New Perspectives: Community Outreach

Hi! My name is Claire and I am the new summer Outreach Intern for Stewardship Partners. I grew up here in Seattle, but am now attending Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, studying Spanish and Communication. Growing up in Seattle, I have always been around people who are dedicated to protecting the environment. During my time in Texas is has become clear that not every city, or state, are as environmentally conscious as we are here in Seattle and in Washington in general. My school barely recycles, nonetheless composts. It is because of this that I realized that I had a passion for sustainability and working to protect the environment. I am happy to be working with an organization like Stewardship Partners for the summer so I can get involved in the community of environmental organizations in Seattle.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to my first farmers market in West Seattle, to talk to people about our programs. It was a nice sunny day, and we were able to talk to a lot of people. I must have forgotten that we were in Seattle and not in Texas, because I was surprised that many people were actually very interested in the work we were doing. Thinking about it now, it makes sense that people from Seattle wanted to learn about our programs and how they could help.

When I was talking to people about our 12,000 Rain Gardens Campaign, it also surprised me how many people knew what a rain garden was, and how many people already had them or were in the process of getting one. Even the kids I talked to knew what one was. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know what a rain garden was before I started this internship. Once again, looking back, I shouldn’t have been surprised. These are Seattlites; this is a city that understands the connections between health, environment and personal choices. It made me understand how important it is for us to continue to demonstrate creative, cutting-edge solutions to issues that we all face.  This market really made me proud to be a part of the community that is this city, and I can’t wait to get out there again this weekend and talk to more people.

Salmon-Safe Standards for Shoreline

We are happy to announce that Salmon-Safe Urban Standards have been imbedded in the City of Shoreline’s Deep Green Building Standards. Shoreline defines “deep green” as the most stringent standards for green building certification available through the International Living Future Institute, Built Green, US Green Building Council, and Salmon Safe. Even though these are the highest levels of certification available through each agency, the program still articulates a hierarchy, with most difficult certifications to achieve listed in Tier 1 and stepping down to Tier 3. Tier 1 projects would be eligible for a greater level of incentives than Tier 3, such as a 100% waiver of application fees as opposed to 50%.

This is an important first step in our region where jurisdictions have typically only provided incentives for individual buildings and have not prioritized site ecology and stormwater management as factors for expedited permitting or floor area ratio to maximize investment. Salmon-Safe continues to fill a gap left wide open by other certification programs that do not require the same level of rigor in terms of clean water for salmon and ecological function in the built environment.

We’d like to thank Miranda Redinger, Senior Planner with the City of Shoreline, their Planning Commission along with our colleagues at King County Green Tools, Built Green and the Living Future Institute for their collective efforts in moving the dial with us towards a healthier Puget Sound.

See link to learn more about the Deep Green policy.

Featured Feast on the Farm 2017 Auction Items

Below is a small selection of live auction items that will be featured at this year’s Feast. We will have many more live and silent auctions available on Thursday!

Annual Fish of the Feast
Cliff Goodman is a glass artist with over 30 years experience in creating fine glass sculptures that reflect the beauty of the natural world. He founded Seattle Glassblowing Studio in 1991, in the tradition of the studio glass movement. After beginning his career in glass in 1976, Cliff studied alongside glass master, Fritz Driesbach, and attended the famous Pilchuck School. Currently, his artwork is featured in collections around the world. Up for auction this evening is, the annual Fish of the Feast, a one-of-a -kind glass salmon sculpture. This stunning centerpiece combines the beauty of salmon with the meticulous craftmanship of Cliff and his team.

Blue Peter Yacht Party
The Blue Peter is a 96ft. fantail yacht designed by Ted Geary and built by Lake Union Dry Dock in 1928. The yacht has three double staterooms, two single staterooms and a very welcoming aft deck that comfortably handles a large group of people for an early evening cruise. She has been owned by the Barbo family for 16 years and by the McCurdy family for 54 years before that. Blue Peter got its name from the blue flag with a white square in the middle that was used by the British Navy to signal everyone to return to the ship prior to sailing.


Operate the Scoreboard at Safeco Field
Join the Safeco Field staff in operating the manual scoreboard. You will have a great view of the field that gets you close to the action and the visiting bullpen! A must for any baseball fan! Complete with a bobblehead of Felix Hernandez. Go Mariners!


