The Snoqualmie Valley has been home to the Snoqualmie Tribe (Sdukwalbixw) since time immemorial. Long before European explorers came to the Pacific Northwest, Snoqualmie people hunted deer and elk, fished for salmon and gathered berries and wild plants for food and medicine. By comparison, Stewardship Partners’ Snoqualmie Stewardship program has been restoring agricultural land in the valley merely for the past 15 years. We have been partnering with the Tribe’s Environmental and Natural Resources (ENR) program for much of that time, planting native trees and shrubs and removing noxious weeds along the river, as we educate the broader community, connecting them to their land and water. Through this partnership our relatively new role is connected to a much older stewardship tradition.
One of our earliest joint-projects supported ENR’s mission to restore traditional ecological knowledge by planting species historically used by the tribe for harvests and medicine along the river at Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center. Our latest collaboration addresses the problem of stormwater pollution by building a demonstration rain garden at Carnation Elementary School; adding to several green infrastructure installations that ENR has constructed on tribal property. This rain garden will treat approximately 150,000 gallons of runoff annually from 6,500 sq. ft. of the school’s roof. This project will give students a real-world example of green infrastructure that improves water quality and create green space. ENR’s toolkit for conserving the Snoqualmie Valley also includes water quality monitoring and a robust recycling and composting program.
In addition to the above projects, we have been working with the tribe since 2015 on a series of educational habitat restoration events at Tolt MacDonald Park and Fall City Community Park, thanks to a King County Small Partnerships grant. Through these efforts, we have planted thousands of trees, engaged hundreds of community volunteers and educated many students. Today, if you drive over the Snoqualmie River on Tolt Hill Road and look to the north, parallel to the Tolt River, you will see a young forest of native alders, cottonwoods, and conifers emerging from what was once a giant swath of non-native, invasive blackberry. We are grateful for our partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe and for their continued leadership as stewards of the Snoqualmie Valley.
The long wait has ended and the new Data 1 Building is open for business and already actively saving salmon! Our Salmon-Safe Puget Sound team is delighted to be working with COU LLC, Owners JoAnna Callahan, Mark Grey and Mark Hess at this beautiful new building located at the corner of 34th Ave North and Troll Avenue in the heart of Fremont, also known as the Center of the Universe. In this case, we might think of the building at the center of salmon migration.
A new home to Tableau, designed by Weber Thompson and engineered by KPFF, this Salmon-Safe certified project has garnered lots of attention for its work and data outside the building. Inspired by a story about polluted runoff from the 520 Bridge, the owners set about to create a project that provides public benefit in the right-of-way with cascading bioswales and rains gardens treating polluted runoff from the Aurora Bridge. Stormwater not retained by these features will be captured in an underground vault prior to being discharged via a dedicated storm sewer to Lake Union.
During design phases of the project, the owners discovered that polluted runoff from the Aurora Bridge flowed directly into Lake Union and the ship canal which is an important migration route for salmon. The outfall of polluted water directly impacts the Chinook, Sockeye, Coho and Steelhead that pass through this narrow corridor on their way to the North Lake Washington and Sammamish watersheds.
The project has received Salmon-Safe certification because its overall practices are beneficial to salmon, including reaching beyond its own site boundaries to mitigate a major neighborhood water pollution source. Additional green stromwater infrastructure facilities are being planned on other properties in the vicinity to treat more of the bridge surface runoff. To form a baseline of the highway runoff water quality prior to the installation of treatment, samples of the flow from the bridge were collected on five occasions during February-April 2017. The intention is to monitor discharges from the eventual treatment facilities for comparison with this baseline. It serves as an excellent model project for private landowners to go beyond what’s required and standard operating practices to ensure untreated stormwater mitigation on private lands. Look for this beautiful building and Salmon-Safe interpretive signage celebrating their water story on your next trip to Fremont.
