Spring Clean in Pioneer Square

On May 18th Stewardship Partners joined The Alliance for Pioneer Square and over 250 volunteers participating in multiple projects for their annual Spring Clean event. Our group was small but mighty as we maintained the four rain gardens on Occidental. We cleaned up the gardens, installed 30 plants and added mulch to top them off. There’s nothing more gratifying than creating a positive impact in your community especially in a spot you walk by each day. Thank you, volunteers!

A Strong Partnership Only Getting Stronger!

The New Year brought some new changes to our field operations in the Snoqualmie Valley. For the past 15 or so years our restoration crew made Griffin Creek Farm their field headquarters. This was a daily meeting location, an area/container to store our tools and plant materials as well as our vehicles (crew truck, Kubota, and trailer). We appreciate our time spent at Griffin Creek and are forever indebted to Wendy and Andrew for accommodating our needs for so long!

When it came time to look for a new home for our field crew, Carnation Farms was the first location to come to mind. We’ve built a strong relationship with Carnation Farms since we planted our first tree there in 2013 as part of a riparian restoration project. Since then, we’ve partnered on countless volunteer events, hosted our annual Feast on the Farm fundraiser there, and restored miles of the mainstem Snoqualmie River along the property. When asked if we could house our field operations there, farm staff were quick to respond and found a spot near their Garden Center that suits us amazingly well. It was quite a process to acquire a new storage container, build it out and get all our field tools/materials organized, but today we are set up perfectly for success out at Carnation Farms. This set up has also allowed us to partner in new ways. This spring, our field staff have been helping Carnation Farms with their annual plant sale! This connection might not have been made if we weren’t sharing a space with them. Thank you, Carnation Farms!

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

Welcoming New Crew Members!

Stewardship Partners is thrilled to welcome Kiersten and Lauren to the team. They joined us in early April as part of our Snoqualmie Stewardship Habitat Restoration crew. They jumped right into helping us install and plant the Carnation Elementary School rain garden (the second one there) and the Griffin Creek Farm rain garden. We look forward to having a full crew in the Snoqualmie once again!

Upcoming Workshops & Classes

Growing Groceries Classes: Wednesdays at 7 pm – January through June
Learn best practices for growing fruits and vegetables in Western Washington!

Bellevue Demo Garden Workshops: Saturdays at 9:30 am – January through October
Covers a comprehensive offering of gardening topics with a focus on ornamental plants and gardening issues.

Tilth Alliance Gardeners Classes – Thursdays & Saturdays – Now through May – Mix of online and in person
A variety of classes on topics such as vegetable gardening, food preservation and cooking, permaculture, and urban livestock.

SCD Jumpstart Your Yard  – Feb. 4th, 10am – 12pm – Woodinville
Thinking about transforming your yard this year? This introductory class will focus on effective yard design and the components needed for robust soils.

KCD Streamside Restoration: Feb. 7th, 6-7:30 pm – Webinar
Learn from restoration experts about managing your yard to support both the environment and your own needs.

How to Get RainWise: Feb 15th, 6-7 pm – Webinar
Learn how RainWise rebates for rain gardens and cisterns reduce pollution and how you can get an installation at your home!

SCD Planting a Food Forest: Feb 25th, 10-11:30 am, Webinar
Want to garden and do your part for wildlife and climate change? Consider creating a food forest! Learn all about it in this webinar!

KCD Understanding Soil Health: Feb 27th, 6-8 pm – Webinar
Learn about soil basics, KCD’s Soil Testing Program, and ways to improve soil health.

How to Get RainWise: March 1st, 6-7 pm – West Seattle
Learn about how you can apply for a rebate to cover up to 100% of the cost of your rain garden or cistern – in-person!

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

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).