Written by:
Elaine Genest

Sarah Pyle

Green Stormwater Program Manager

Pierce Conservation District (PCD)


As Green Stormwater Program Manager, Sarah oversees PCD’s stormwater infrastructure program which helps support priority watersheds by offering grants and assistance to landowners who want to implement sustainable stormwater solutions.

Q: Describe the personal and professional experience that led you to your current role.

A: I started building a deep love for the environment from a young age. Growing up in Louisiana, I always lived close to water. Fishing in marshes and bayous with my dad was a big part of my childhood. These early experiences instilled in me a respect for nature and a desire to protect our environment.

As I nurtured my interest in the environment, I also developed a passion for music during my early years and carried my love for both subjects into my education. In college, I pursued degrees in environmental studies and music performance and went on to obtain a double master’s in performance and musicology.

Though I loved growing my skills and knowledge in the music field, the draw to environmental work remained strong. After grad school, I signed up for an AmeriCorps term at Kitsap Conservation District, which was a game changer. I specialized in installing and maintaining rain gardens–which help filter rainwater runoff before entering our waterways. This experience gave me practical skills and a deeper appreciation for community-based environmental efforts.

Q: What does the day-to-day work of your position look like?

A: As the green stormwater program manager at Pierce Conservation District (PCD), my days are diverse and dynamic. On a given day, you can find me driving to people’s houses and talking to them about our programs, coordinating community volunteer depaving and planting events and creating landscape designs for urban wildlife habitats. Currently, there’s more demand for these solutions than we can support, so I’m responsible for convening a review committee for our annual Green Stormwater Mini Grant program to choose the projects we’ll provide financial assistance for each year.

“It’s not just about installing a rain garden but also about seeing people learn and get excited about sustainability.”

– Sarah Pyle

Q: What do you love most about your job?

A: The educational aspect is incredibly fulfilling. Whether I’m designing a landscape or guiding a homeowner on rain garden installation, my goal is to empower others with knowledge and resources to work toward our shared goal of keeping our local waterways healthy. It’s not just about installing a rain garden but also about seeing people learn and get excited about sustainability. With over 150 site visit requests and over 5,300 plants delivered to sites across the county in 2023 alone, my impact feels very tangible and far-reaching.

Q: What do you find most challenging about your job?

A: Since I’m not originally from the area, learning about a new county has been challenging. During my AmeriCorps service, it took time to connect with a community that I wasn’t as familiar with. Thankfully, I could use the experiences I’d had relocating to new places (I’ve previously lived in Ohio and Oregon) to help me start building deeper connections that would serve me well as I became more embedded with the people and places around me.

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© Kevin Arnold