New Partnership with Grow It Forward Restoration

Snoqualmie Stewardship is now partnering with Grow It Forward Restoration which offers some unique new volunteer opportunities for folks. More information from GIFR below!

Do you own a pickup truck? You can use it to heal our environment by delivering native tree seedlings to habitat restoration projects!  “Grow It Forward Restoration” (GIFR) is a new local non-profit that organizes gardeners to each grow 100 native tree seedlings in a “micro-nursery” in their gardens, which we sell at below cost to the many habitat organizations in our region who toil to restore ecologically vital habitat for endangered species like salmon and the orcas that feed on them. GIFR’s mission is to empower average citizens to be personally involved in habitat restoration by connecting them to the organizations who do this work.

We rely on a small fleet of volunteer pickup truck owner/drivers like you! Pickups make deliveries at 2 different times of the year. If you sign up to be on our list, you can choose to help out or not as follows:

This October and November, GIFR’s small fleet of pickup truck owners deliver finished seedlings to the sites where they will start a new forest. As we get orders for seedlings, we will ask if you are available during a specific time period to make a delivery as follows:

  • We ask if you can make deliveries up to 2 weeks in advance. If so, we provide contact information for 2 or 3 micro-nursery hosts, and the organization getting the seedlings.
  • You contact everyone and arrange a time to pick up the seedlings from each host then deliver them to a local restoration organization’s site.
  • You go to each micro-nursery, several days in advance if you like, and with the host’s help, load the potted seedlings into your truck. Each is about 5 lbs, 3 feet tall in a pot 4 inches square and 10 inches tall. A pickup truck holds 200 to 250 seedlings.
  • You deliver the seedlings to the grateful habitat restoration organization at the scheduled time and location.

In March of each year, GIFR distributes raw materials for new micro-nurseries to a new set of gardeners who will host them for 1 to 2 growing seasons. We need pickup truck owner/drivers to deliver 500 lbs of clean topsoil for each new micro-nursery as follows:

  • We ask if you are available up to 2 weeks in advance of our kickoff date, usually the first weekend in March. If so, we give you the contact information for 2 or 4 new micro-nursery hosts.
  • You reach out each host to arrange when and where to deliver 500 lbs of soil to each.
  • You go to a Pacific Topsoils location at a time convenient to you. You tell them to charge the soil to us. They load your truck with 1/2 cubic yard of topsoil (about 1,000 lbs for 2 micro-nurseries), or 1 cubic yard if your truck has the capacity.
  • You then drive to each gardener’s home and shovel the soil off the back of your truck. (The host is responsible for picking up 100 pots and bare root seedlings from us). The soil is very fluffy and fairly easy to shovel down off the truck since gravity is working for you!

You may also consider becoming one of our micro-nursery hosts. Here is how that goes:

  • You must live in the Seattle/East side area and have basic gardening skills
  • Pay $100 to Grow It Forward Restoration for the materials for your micro-nursery (500 lbs of soil, delivered, 100 bare root baby seedlings, 100 plastic nursery pots)
  • You must pot all 100 seedlings within 2 days of getting them on the first Sunday in March, requiring about 5 hrs. of light work.
  • You need to devote 16 square feet (4 feet by 4 feet for example) of garden space that has partial sun and shade (full sun is too much, full shade with dappled sun is good, half sun and half shade each day is good.)
  • You agree to host the micro-nursery for one or two growing seasons until the seedlings are big enough, keeping them in a partially shaded spot, and watered through spring and summer dry spells.

If you are interested, please go to our website https://growitfwd.org/ where you will find two forms, one to be a pickup truck owner/driver, and one to host a micro-nursery. Signing up to be a pickup truck driver/owner will put you on our list of possible drivers, and we will later contact you as we are ready to make deliveries and ask if you are available. If you sign up to host a micro-nursery, we will send you a PayPal invoice for $100, then as March approaches, arrange for delivery of your soil and tell you how to pick up your pots and baby seedlings (probably from the Phinney Neighborhood Center in N Seattle).

