Earth Month Success!

Thanks to all the volunteers who joined us on Saturday April 13th out at Changing Seasons Farm! And, as always, thanks to our gracious farm hosts Laura and Dave Casey for always welcoming us and our volunteers onto their amazing farm! We had our Adopt-a-Buffer (AaB) sponsors Aspect Consulting and The Boeing Company onboard as well as our new AaB partners, the University Washington Climate Action & Sustainability Team join us for the event! Volunteers planted nearly 800 native trees and shrubs to restore over an acre of riparian habitat. That’s incredible! We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do without volunteers like this!

2023 Highlights

As 2023 comes to a close and we reflect on the year behind us, we are so grateful for the opportunity to continue creating meaningful impacts in the Puget Sound area, the traditional lands of the Salish people. We were able to accomplish so much this year with the help and support of our communities. Stewardship Partners led the 8th Annual Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea, launched the Adopt-a-Downspout program in Seattle, began the biggest rain garden installation in the Snoqualmie Valley, and led volunteers in restoration efforts. These accomplishments, among many other green initiatives, have in part been made possible by people like you. Thank you for your support!

The Snoqualmie Stewardship Restoration Team enjoyed working with a full crew again starting in April. Among their many projects, this year was the biggest rain garden they’ve installed to date at Griffin Creek Farm in Carnation. The 3,000-square-foot rain garden will manage stormwater and water runoff from the farm’s vegetable processing plant. This was the first rain garden we have installed at a Salmon-Safe certified farm, but certainly not the last. We are looking forward to a new series of rain gardens going in at Carnation Farms next year.

Researchers have determined that the chemical 6PPD-quinone in tires causes pre spawning mortality in coho salmon in urban streams. Capturing stormwater and using green infrastructure has been proven to remove this chemical. Stewardship Partners has installed four aboveground stormwater biofilter boxes on two downspouts from the I-5 ship canal bridge to treat 1 million gallons of runoff. The goal of this pilot project is to monitor the results of treatment and also determine feasibility and assess scalability and replicability. Thank you to Boeing, The Rose Foundation, WSDOT and TNC for supporting this project.

Feast on the Farm is always a highlight of our year. This year at Griffin Creek Farm the weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious, and the company was superb. We are deeply grateful for the generosity of our donors, attendees, and volunteers. We hosted 125 people at the farm and raised $65,000. This goes directly towards supporting salmon habitat restoration in the Snoqualmie Valley and rain garden installations.

We were saddened by the passing of a beloved partner and pillar of the Seattle community, Bill Ranniger. Bill was a dedicated steward of the environment, committed to sustainably sourced seafood and salmon recovery. Chef Bill and Duke’s Seafood have been longtime sponsors of the Adopt-a-Buffer program. This year, with 20 staff members from Duke’s, we rededicated “Duke’s Point” to “Chef Bill’s Point” in his memory. Next year, in April, for an Earth Month Celebration, we are planning a sign dedication in his honor. We are inspired by stewardship partners like Chef Bill!

The mission of Stewardship Partners is about bringing communities together so that we can all be better stewards of the land and sea we live, work, and play on. Important parts of this vision are access and a sense of belonging. When people understand the role they can play and feel connected to their community, positive change happens. We wouldn’t be able to continue this work without support from folks like you. We invite you to consider Stewardship Partners in your annual giving this year.  

Planting Trees with Duke’s Seafood

Duke’s Seafood has been a longtime and essential partner to us. Their unwavering efforts to sustainably source products for their restaurants and their dedication to salmon recovery are just the few ways they support our efforts. Additionally, for at least the past decade, they’ve contributed to Stewardship Partners by being a dedicated Adopt-a-Buffer sponsor at the Sinnema property along Ames Creek confluence of the mainstem Snoqualmie River. They join us once or twice yearly to maintain the habitat buffer planted on the creek and riverbanks. We had a few years off due to Covid, but nearly 20 dedicated staff joined us again in the field in October. We shared a beautiful yet bittersweet day with them for restoration, reconnection, and recollection of our beloved Chef Bill, who recently passed away. All in all, we accomplished a great deal at the property. Here are some of those highlights:

  • 56 volunteer hours
  • $1,176 hours of in-kind volunteer labor used as match on various grants
  • 196 native plants installed
  • 7,887 sq ft maintained and replanted
  • 1 memorial tree planted for Chef Bill (Sitka spruce)
  • Renamed “Duke’s Point” to “Chef Bill’s Point”

As soon as the event was over, we started talking about the next “Duke’s Day” out at Sinnema. We settled on a date for April 2024 for an Earth Month Celebration and sign dedication in memory of Chef Bill.

If you’d like to Adopt-a-Buffer, contact Chris today!