Stay tuned also for more good news for Fremont coming from Salmon-Safe, Stewardship Partners, the COU LLC team and other community partners. This project is a perfect example of the collaborative partnership model that is the hallmark of Stewardship Partners’ programs and projects. By working together, we can create structures and systems that are so much more than a traditional office building.
Growing Veterans is an organization that works to empower military veterans to grow food and better their communities. Through a holistic approach, they tackle the many issues veterans face during reintegration by utilizing sustainable agriculture; ultimately creating a solution to end the isolation that can lead to suicide and depression, while making environmentally conscious agriculture the norm. By committing to Salmon‐Safe certification this past June, Growing Veterans has agreed to meet rigorous and site-specific criteria regarding water use, erosion control, chemical practices and animal management.
Salmon-Safe certification is awarded through an independent third‐party assessment. Additional assessments will occur every three years to ensure practices maintain and promote a healthy ecosystem.
“Our team prides itself on our commitment to organic and sustainable practices. This certification really makes a statement about that commitment and the additional work it takes to ensure that we do not hurt the environment but protect it,” said Scotty Irwin, Market Manager, Growing Veterans.
Stewardship Partners is excited to start and promote this new partnership that supports stewarding our land and water while giving back to those who have served our country.
The produce grown at Growing Veterans can be found at the Wednesday Mount Vernon Farmers Market, the Saturday Marysville Farmer’s Market and The Puget Sound Food Hub.
Growing Veterans is one of over 100 farms already certified under the Salmon-Safe eco‐label, with additional farms being added regularly. To see the full list of Northwest farms, wineries, breweries and cideries go to www.stewardshippartners.org/salmon-safe-puget-sound.
StormCon, the nation’s largest stormwater conference, was recently held in Bellevue marking the first time this gathering of national leaders on stormwater has come to the Pacific Northwest. But there is little doubt that this region is a veritable Silicon Valley of green infrastructure solutions to stormwater runoff.
Why does our community invest so much in solving stormwater? Perhaps, it is because our region is famous for rain and we have over 100 years of leadership, pioneering innovation from airplanes to coffee to software. We think it is because stormwater exemplifies the kind of local, global and complex problem that requires creativity and dedication. The simple individual solutions that Stewardship Partners promotes will cascade down into systems that can heal humanity’s broken relationship with nature.
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 with 12 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!
Stewardship Partners’ leadership of this effort exemplifies our passion for collaboration and innovation, and showed the world a real hope of truly solving the stormwater problem.
Best of luck to our Development Director, Palmira Figueroa! We are sad to see her go, but wish her well in her new development role at Social Justice Fund Northwest, where she gets to pursue her passion for social equity and fairness.
During her three years with Stewardship Partners, Palmira grew the Feast on the Farm dinner beyond its humble beginnings into one of the premier farm-to-table events in the country. But, her impact runs deeper than dollars raised or tickets purchased. Palmira challenged us and brought dimension to our understanding of what the concept “stewardship” means.
Part of her legacy is programs that are beginning to better serve all of Washington’s residents. But more importantly, her wisdom and compassion moved and inspired each of us. Thanks to her example, we will continue to strive to be inclusive, to better listen to all perspectives and to develop solutions that serve all the communities that depend on the land and waters that sustain us.
We also bid a fond farewell to Snoqualmie Stewardship Habitat Restoration Crew member, Gavin Walton as he heads back to his home state of Colorado where he will soon be pursuing his Masters Degree and possibly some international travel.
Gavin’s enthusiastic spirit and on-going desire to learn was appreciated by volunteers and fellow crew members alike. He could always be counted on to add to the spirit and energy of any habitat restoration project that he was involved in.
Palmira and Gavin, we are very grateful for having the opportunity to work with both of you as colleagues and know that you will continue to conduct yourselves as thoughtful stewards of our communities. We look forward to staying in touch and learning about the positive impacts that you will continue to make in our world.
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 calledCity 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.