Heat Wave Rocks the PNW

Our team has been dwelling heavily on the global climate crisis after the Pacific Northwest experienced a brutal heat wave at the end of June. It is hard to ignore climate change when met with temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking previous temperature records in many places. As we all recovered from the heat, stories and data started emerging about the incredible loss of life our communities and ecosystem suffered. According to the Seattle Times, British Columbia reported over 700 people suffered unexpected death during the heat wave. Wildlife was also killed off by the heat, with our beloved PNW shellfish cooking alive.

We encourage you to take a moment to read through the news stories covering those brutal days and the affect it had on our environment. While it is unpleasant to look these harsh realities in the face, it is important to recognize and understand the impacts of climate change. If we do not continue to advocate for stewardship of our environment, our communities might be looking at extreme heat waves and drought becoming the norm. Something that we are confident most of us do not want to live with.

Crushing heat wave in Pacific Northwest and Canada cooked shellfish alive by the millions (The Seattle Times)

Like in ‘Postapocalyptic Movies’: Heat Wave Killed Marine Wildlife en Masse 
(The New York Times)

Heat Wave Killed An Estimated 1 Billion Sea Creatures, And Scientists Fear Even Worse
(NPR)

Study: Northwest heat wave impossible without climate change 
(OPB)

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.

Snoqualmie Stewardship: The Snoqualmie Valley Stewardship Handbook

The Snoqualmie Valley Stewardship Handbook is a resource for people that live and visit the Snoqualmie Valley. It provides solutions to local issues and the actions people can take to improve the Snoqualmie River Watershed. It is based on a collaborative effort and an understanding that we all can keep the Valley pristine. We appreciate the opportunity to share this tool with you and hope you find it helpful, as a steward to the land and water that sustains us.  

From its headwaters in the Cascade Mountains to the confluence of the Snohomish River and on into the Salish Sea the Snoqualmie River is the majestic provider of habitat and sustenance, as it breathes life into all it encounters. For time immemorial the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ) has lived and cared for this river and its surrounding lands. We acknowledge this throughout this handbook and with all of our actions associated with the land and water of this area.  

Today, the ever-growing population, industry, extraction, and production wear on this once pristine river and the territory it flows through. Our first step in rectifying this is to recognize the impacts and threats to healthy ecosystems, salmon, orca, and people. The salmon need a clean and healthy river to survive. Orca need healthy salmon to survive, and we need both healthy salmon and orca to survive. It’s going to take hard work, but we at Stewardship Partners are up for the challenge, and we hope you are too, and that this Handbook provides you the knowledge and tools to take action. 

Just like the river making its way to the sea, we are on a journey to heal the river and its riparian habitat in a way that’s conducive to all. All efforts to recover the Snoqualmie will require collaboration, patience and hard work but by working together, we can achieve a much more sustainable environment for this current generation as well as for generations to come. Let’s do this. For the River. For the Orca. For the salmon. For the people.  

The Snoqualmie Valley Stewardship Handbook was made possible by Bullitt Foundation, King County, Patagonia, and a host of volunteers.   

Restoration Crew Updates

With our crew back to full swing, we are thrilled to announce that Snoqualmie Stewardship crew member Ashley Aversa has been promoted to the position of Ecological Restoration Project Manager! 

“We’re happy to have our crew back in full swing. I’m really excited about our upcoming projects and my new role as project manager. The role provides the opportunity to build stronger relationships with other programs and partners. I’m hoping to learn and collaborate more with the community, to bring that knowledge and value to our operations in the field.”

-Ashley Aversa, Ecological Restoration Project Manager

In addition, the restoration crew is also welcoming two new members, Vickee Beach and Neli Banev! As life slowly moves forward after the last year, we look forward to continued work in the field and returning to hosting events for partners and supporters to come join us in restoring the incredible Snoqualmie Valley.

Vickee Beach  – Restoration Crew Member
Vickee joined the Stewardship Partners team in April 2021. She moved to the Seattle area from Texas because she wanted to be closer to the beautiful Cascades. While gaining a degree in Nonprofit Leadership, Vickee served as Vice Chair of the We Mean Green Fund at the University of North Texas, a committee that aims to enable students to create sustainable practices on their college campus. Vickee’s passion for sustainability stems from her love for the outdoors and all the life in it, and a hope for inspiring others to care for it as well. In her free time, Vickee enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and throwing pottery.