Rain Gardens Popping Up in Carnation

Stewardship Partners’ Snoqualmie Stewardship team is widely known for working alongside agricultural landowners on stream and river restoration in our effort to revive salmon populations. But did you know the team also focuses on green infrastructure feature education and installation? In 2023 alone, Stewardship Partners installed 3 rain gardens in the City of Carnation. 

It all started in 2015 at a public meeting with a bold idea of installing rain gardens in all the Snoqualmie Valley schools. Soon after, we received funding for our first rain garden at Carnation Elementary School, thanks to the King County Flood Control District’s Flood Reduction Fund and King County Council Funds. With the success of the first rain garden came more funding and a green infrastructure outreach, education and implementation model designed by Stewardship Partners, with the city of Carnation as its pilot model. Now on the docket, Stewardship Partners is focusing on replicating this model with the City of Duvall and it’s a possibility that we will install another rain garden in 2023!

As for the existing rain gardens in Carnation, one was installed at the Carnation Library and is thriving!

Carnation Library Rain Garden

A second rain garden was installed at Carnation Elementary School by our brand new (at the time) restoration crew.

Before & After Carnation Elementary RG2

The third rain garden installation completion in 2023 was a unique one. This one is a large rain garden installed at Griffin Creek Farm (formerly known as Full Circle Farm) to manage not only stormwater but also water from their vegetable processing plant. This unique rain garden is also HUGE at 3,000 square feet. It is the biggest rain garden we’ve installed to date, and it is also the first rain garden we’ve installed on a Snoqualmie Valley, Salmon-Safe certified farm. But it won’t be the last as funding was just received to install a series of rain gardens at Carnation Farms!

Griffin Creek Farm Rain Garden

Only Three Days Left to Give to the Environment in 2022!

This has been a big year for Stewardship Partners. We are proud of our on-the-ground actions as we continue to facilitate partnerships and create measurable positive impacts on the environment and neighborhoods across the region. Please take this opportunity to show your support of Stewardship Partners before the year ends!

Stewardship Partners’ resolute staff represents the most experienced and knowledgeable people working to solve our region’s challenging environmental problems. We would like to share program highlights for the year. 

The 7th annual Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea was held virtually on March 24 and 25th, and despite not being together in person (for the 3rd year in a row!) the feeling of connectedness to a community of hundreds of leaders and innovators was still profound. The 8th Summit will be in-person on March 17th so save the date.

The Snoqualmie Stewardship Program restored 1.8 acres of habitat, planted over 8,000 plants at multiple farms, and maintained one acre of restoration sites. We also received a total of $25,000 in volunteer time and over $100,000 in government grants.  Two new rain gardens were installed in Carnation at the library, and another will soon be completed at Griffin Creek Farm.  The program continues to expand its impact and partnerships with homeowners, businesses, and farms.

As a friend of ours, we know you’ve probably heard this before. Protecting and restoring salmon and their streams is the reason we started planting riparian habitat buffers over 20 years ago and building rain gardens in 2008. Then we created the 12,000 Rain Garden Campaign for Puget Sound back in 2011, and now we are further sharpening our focus to address runoff from our shared highways and roadways, focusing on the worst first by placing rain garden boxes under elevated highways in the densest urban areas. The concept is called ‘Adopt-a-Downspout’ but in the SP office we affectionately refer to it as ‘box of rain.’ The pilot project has been in the works behind the scenes for more than 3 years as we built a partnership with Washington State Department of Transportation. And now we are launching the pilot phase of adopt-a-downspout under the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge in Seattle, one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the state, passing over a major salmon migration corridor. We will be refining the design of our boxes of rain and testing their overall effectiveness over the coming ‘rain year’ and if the concept works as well as it is expected to, we will expand as quickly as possible to protect and restore the health of our urban streams for salmon, other wildlife and communities.

The Alliance for Pioneer Square, in collaboration with Stewardship Partners, held a volunteer planting event in March 2023 to transform four tree pits on Occidental Ave South into miniature rain gardens. The rain gardens are home to several native plant species that attract pollinators and help filter stormwater, keeping Puget Sound clean. The volunteer event was a huge success, with community members dedicating time and energy to create a unique space in Pioneer Square. In addition to rain gardens, the project included the installation of native artwork designed by Tommy Segundo, a local Native American artist, that was installed adjacent to a storm drain on the sidewalk to draw attention to where our polluted runoff goes and the importance of keeping it clean.

Artist Tommy Segundo

We are so happy to have had an in-person Feast on the Farm; the magical evening at Griffin Creek Farm was full of energy and generosity that our guests brought to the farm.  We wanted to say thank you again to everyone who attended, volunteered, and donated to make our return to Feast on the Farm so special! Thanks to our generous sponsors and guests we raised $88,000 to support our work.

Stewardship Partners would not be here without you. Thank you for being dedicated to our team and our mission and loving this special place we call home. Please consider Stewardship Partners in your annual giving this year.

