Salmon-Safe Puget Sound Growing and Changing

Beginning in 2004 with the certification of a group of environmentally innovative farmers in the Snoqualmie Valley, Stewardship Partners has co-implemented Salmon-Safe in western Washington in partnership with Portland-based Salmon-Safe. In recent months, Stewardship Partners and Salmon-Safe recognized new opportunities for growth and success in both the agricultural and urban programs, with Stewardship Partners leading the agricultural and golf certifications, and Salmon-Safe managing the expansion of the urban program around Puget Sound.

Ellen sipping Salmon-Safe wine while sailing with Melanie Moore Cochrun and Jill Jago of GLY Construction.

Ellen Southard, longtime Salmon-Safe champion, is leading the urban expansion at Site Story. Ellen has run the program for 9 years and volunteered with Salmon-Safe prior to joining the team in 2009 as the Urban Outreach Manager. Site Story is a practice dedicated to green building and advancing green rating systems in the Pacific Northwest, while supporting the growth of the urban program with green building specialists and a host of consultant collaborators.

On the urban front, Salmon-Safe seeks to lead a significant market shift to fish-friendly development that helps protect Puget Sound. With capacity funding from the Paul G. Allen Foundation and Bullitt Foundation, Salmon-Safe seeks to transition an additional 150 urban sites to certification over three years and inspire “beyond compliance” incentives with municipalities that would encourage developers to meet Salmon-Safe guidelines related to onsite stormwater management. “I’m grateful to all of our clients who join in the quest to save Puget Sound by working with Salmon-Safe,” says Ellen
Southard. “To save the salmon and the orca, we need every land owner to get involved.”

With new funding for urban work in Puget Sound, it was time to refocus the alliance between organizations in response to increased demand for both urban and farm certification in Puget Sound. The new partnership structure between Stewardship Partners and Salmon-Safe maintains a strong synergy between shared goals and mutual promotion of the farm and urban programming. Our teams continue to work closely together and collaborate on a regular basis. Stewardship Partners will continue to promote the urban program across the region and Salmon-Safe continues to provide operational support to the farm program. Amelia Bahr form our office remains the point of contract for Salmon-Safe’s Farm program, and David Burger will continue to lead Salmon-Safe Golf.

Breaking Barriers for GSI Projects

Here at Stewardship Partners we do our best to help get as many green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects in the ground as possible. Unfortunately, while most landowners love the idea of a beautiful rain garden or cistern going in their yard, there are barriers to getting these projects installed. Many great incentive programs exist for installing GSI, like RainWise Rebates, but cost continues to be one of the biggest barriers landowners face.

Newly installed rain garden getting its finishing touches.

We are working hard to address this issue by creating new incentive programs and expanding the financial assistance offered through the RainWise Program. Our recently launched GSI Mini Grants offer up to an additional $1,500 for landowners within the King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) service area that are not eligible for other incentive programs. The goal of the GSI Mini Grant is to help provide both guidance and financial assistance for communities that are in areas of ineligibility for other incentive programs and may otherwise be unable to install GSI projects. Our RainWise Access Grants help income-limited and underserved communities by providing an additional $1,000 for RainWise eligible homeowners and nonprofit community organizations, bridging the gap between the RainWise rebate amount and actual project costs. Without this tool, even relatively small out of pocket costs for GSI projects could pose a barrier to landowners otherwise ready to install GSI on their property.

The creation of these tools comes from actively listening to and discussing with key partners like and community members. With a little out of the box thinking, the Stewardship Partners team was able to create a whole organizational infrastructure that didn’t exist before, all because we listened to communities sharing their experiences and barriers with us. After many tweaks and improvements to both of these tools, we now have Mini Grants and Access Grants flying off the shelves. We have a great sense of pride and gratification knowing we are able to give communities a hand in their work to protect Puget Sound.

You can find out more about these financial tools and other incentive programs at www.12000raingardens.org.

Come Hang with Sal at the Bellevue Duke’s April 10th!

Come say hi to Sal the Salmon, take a “salfie” and have a delicious, sustainable dinner at Duke’s Seafood and Chowder! Sal will be hanging out at the Bellevue Duke’s April 10th from 5-7 pm!

Sal the Salmon

Sal will be letting everyone know that throughout the month of April, a portion of special menu items at all seven Duke’s locations will be donated to Stewardship Partners! Nothing better than a delicious meal that helps support  our programs that engage Puget Sound communities as caretakers of the land and water that sustain us.

Sustainability Month with Duke’s Seafood & Chowder House!

Something great is cooking this April! Our long-time partners at Duke’s Seafood & Chowder House are hosting their Sustainability Month, raising awareness about Stewardship Partners, the Salmon-Safe program and other companies committed to protecting our land and water. Throughout the month of April, a portion of special menu items at all seven locations will be donated to Stewardship Partners.  Whether you’re in the mood for some steamer clams, stuffed Alaska whitefish, or smoked wild salmon and prawn gnocchi, it is sure to be a delicious, sustainable and impactful meal out!