Two days in the other Washington

Our intrepid crewI found myself in what was a departure from my well worn paths across the Puget Sound region. I was joining a group of colleagues to talk with national leadership and decision makers  about the health of Puget Sound and how their  voice and actions were critical to protecting the Salish Sea, the nation’s largest estuary. Our visit was both timely and impactful. Our team represented a partnership from many nonprofit, for profit, public and private organizations. We arrived carrying the weight that our progress to-date has been slow, balanced with excitement because momentum is gaining and the tide is turning. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS.

During our whirlwind visit, we met with many elected leaders including, Congressmen Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer and Rick Larson, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Senator Patty Murray. We also spent time with EPA staff who have been dedicated to the health of Puget Sound and other water bodies. Their bold vision and dedication have brought positive impacts, not just for the ecosystem, but for our economy and community. I am grateful to have had this opportunity to thank them for their hard work. We left  inspired, knowing that our local innovations are having an impact, but also with our minds more clearly around the importance of continued collaboration with our federal agency partners along with the local landowners and regional leaders that we usually collaborate with.

I have gained a deeper appreciation for the incredible team that I work with locally. When we first arrived in D.C., we were greeted by the words of Puget Sound Partnerships executive director, Sheida Sahandy. “This group of allies is a family.” I have often felt this way, but the sentiment rings even more true  after this lobbying effort. Each partner is unique, has distinct talents and proclivities and we really do cheer for each other. Our shared love for the work that we do for the amazing place called Puget Sound, it’s people, it’s water, it’s land, it’s air, and many other inhabitants, ties us together.

As a region, there is so much pride, love and respect for our Pacific Northwest home. Sometimes, we don’t agree on the best path forward, but still agree on the goal of a healthy and resilient region full of opportunities. So with that, after spending two days on the other coast thanking federal leaders who may not often hear those words, I turn to you, our friends and partners and want to extend my thanks to you as well.

We are grateful for this Stewardship Partners community that truly is shining a bright green beacon for all to see. 

Sincerely, Dr Aaron Clark

Puget Sound Partnership Press Release

Puget Sound Success Stories

Terra Blanca – A Vineyard’s Salmon-Safe Story

Terra Blanca Winery sits atop an arid, treeless slope known as Red Mountain next to the Yakima River in Central Washington. Owners Keith and ReNae Pilgrim, who purchased the vineyard in 1992, sought a third-party certification that highlighted their environmentally responsible practices.  About 10 years ago, they found their perfect fit in Salmon-Safe.

Although they qualified for organic certification, they were concerned that organic wines often go for a lower price point. In the long run, they envisioned a marketing opportunity for their small eco-region, where over 15 wineries are located. The idea is that area vineyards could take advantage of their small appellation by collectively adopting Salmon-Safe practices, benefiting from the marketing resources offered under the eco-label. Keith appreciates the approach, “Stewardship Partners and Salmon-Safe work with farmers, considering where they are at first, to develop a truly workable plan.”

Salmon-Safe also provides a vehicle for Terra Blanca to support a conservation organization that shares its values. “We can ship a bottle across the country and even if the recipient does not know the Salmon-Safe label specifically, they see the logo and know that it was produced in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Farming consciously to minimize harm is what it all boils down to; “Reducing our use of chemicals is convenient – even if the chemical in question is Ivory Soap – Salmon-Safe makes things easier because it fosters a system that causes minimal disruption. Basically, we try to take care of one problem without creating others.” Keith also strategically places plants that pests prefer next to his grapes. Cutworms, for example, prefer mustard over grape vines. “We provide better choices for these insects. It’s like good parenting.”

With the Yakima River just across the road, Terra Blanca is very mindful of all water run-off by containing it in two ponds on the property. Keith, an avid fly-fisherman, always keeps the health of the river in mind.

In terms of soil and water conservation, rigorous application of compost helps retain water and keep dust down in the dry central Washington climate. “Our goal is to put back in to the soil each year what the previous year’s crop had taken out; nitrogen being the primary nutrient we are most often trying to replace.”

To promote biodiversity, the winery cultivates a natural sagebrush habitat between vineyard blocks. “We have healthy populations of chucker and quail, dens of coyotes and some deer that visit in the winter. We work with the resources we have; like using grape skins to keep dust down on the roads. This creates a warm layer that ducks use throughout the winter.”

While this work can be hard, Salmon-Safe farming practices helps Terra Blanca grow grapes that produce flavorful wines they are striving to create while giving back to the land. If you are interested in learning more about Salmon-Safe vineyards and farming practices, please contact Amelia at To learn more about Terra Blanca, please contact Jordan Neuhaus at