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

The Return of Feast on the Farm

It has already been almost a month since the magical evening at Griffin Creek Farm and we are still beaming from the 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 towards our fundraising goal of $100,000. You can help us meet our goal by making a donation today!

Thank you to our 2022 Sponsors!

Feast on the Farm is Back!

Save the date for the 13th Annual Feast on the Farm on September 24, 2022, and immerse yourself in the world of sustainability happening all around us. Come be a part of this magical night at Griffin Creek Farm, a Stewardship Partner dedicated to sustainable farming practices. Feast on the bounty of food prepared by local chef Kevin Murray of Ray’s Boathouse and oysters from Baywater Shellfish Company prepared by Seabird, of Hitchcock Restaurant Group. Raise a glass of Salmon-Safe wine and break bread with like-minded community members engaged in caring for our region. Settle in on a haystack to the sounds of a secret, soon to be announced musician.

A limited number of tickets will go on sale June 21st!
If you are interested in sponsoring our fundraiser or volunteering your time, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Save the Date – Feast on the Farm is BACK!

We are beyond excited to return to hosting Feast on the Farm in person! This year will look a little different as we celebrate a few months later than usual. Please mark your calendars for Feast on the Farm – September 24th, 2022 at Griffin Creek Farm in Carnation, WA! If you are interested in sponsoring our fundrasier, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

Our 2021 Accomplishments

Dear Stewardship Partners Community,

As we approach the end of 2021, we are thankful for your continued support that has allowed Stewardship Partners to continue providing environmental solutions for landowners and businesses who care for the land and water of the region. We are proud of our on-the-ground work as we continue to forge long-lasting partnerships and measurable positive impacts on the environment and communities across the region.

Stewardship Partners’ resilient, hard-working staff comprises the most experienced and knowledgeable people working to solve our region’s complex environmental issues. We’d like to share several program highlights for the year.

The Snoqualmie Stewardship Program restored two acres of habitat, planted over 3,000 plants at multiple farms, and maintained a record 9.5 acres of restoration sites. We also completed a new Snoqualmie Valley Stewardship Handbook. This guide includes tips and funding sources for projects including home stewardship, agricultural stewardship, forest stewardship, sustainable recreation, volunteering, and green consumer tools. The program continues to expand, working with schools and cities in the Snoqualmie Valley, building rain gardens, and installing other green infrastructure projects in addition to riparian restoration.

A new innovative ad campaign was created this spring that calls on people to become “Rain Changers” by creating rain gardens at their homes and businesses. The campaign was the brainchild of Sam Neukom and the pro-bono creative team at NorthboundMerlino Media also provided resources to match advertising funding. Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, who is planning his second rain garden, lent star power to the campaign. Noting in one radio ad, “if you want to keep your basement dry and the Sound clean, cisterns and rain gardens are a beautiful way to help.” The campaign was featured in the Seattle Times and South Seattle Emerald and included bus-side ads, radio ads, and billboards. The RainWise website saw the largest ever number of visitors to the site after the Seattle Times article. Visit www.rainchangers.org to see if your property qualifies for rebates from the City of Seattle or King County or to find incentives in other areas of Puget Sound. 

The 6th Annual Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea gathered seven virtual panel discussions and an online networking event over two days in March. We covered big ideas and impacts that go way beyond water alone. Discussion topics included innovative partnerships, whole watershed approaches, climate resilience, systems of power and access, science, and research-based pragmatism, and we shined a spotlight on innovative leadership in northern Puget Sound watersheds. 

We continue to educate the public on supporting local farms and restaurants by choosing sustainable Salmon-Safe products. We also hosted educational workshops and webinars, such as the virtual Flower Farmer Workshop in April. Stewardship Partners maintains a vital relationship with the Salmon-Safe headquarters team in Portland, and we all meet regularly. We are thrilled to welcome new farms to the program this year, such as Farm at Water’s Edge in Belfair and Paradise Parking Plots in Kent. We hope you will help us protect our Puget Sound and all its residents by choosing Salmon-Safe products! 

Once again, we couldn’t gather in person for Feast on the Farm; so we feasted and celebrated with supporters, each in our own homes across the region. It wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors, farmers, and chefs. Feast on the Farm at home raised $25,500, which will directly support our conservation and restoration initiatives in Puget Sound! 

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.

Feast on the Farm 2021 Update

We are busy planning and prepping for Feast on the Farm, which will take place virtually on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021. This year, your gourmet meal kit will be available for pick up at a drive-through location. Tickets to purchase your Feast meal kit will go on sale Wednesday September 8th at 10 am. Watch your inbox for an email with the link!