Duke’s is also featuring two wineries certified by the Salmon-Safe label this month: Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Cold Creek vineyard, and Erath’s Willakia vineyard. For every bottle of these Salmon-Safe wines purchased, $1 will be donated to Stewardship Partners. Additionally, $1 of every whiskey sour made with local Woodinville Whiskey will be donated to Stewardship Partners.

Beyond their support in stores during their Sustainability Month, Duke’s is getting down and dirty to protect native salmon! Through their annual Duke’s Day event, Duke’s team of 26 managers, chefs,

and even Duke himself will be shoveling dirt and planting trees alongside Stewardship Partners’ restoration crew to help restore salmon habitat along the banks of the Snoqualmie River as a partner with the Adopt-a-Buffer program.

As a seafood restaurant, everyone working for Duke’s understands the importance of sustainable land-use practices and restoration activities when it comes to protecting our wild fish stocks. “Lack of healthy river habitat remains one of the Chinook’s biggest challenges. By planting native trees and shrubs along the banks of the Snoqualmie, we are providing shady spots where fish love to hide, and reducing farm runoff because the tree’s roots act like filters. Local farmers also benefit from a healthy riparian buffer because it helps control the flooding of their land,” say Duke Moscrip. “Everyone wins. The fish, the local farmers, and salmon-lovers.”

Thank you to Duke and his entire team not only for their support this April, but also the work they have done with us since 2013.

Interested in following Duke’s lead? Check out how your company/organization can get involved in our Adopt-a-Buffer program!

Celebrate Earth Month with Stewardship Partners

The sun is starting to poke out from behind the clouds and temperatures are rising, and that can only mean one thing here in the Stewardship Partners office; more time in the field! After a long, cold winter cooped up in the office, we are all very exited to get outside for some hands-on restoration work.

To celebrate Earth Month, the Stewardship Partners staff will be spending a day working on our new buffer, Stewardship Point. You can get involved and become a stewardship partner too!

During the month of April, the Snoqualmie Stewardship program will be hosting our annual Earth Month celebration with four Adopt-a-Buffer restoration events open to the public! On each Saturday of the month, the Snoqualmie Stewardship crew will be out at some of our current projects restoring critical habitat along the Snoqualmie River and its associated tributaries and they’d love for you to join them. Find out more about each of these volunteer events here!

Green Infrastructure Summit: Next Generation Leaders

“I was shy, I was quiet, I would never be able to [speak to an audience like this]… Paulina gave me a voice… gave me a sense of purpose, gave me a safe place to do what I love to do which is to be an environmental activist for my community… in South Park and Georgetown.” These were the words of Daniella, a youth leader from the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, speaking about her mentor, Paulina Lopez (who later received an award for youth mentorship from the City Habitats network). Voices and stories like Daniella’s took center stage at this year’s 3rd annual Green Infrastructure Summit as we continued a quest to make green infrastructure into a force for equity and environmental justice. A big part of that quest lies in making sure that as the Green Infrastructure sector grows, new jobs and career pathways become accessible and attractive to diverse and brilliant minds from communities disproportionately affected by pollution and environmental degradation.

On February 9th Stewardship Partners reached another landmark in our leadership role of turning our region’s cities and towns from #GrayToGreen. As we convened the Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit, a City Habitats event, it was amazing to see the difference this event makes for innovators across the region and sectors. As we continue to mindfully “connect the dots” (.com, .org, .gov, and .edu), we are seeing more and more collaboration between public and private sectors, as well as research and implementation. The vision that inspired us to create this event in 2016 is beginning to turn into reality: The Puget Sound region is taking flight as a “Silicon Valley of Green Infrastructure.”

As with both of the two previous summits, our cross-sector host committee (including Seattle Public Utilities, MIG|SvR, Washington State University, Salmon-Safe, Washington Environmental Council, and The Nature Conservancy) intentionally centered and highlighted equity within the agenda and speakers throughout the day. This year the main theme of the summit was green infrastructure jobs and youth pathways. A new companion event: The Youth Forum on Green Infrastructure Jobs and Youth of Color, held in January, allowed us to bring new voices and faces into the conversation, informing workforce decision-makers at the summit. The UW Bothell/Cascadia College campus (a Salmon-Safe certified campus) provided a powerful backdrop for the summit next to a created wetland and floodplain. Welcome remarks from Ken Workman, a direct descendant of Chief Seattle, Andy Rheaume, Bothell’s mayor, Anthony Guerrero of UW Bothell, and Aaron Clark, grounded the 220 attendees in time and place, ready to imagine and co-create our shared clean water and healthy community future. A few highlights from the day included: a keynote discussion on diversity in the green infrastructure field; an award for youth leadership given to Paulina Lopez of the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps; a panel on pavement and it’s immense impacts on water, habitat, and pollution; breakout sessions on trees, codes and policies, maps, mentorship and equity, and research gaps; case studies throughout the day; and calls to action from Washington State Representative Derek Stanford and Steve Shestag from Boeing.

