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SFPUC Announces Completion of Sunset Boulevard Green Infrastructure Project

Sunset Boulevard Green Infrastructure

SFPUC Contact:                                                                 
Will Reisman                                                                        

September 20, 2021

SFPUC Announces Completion of Sunset Boulevard
Green Infrastructure Project
Recently finished undertaking features nearly two miles of landscape improvements that will help reduce stormwater entering the sewer system

San Francisco, CA – New rain gardens featuring drought tolerant plants, the installation of informational signs and the creation of an educational learning lab are all part of the recently competed Sunset Boulevard Greenway, a green infrastructure project managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and designed by San Francisco Public Works aimed at improving stormwater management along a two-mile stretch of Sunset Boulevard.

Running 12 blocks on Sunset Boulevard from Irving Avenue to Ulloa Boulevard, the undertaking includes 30 new rain gardens and is projected to manage 5.3 million gallons of stormwater annually, greatly reducing the impact on the City’s aging sewer system.

“The Sunset Boulevard Greenway is another example of how the SFPUC is responsibly managing our stormwater while at the same time creating our next generation of environmental stewards in the City,” said SFPUC Acting General Manager Michael Carlin. “We are capturing millions of gallons of rainwater before it runs into our sewer system and the educational components of this project will hopefully inspire our students and younger residents to be champions of sustainable and responsible water practices.”

The 30 rain gardens installed along Sunset Boulevard will capture stormwater runoff from the surrounding streets off Sunset Boulevard and 37th Avenue. Plants and soil absorb that water, reducing the amount of runoff entering the sewer system. Collectively, the rain gardens cover nearly 30,000 square feet along the thoroughfare. The gardens are comprised of native and drought tolerant plants that were chosen for their resilience during both wet and dry weather conditions.

“Sunset Boulevard is both an iconic landmark for our neighborhood, and a critical ecological resource,” said San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar, whose district includes Sunset Boulevard. “These rain gardens are a beautiful, sustainable investment both in the vitality of our boulevard, and the resilience of the critical Westside Groundwater Basin. And with this component of the Sunset Boulevard Master Plan complete, we’re excited to soon bring more investments to the boulevard.”

In addition to the rain gardens, the Sunset Boulevard Greenway project also incorporates educational elements, including an interpretative sign and a community space learning lab. The sign will include a history of the historic watershed in the neighborhood.

The project also includes an educational component for local youth. The educational learning lab is located near St. Ignatius College Preparatory and Giannini Middle School and provides local youth a new and exciting community to sit and experience green infrastructure firsthand.

Green infrastructure projects are a crucial element of the SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program, a multiyear citywide investment to upgrade and improve the City’s sewer system.  The SFPUC’s green infrastructure program was spurred on by the City’s Stormwater Management Ordinance, a groundbreaking initiative to more efficiently capture and store the City’s rainwater.

SFPUC’s green infrastructure projects, along with innovative private projects developed through the Stormwater Management Ordinance, bring the City one step closer to its goal of capturing 1 billion gallons of stormwater using green infrastructure by 2050. 

In 2019, the SFPUC announced the launch of its Green Infrastructure Grant Program, a funding initiative available for both public and private properties in San Francisco for projects that manage stormwater runoff from a minimum impervious area of 0.5 acres. Residents can learn more about the grant program here.

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates and delivers clean power for municipal buildings, residential customers, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at