We are excited to announce that Nyssa Tanner, Owner, Nyssa’s Kitchen, Mutsuko Soma, Owner and Chef, Kamonegi, and Grant RicoChef de Cuisine, Hitchcock, will be preparing this curated meal using wild sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay donated by Pike Place Fish Market, sustainably grown farm-fresh produce from Full Circle Farm on Griffin Creek and bread from Macrina Bakery. We will also include other local artesian goodies such as coffee from Caffe Vita and treats from Hello RobinNovelty Hill wine and a cocktail featuring Tito’s Vodka will be accompanied by music by Seattle’s own The High Seagrass and stories from the field. Learn more about our incredible chefs here

We are actively seeking volunteers to help our team prepare the meal kits. Please contact David at db@stewardshippartners.org if you’d like to get involved. 

Learn About the Chefs

Nyssa Tanner, Owner, Nyssa’s Kitchen 

I have been in love with everything food for as long as I can remember – from my little spot on a step stool in my grandmother’s kitchen to starting my food blog + food photography business, Nyssa’s Kitchen, food has always been a constant source of assurance and inspiration in my life. In the right light, thoughtfully crafted food photography connects our emotions to our most cherished memories of gathering around the table with the people we love. Good food and the bonds it creates has the power to inspire and move us from within. Bridging that gap between food and feel-good emotions is why I love life behind the camera!

I am an experienced recipe developer, food photographer, blogger, chef, household manager, and nanny with an organized and self directed personality. Skilled in natural light photography, recipe development, food writing, the content creation process, SEO optimization, Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop, Canva, WordPress, Convertkit, Plann, Trello, and the Google Suite, as well as private cheffing, household planning & management, large function menu & dinner planning, and organization. I love creative tasks of all kinds, and am passionate about continuously striving to advance my skills as an individual and those I bring to a team oriented environment.

Mutsuko Soma, Owner and Chef, Kamonegi

While Mutsuko Soma served as chef in other restaurants in Seattle, she dreamed of introducing fresh soba, like the kind her grandmother made for family dinners, to the masses. She founded Kamonegi as a pop-up and opened Kamonegi the restaurant in October 2017.

Kamonegi translates literally to “duck and leek,” and alludes to when one good thing brings another. In Japan, duck and leek is also a classic culinary pairing so the sight of a duck bringing a leek connotes an abundance of good fortune where one closely follows another. The namesake Kamonegi soba is also one of the most popular soba dishes at the restaurant.

In its inaugural year, Kamonegi was named Restaurant of the Year by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, Best New Restaurants of 2018 by the Seattle Times, among the 20 Best Restaurants in Seattle by Conde Nast Traveler, one of America’s Best New Restaurants by Eater critic Bill Addison, and a Top 50 Nominee for America’s Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit. Chef Soma was named as one of Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs 2019, star chef rising star 2020.

Chef Soma also has WSET Level 3 certified sake and Wine. 

She opened Hannyatou sake bar in 2019 which is 2 doors down from Kamonegi.

Grant Rico, Chef de Cusine, Hitchcock

A native to the Northwest and Kitsap County, Chef Grant earned his Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Business Administration at Humboldt State University before enrolling at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, where he earned his Bachelors in Applied Food Studies and Culinary Arts. Chef Grant held positions as the Sous Chef at Little Nell in Aspen, CO, then Sous Chef at Hitchcock before joining the team at *** Single Thread in Healdsburg, CA as Chef de Partie.

Chef Grant joined Hitchcock as Chef de Cuisine in the Spring of 2020. In his free time, Grant enjoys free-diving in the cold Pacific waters for urchin, hiking the outdoors and exploring the Great Northwest, as well as continuing his education in all things food & beverage: Chef Grant is certified as an Introductory Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Support Clean Water & Healthy Habitat for Generations to Come!

Today is not just any regular Tuesday, today is GiveBIG! 
GiveBIG will be a two-day online giving event from May 4-5th. 
Our goal is to raise $5,000 for our programs!

 Gifts of ANY size have an impact on our work!

Donate $25  = buy ten trees for a volunteer to plant at one of our restoration sites
Donate $100 = provide scholarship funds for a local family farm for Salmon-Safe certification
Donate $250 =  fund the planting of a rain garden at a local school or park

Today, you can take a stand for a healthy Puget Sound environment. Together we can achieve clean water, sustainable agriculture, thriving salmon and orca populations, and healthy communities, throughout our region.