Like everything Stewardship Partners does, this accomplishment was a team effort. It included the entire SP staff, an immense community of partners (especially those from the City Habitats network), the host committee, and of course the generous sponsors who, at 13 financial sponsors, have more than doubled our sponsor base from the first summit we convened in 2016. To see the presentations, videos and other resources shared at the summit visit the summit webpage at: www.12000raingardens.org/summit

We Are All Stewardship Partners Campaign & Photo Contest

To accompany our recently updated brand, we are excited to launch our We Are All Stewardship Partners campaign! We invite you, your friends, family and all of our supporters and partners to share how you are being good stewards of our land and water. #ImAStewardshipPartner. Merlino Media Group has graciously secured ad space throughout Seattle that features the creative designs of Wexley School for Girls to promote this campaign. Look for these ads on billboards, in magazines, on the web or listen for us on the radio. This new public awareness campaign is designed to encourage sharing of how we can be a stewardship partner and care for the environment every day!

Throughout the month of March, we will be holding an #ImAStewardshipPartner photo contest for you, our partners in stewardship!

To enter, follow these instructions:

  1. Follow @StewardshipPartners on Instagram and like us on Facebook 
  2. Post a picture of you taking part in an act of stewardship, tag us and use #ImAStewardshipPartner (double points if you snap a picture of one of our billboards!). Examples include: planting native plants, buying Salmon-Safe Foods, conserving water and more!
  3. At the end of the month we will be raffling off a prize for 2 lucky winners!

#ImASewardshipPartner We know you are one, too!

Welcome Grant to the Stewardship Partners Team!

Grant P.H. Barber joined the Stewardship Partners team this month as the new Development Manager. Moving from Denver to Seattle in 2013 to pursue a Masters in Museology at the University of Washington, Grant instantly fell in love with the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest. Joining Stewardship Partners in 2018, he brings several years of fundraising experience at museums and cultural centers. As the Development Manager, Grant aims to create a culture of philanthropy where donors understand how their generosity has positive, direct benefits on our shared environment. Grant enjoys exploring the Northwest through hiking, camping, running, and biking. When he’s not out in nature, he enjoys cooking, brewing beer, and baking bread.

New Year, New Look, Same Stewardship Partners

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!

You may have noticed something a little different about about the Stewardship Partners blog and website. The transition from 2017 into 2018 was a busy and exciting one for us here at Stewardship Partners. We have officially moved to a new office and we are sporting a new look, complete with a new logo and new website!

Designed by Maxon House Inc., with help from Northbound Brand and Wexley School for Girls, our new look is a fresh and clean representation of our commitment to partnership, balance, intersections and action.

While we may look different, we are still the same team dedicated to the same mission we have always been. We look forward to connecting you, our partners, to the solutions and resources you need, through this new streamlined site.

Please let us know how it’s working for you. Are we connecting you to the tools and resources you need to be a caretaker of Washington’s land and waters?

Time for Salmon-Safe Christmas Trees!

If you’re in the market for a Christmas tree and are passionate about supporting sustainable, local businesses and farmers, look no further than Carnation Tree Farm!  In 2007, Carnation Tree Farm became the first holiday tree farm in the Northwest to be certified as Salmon-Safe.  Nestled within the gorgeous landscape of the Snoqualmie Valley, Carnation Tree Farm has gone above and beyond to not only bring happiness and joy to its community members during the holiday season, but also to create positive impacts on their local environment.  “The Snoqualmie Valley is changing and I have a responsibility to take care of the land and give back to this community,” said Carnation Tree Farm owner Roger Thorson. “Salmon-Safe is a great way to let people know about our environmental commitment.”

Keep an eye out for the Salmon-Safe logo while looking for your perfect tree.

“Roger is one of the most environmentally conscious holiday tree growers that you will find,” says David Burger, “He is finding creative ways to deal with pests and maintain productivity of the tree farm, while also enhancing habitat around the property.” Carnation Tree Farm offers a variety of U-cut and pre-cut trees and provides everything customers need to cut the trees and get them on their cars.

Come and join the fun on December 2nd when Stewardship Partners visits the farm with Sal the Salmon!

December 2nd, from 11 AM – 2 PM, Sal the Salmon and our staff will be out at Carnation Tree Farm to participate in the holiday fun while supporting the farmers of the Valley. Look for our booth or catch Sal hiding among the trees to snap a picture with him and the whole family! The farm also sells stands, wreaths, garlands, mistletoe and handmade items from local artisans. Weekend activities during tree-cutting season include visits from Santa; complimentary hot cider, kettle korn, espresso; and fresh bake-sale treats.

Here at Stewardship Partners, we love working with the dedicated farmers of the Snoqualmie Valley like Roger who are making  difference that stretch beyond their local community and impact the city of Seattle as well. We hope you will join us in saying thank you by coming out and supporting their hard work while taking in the gorgeous landscape and holiday cheer! 

Learn more about our Salmon-Safe program and how you can get involved!