StormCon Connections

Aaron Clark Makes a Connection

StormCon, the nation’s largest stormwater conference was recently held in Bellevue – first time that this gathering of municipal leaders on stormwater have come to the Pacific Northwest. There is little doubt that this region is a veritable Silicon Valley of green infrastructure solutions to stormwater.

Why do we invest so much in solving stormwater? Perhaps, it is because we are already famous for our rain, or perhaps it is our 100 year history of pioneering innovation from airplanes to coffee to software. We think it is because stormwater exemplifies the kind of complex, wicked problem that, once understood, begs creativity and dedication because individual solutions can cascade down into systems that can heal humanity’s broken relationship with nature. Pretty profound stuff.

In this spirit, a group of non-profit leaders have recently developed a Puget Sound-wide campaign called City Habitats. Started by Stewardship Partners, The Nature Conservancy of Washington, Washington Environmental Council and the City of Seattle, City Habitats has now engaged over 100 partners from across the region and across all sectors. With significant investments and support from The Boeing Company, this network is accelerating and amplifying the region’s cutting-edge leadership in stormwater and green infrastructure through collaborative partnership and coordination of efforts. We are “connecting the dots” by bringing .com’s, .org’s, .gov’s and .edu’s together to share ideas, identify emerging issues and opportunities and avoid reinventing the wheel.

City Habitats was represented at StormCon 2017 with 10 full exhibition booths, loosely organized as a “Village”. We presented solutions, ideas, projects and programs from 13 of our partners. StormCon had never had non-profits, universities or government-led programs participate in the exhibition hall before and the response was resounding: we need to do this every year!

Our participants included: from the .edu, Washington Stormwater Center (WSU and UW-led), UW Green Futures Lab and Evergreen College’s Center of Sustainable Infrastructure to the .gov, RainWise program (Seattle and King County-led) and the Puget Sound Caucus of Conservation Districts, to .org’s TNC, ILFI, Stewardship Partners, Salmon-Safe, ECOSS, Friends of Waterfront Seattle, City Habitats, and Earth Corps, City Habitats is demonstrating that collaboration and innovation are critical to the bold vision of actually solving stormwater.

Salmon-Safe Gelato Time!

Summer means hot days, getting outside and for the second year in a row it means Salmon-Safe Gelatiamo gelato! There are cherry varieties – cherry compote, cherries and cream and a cherry sorbet swirled with sweet cream. Peach sorbet is here and there will be more, once those recipes are perfected.

Gelatiamo owner, Maria Coassin has been crafting her recipes with Salmon-Safe certified Fresh Breeze Dairy of Lynden, WA for many years. Last year the commitment to high-quality products that improve water-quality was expanded by making these varieties with fruit from Salmon-Safe Tonnemaker Farms of Royal City, WA. Look for Gelatimo’s Salmon-Safe featured flavors in its downtown Seattle store and at select retail locations. So good!

Join our Rain Garden Assessment Team!

We are looking for volunteers to help develop and test a Rapid Assessment Protocol for rain gardens.

If you are in or near Thurston, Pierce, Snohomish or Jefferson counties and available to spend 30-60 minutes observing and recording specific elements of your assigned rain garden then we’d love to hear from you.

We will most likely team you up with at least one other volunteer and assign you to assess between 1 and 3 rain gardens in August or September.

Contact Emma by August 11th to learn more or sign up!

Background: Rain gardens are an important tool to clean up polluted runoff throughout Puget Sound. These gardens keep storm water out of the streets, allow time for water to infiltrate into soils and filter out pollutants through plants, organisms and fungi in the soils.

Growing Together: Adopt-a-Buffer Gains Support from Campbell Global

Restoring habitat along the Snoqualmie River is hard work that can be bolstered by a group effort. Thanks to Valley landowners and local businesses, collaboration is becoming much easier through Stewardship Partners’ Adopt-a-Buffer program.

Campbell Global, a Portland-based sustainable timber company that also works in the Snoqualmie Valley, is the latest company to adopt a buffer. The firm was founded in 1981 as The Campbell Group and they bring over three decades of experience and industry knowledge to timberland investment management and value creation.

As the new owner and operator of the 100,000 acre Snoqualmie Forest, Campbell Global is also the largest landowner in the Snoqualmie Valley. This is significant as the watershed supports some of the largest runs of wild Coho in Puget Sound, due in part to an intricate network of beaver ponds in the tributaries that flow through the Snoqualmie Forest. Griffin Creek, one of these tributaries, winds through Full Circle Farm on its way to the Snoqualmie River. Full Circle Farm, a Salmon-Safe certified farm that runs the largest Community Supported Agriculture program in the Northwest, is the site of Campbell Global’s adopted buffer.

We have been actively engaged in restoration at Full Circle Farm since 2004 and are proud of the example it sets for how we can all grow together for a sustainable Snoqualmie Valley and Puget Sound. Campbell Global is dedicated to practices that will protect the watershed as they support our efforts downriver from the Snoqualmie Forest.

Their dedication to the river’s health was apparent on October 6th, when a team of Campbell Global employees spent hours removing invasive blackberry in preparation for planting next spring. This work contributed to the health of “their” buffer that will provide a habitat corridor for wildlife, shade for salmon and protection against winter floods. We are proud of this new partnership that plays a key role in enhancing the health of the Snoqualmie River and all of its inhabitants.

Campbell Global joins the ranks of the Boeing CompanyMicrosoftDuke’s Chowder HouseStarbucks Partners for SustainabilityPatagonia, the Caring Club and multiple agricultural landowners in the Adopt-a-Buffer program. You too can join them by adopting a buffer today.

For more information about Adopt-a-Buffer, please contact Chris LaPointe at