement and courts.

E. coli. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Seven King County children sickened with E. coli

Seven children in King County have been infected with E. coli, a… Continue reading