In Memoriam – Hiram Scott Wallace

On April 4, 2022, we lost a long-time partner and Snoqualmie Valley mainstay. Hiram Scott Wallace, an advocate of environmental conservation, agricultural stewardship, and a wealth of Snoqualmie Valley history will be dearly missed.  Chris LaPointe, Stewardship Partners Director of Ecological Restoration, says they will miss their frequent meetings and lunches with Scott at his favorite local Chinese restaurant, Twin Dragon in Duvall. Scott’s legacy will live on as Stewardship Partners continues to restore salmon habitat on his former family dairy farm known as “Wallace Acres.”  Read Scott’s Obituary Here

A newspaper clipping shared by Scott’s Family

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

New Year, New Crew!

For the first time since pre-Covid, Stewardship Partners now has a full field crew! We are pleased to have Aaron, Maggie and Mar working with us this year! This group is strong, knowledgeable and makes a great team. This season, we have been working extra hard to remove a ton of stubborn blackberry roots from our sites (grubbing) and filling in the areas with native plants. We look forward to this arduous work paying off by allowing us to cut back on our summer maintenance demands and improve plant health. We’re eagerly awaiting spring to see how our winter work has paid off and for volunteer events to hopefully resume! Meet our crew below!


Ashley Aversa  – Ecological Restoration Project Manager

Ashley first joined our Team during fall of 2020. She hails from the Pinelands region of New Jersey, where she worked with Rutgers University and SJ Land and Water Trust. Her work focused on program development, stream monitoring, habitat restoration and green infrastructure projects. Ashley holds an Executive Masters in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech, with a focus on water resource stewardship. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys wild foraging, herbalism and exploring the PNW with her partner and hound Arrow.

Magie Regis – Ecological Restoration Crew Member 
Maggie joined the restoration crew team during the winter of 2021. She was born in the Seattle area but was raised in Northern California and moved back to Washington about 10 years ago. Maggie attended Whitworth University in Spokane WA where she earned a B.S. in Biology and minored in Environmental Science and Technical Theatre. She loves working outdoors with nature and wildlife as seen in her work with Washington State Parks, the Woodland Park Zoo as a Research Assistant, and the Sierra Nevada Americorps Partnership program doing watershed restoration, monitoring and outreach. In her spare time, she enjoys musicals, exploring national and state parks, board games and reading.

Aaron Cloudwood – Ecological Restoration Crew Member 
Aaron joined the restoration crew during the fall of 2021. Originally from Portland, Aaron moved to Seattle in 2006 to pursue a degree from the University of Washington in Physics and has since been dedicated to protecting the natural world with an emphasis on water resources. Just prior to joining Stewardship Partners, he was a Seattle Public Utilities RainWise contractor, working with homeowners and schools to install green stormwater infrastructure. In his spare time, he enjoys foraging with his partner, gardening, and building things.

Anne Marie Stapper – Ecological Restoration Crew Member
Anne Marie joined the ecological restoration crew in January of 2022. After moving to Seattle from Austin, Texas in June of 2021, they joined an AmeriCorps field restoration crew where they worked to restore natural areas across the Salish Sea region.  Anne Marie graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in December of 2020 with a B.A. in Geography, Anthropology, and Sustainability Studies. They have a background in environmental education, soils and watershed research, and landscaping, and hope to return to school in the future. In their free time, they enjoy creating music with friends, reading, and exploring the natural areas of the Pacific Northwest.

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.

Win a Rain Barrel!

We are celebrating Summer at our local Farmers Markets! Visit the Carnation Farmers Market on Tuesdays from 3-7 pm and stop by our table to learn more about green infrastructure and enter to win a rain barrel! Every week we raffle away a rain barrel and deliver it to the recipient. We will also doing the same thing at the Duvall Farmers Market on August 12th & 19th!

Rain barrels collect rainwater running off your roof so you can put it to a better use, like watering your garden! Our raffle rain barrels, provided by Seattle Conservation Corps, once had a past career holding Greek olives, which we think is pretty neat! Talk about upcycling! We hope to see you at the market! If you’re lucky enough, maybe you’ll get a chance to visit with the Powder Hound Woodworks puppy as well!

Our friend, the Powder Hound Woodworks puppy!