Thank you,

David J. Burger                                       Christopher T. Bayley
Executive Director                                 Founder and Board Chair

It’s Earth Month!

April is our favorite time of the year! The sun is showing itself again, temps are warming up (ever so slightly), new leaves are beginning to reveal themselves, it’s planting season and it’s EARTH MONTH! It’s been almost three years since we’ve been able to celebrate Earth Day in the field by engaging the public in direct environmental action. Earth Day turns 42 years old on April 22nd and we invite you to help us celebrate it all month long. We are organizing multiple riparian restoration events focusing on salmon habitat restoration on the Snoqualmie River in Carnation and Duvall, WA (dates below). Join us in the celebration!

As we head into Earth month, we’ve got some great events in the works! 

  • Centennial Fields Park Rain Garden Maintenance – Saturday April 9th, 2022 (9am-12pm) – Sign Up Here
     
  • Salmon Habitat Restoration on the Snoqualmie River – Saturday April 16th (10am-2pm) – Sign Up Here
     
  • Salmon Habitat Restoration with Stewardship Partners & Long Live the Kings – Friday April 22nd (10am-2pm) – Sign Up Here
     
  • City of Duvall Earth and Arbor Day Celebration at Depot Park – Saturday April 23rd (11am-2pm): stop by our table to learn about green stormwater infrastructure and enter to win a free rain barrel! More Info Here
     
  • Feast on the Farm – September 24th, 2022 – More info coming soon!

Welcome Back Volunteers

It’s been far too long since we’ve posted a volunteer event on our website, but we are thrilled to let you know that we will be doing so soon! In early March 2022 you’ll be able to sign up for events! Volunteer Event Sign Up

In the meantime, here’s what we have in the works thus far in terms of events!

  • Sunday March 13th 2022 – Pioneer Square Rain Garden Installation Project (closed to the public at this time)
  • Saturday April 2nd 2022 (10am-2pm) – Earth Month Kickoff: Snoqualmie River Habitat Restoration at Changing Seasons Farm w/ Google and Microsoft (may be open to the public depending on enrollment)
  • Saturday April 9th  2022 (9am-12pm) – Centennial Fields Park: Rain Garden Maintenance (open the public)
  • Friday April 22nd 2022 (10am-2pm) – Location to TBD: Earth Day Event: Salmon Habitat Restoration with Long Live the Kings (may be open to the public depending on enrollment)
  • Saturday April 23rd 2022 – City of Duvall Earth and Arbor Day Celebration at Depot Park (11am-2pm): stop by our table to learn about green stormwater infrastructure and enter to win a free rain barrel! (open the public)

Updates from the Field – February

The crew attended a Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training with CPR Seattle and are now all certified wilderness first aid responders! WFA is an intensive 16-hour program designed for anyone involved in wilderness work or recreation. Safety in the field is extremely important, as often our crew members are working together at very rural sites where there may be nothing but nature surrounding them. Having this certification means that our hard-working crew members are well prepared in the event of an emergency while in the field. Something that we hope never happens, but is important to be prepared for! 

You Can Help Us Tote Trees

After running the numbers, we have found that Stewardship Partners spends at least $9,000 annually hauling plants to our project sites.

With a UTV (Utility Terrain Vehicle), one person can haul 20 trees, while transporting 3 total crew members to the site and takes 4 minutes roundtrip. The wagons and carts we currently use takes 20 minutes roundtrip, hauling only 16 trees of the same size. Many of our project sites require us to haul trees and carts for roundtrips of up to 4 miles. This method is cumbersome, leads to cart tips, tree drops and takes a toll on our bodies.

Because of this, our field crew could greatly utilize a UTV.  We have our eyes on a Bighorn Outrider 200 and are seeking private donations to help us fund this purchase. Any gifts made for this purpose would help greatly improve our field productivity, enabling us to plant more trees and restore more of the Valley. Our field crew and the Snoqualmie River would be eternally grateful. 

To support this purchase, please use the donation button below or mail a check!

Oxbow Farm Gets an Adorable Visitor

Trail Cam Footage Courtesy of Oxbow Farm

Over the last two decades, we’ve seen a lot of tangible results from the miles of restored riparian habitat on agricultural properties in the Snoqualmie Valley. We have impressive before and after shots of our restoration sites previously covered in invasive plant species that have now become ecologically diverse habitat corridors teeming with native trees, shrubs and groundcover shading streams and the river so salmon can thrive. The Alder Grove at Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center is a perfect example of that diversity of life and our hard restoration work in action. The Alder Grove is maintained on a regular basis and the plants are thriving. We were thrilled to learn of some footage from a wildlife cam that showed much more than plant life thriving in the buffer, a rarely seen bobcat. Nothing warms our hearts more than seeing firsthand the fruits of our labor. A special thank you to Oxbow for their long-term commitment to the health of the ecosystem. Read More