Save the Date: Feast at Home Delivery

While we would love to meet in person at the farm, we believe it’s safer to have Feast on the Farm delivered to you again this year. Join us on Saturday, October 2nd, 2021, for Feast at-home delivery. A lovely curated meal brought to your doorstep from local chefs that will use sustainably grown farm-fresh produce. We will also include other local artesian goodies, music, and stories from the field. Sponsorships are available, please contact David at db@stewardshippartners.org if you’d like to get involved. 

We’re Hiring!

We are hiring for the crewmember position!

Snoqualmie Stewardship Habitat Restoration Crew Member

Position Description: This temporary part-full time position (average 40 hrs. /wk.) with Stewardship Partners; a Seattle based non-profit conservation organization. Work is focused in the Snoqualmie Valley, along the Snoqualmie River and its tributaries with agricultural landowners. Interns assist in implementing habitat restoration project Best Management Practices (BMPs) which may include riparian planting, wetland enhancement, erosion control, livestock fencing, volunteer event management and partner/landowner relations. Crew Members also help with our annual Feast on the Farm fundraiser.

Position is open until filled.

Interested parties can learn more here or contact Chris LaPointe at cl@stewardshippartners.org.    

Reflections on a Collaborative Funder Relationship with The Russell Family Foundation 

In 2002 Stewardship Partners was barely 3 years old, but that year marked the beginning of a critical partnership that has brought us to where we are today. Our collaboration with The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) began with a grant. In financial terms alone, this partnership has been foundational, totaling over $1 Million granted since 2002. But this partnership does not begin and end with the money. The collaborative problem solving and network building that we have done together has been equally important in creating a movement of community-focused stewardship across the Puget Sound region. The close of 2020 seemed like a good time to indulge in hindsight, so I sat down virtually with Holly Powers, Senior Program Officer at TRFF to pause and reflect on our collective history.

Rather than transcribe our entire, far-reaching conversation, I’ve decided to pull together observations from both the grant-maker and grantee perspectives that made this a successful relationship.

As a grant-maker, TRFF is very clear in their understanding that they only succeed when their partners succeed. I think the approach is exemplified by what Holly described as trying to be the funder who gets a call when things don’t go as planned, rather than the funder you try to avoid. As a grantee, that approach means that we are trusted to lead the work, understand the challenges, and respond effectively without being penalized for innovating or changing course when needed. Even the most well-planned projects encounter unexpected challenges. Knowing that a funder wants to know about those challenges and might help us collaboratively, means that challenges are opportunities to do better rather than failures of foresight. Taking this approach to the next level, when COVID -19 changed everything for everyone, TRFF didn’t wait for their grantees to tell them what they needed. Instead, they asked us what had changed and what did we need to weather the storm. Providing additional financial support and peer-to-peer connections with other grantees has helped many organizations continue our collective work in the face of a challenging time.

Another significant aspect of TRFF’s approach is the value they place on connecting grantees to each other. Many of our most essential partnerships came about because of TRFF’s active efforts to connect their grantees. Examples include the Habitat for Humanity homes near Tacoma that we certified Salmon-Safe and the thought-leader convening TRFF started with Sightline Institute that gave rise to our Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea. Connections like these make everything we do more impactful and effective.

As a grantee, it’s always humbling and lovely to hear from a funder why they support your work, and as partners in and supporters of our work, I want to share some of Holly’s thoughts on Stewardship Partners. I think my favorite thing was hearing that walking into the Stewardship Partners office has always felt like being invited into a living room for a cup of coffee and a conversation. That we have created a culture and a welcoming sense of community with partners feels like a significant accomplishment and one that doesn’t fit in any grant reporting metrics. TRFF also sees us as we see ourselves as a ‘small but mighty’ organization able to catalyze, respond quickly, and nimbly to emerging issues and opportunities, but not clinging to ownership at the expense of the idea. Yet, for anything involving stormwater and green infrastructure, we act as a hub, keeping the wheel rolling forward. The 12,000 Rain Garden Campaign for Puget Sound is one example. SP coordinated rain garden resource hubs and trainings across 12 counties, leading to the regional multi-sector City Habitats network and the annual Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea. Holly also described Stewardship Partners as a ‘first to listen’ partner. From our first projects, we have acknowledged our partners on the land and communities as the work leaders. We have always understood that we need to listen to them to make anything happen and move anything forward. Having that part of our values identified so clearly is so validating. But then again, it makes sense. It takes one to know one, and TRFF and Stewardship Partners both know that we only succeed when our partners succeed

I want to close by thanking Holly Powers, Fabiola Greenwalt, Linsey Sauer, Britta Franscesconi, Kathleen Simpson, and past team members Richard Woo and Scott Miller, as well as the Russell Family and the TRFF board of directors. It is an honor to partner with you all.

Written by Aaron Clark

Photo courtesy of TRFF