Neli Banev – Restoration Crew Member
Neli joined Stewardship Partners in 2021. She came from Bulgaria, Eastern Europe, aiming to explore the world and earn her bachelor degree in Global Studies from UW Bothell. Neli became passionate about habitat restoration by volunteering for Seattle Urban Forest. By joining Stewardship Partners, Neli is following her passion to protect and restore the natural habitat and achieve change in the world for better. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her dogs and exploring nature.

Vickee
Neli

Award-winning Gamble Sands is a remarkable golf course resort with particular attention to land and water stewardship

In the heart of North Central Washington lies the award-winning Gamble Sands golf resort. This spectacular golf getaway offers a links style experience while maintaining particular attention to land and water stewardship. A sophisticated blend of great golf and environmentally conscious design is what  I found most remarkable.

A beautifully designed golf course weaved into the natural wild surroundings, Gamble Sands has established itself as the premier golf resort and destination in Washington State. The Gebbers family owns the resort and are well-known farmers and apple orchardists in the area, with operations based in Brewster.  The property has two golf courses, lodging, pro shop, and a charming rustic clubhouse, Danny Boy Bar and Grill.

Gamble Sands was designed by award-winning golf course architect David McKlay Kidd who is a  Salmon-Safe Golf Course certification assessment team member. His thoughtful golf course design and environmental innovation stand out at Gamble Sands, making this course an excellent candidate for Salmon-Safe certification.  The golf course was built on a strip of sand amongst the rock outcroppings and required minimal earth movement while preserving much of the shrub-steppe habitat. The site abounds with arrowleaf balsamroot, sagebrush, Mule deer, Osprey, and hundreds of wildlife species that use this critical habitat.

I was lucky enough to spend a morning touring with Josh Truan, Golf Course Superintendent, and his nine-month-old dog Penny. We played the new 14-hole par 3 Quick Sands course together while learning about his low-input management techniques. It became apparent that Truan has a deep connection to the course, his staff, and the environment. He explained the turfs treatment, which is only fertilized twice a year with no glyphosate to ensure its health and longevity.

The two golf courses were seeded using fine fescue grass, which provides perfect fairways and greens that are smooth, consistent, and fast.  Fescue grass is environmentally friendly, grows slower, and in turn requires less mowing and water use.  There are only four other courses in the country with all fescue grass, furthering the unique experience of playing Gamble Sands.

The course staff make their bunker and maintenance sand on-site using a screener, eliminating the need to import sand, further reducing their carbon footprint.  The course is watered using a state-of-the-art computer system and moisture sensors that inform Truan and the management team if certain areas need watering adjustments.  The course uses less than six-tenths of an inch of water every three days during summer months.

The comfortably chic lodging is also thoughtfully hidden below a bluff with an 18-hole putting course outside the backdoor of your spacious room.  The putting course backdrop boasts a breathtaking view of snowcapped Cascade mountains with the mighty Columbia River meandering through a vast gorge below.

Gamble Sands is a clever golf course that cares for the land and offers golfers and non-golfers a special place to relax and enjoy life.  Wine tastings, nature walks, poolside relaxation, and birdwatching are amongst the options for those who prefer not to golf. The staff at the resort are friendly and attentive to all your needs.  This golf resort should serve as an inspiration for future courses in the country.  It is truly a first-class experience that is loads of fun and creates lasting memories for anyone lucky enough to have come here.

Written by David Burger, Executive Director at Stewardship Partners

Rain Gardens and Cisterns Make for Good Neighbors

Stone Gossard is featured along with the Orca in a new campaign about grants to property owners. 

A few months ago, Stewardship Partners was awarded a grant to spread the news about incentives  for rain gardens and cisterns in King County. The challenge? To reach those unsure about rain gardens and cisterns or who would like to help the environment but also have other pressing concerns about their property such as water damage, high water bills, or landscaping. The 12,000 Rain Gardens campaign started in 2011, so Stewardship Partners figured that most people who were already primed and ready for a rain garden or a cistern had likely installed one. But what about that next layer of folks? Those for whom it can seem like a financial stretch – but are amenable to taking steps that help their property as well as Puget Sound, provided they can afford it. 

After working with Board members Cal McAllister and Samantha Neukom to identify the opportunity, Stewardship Partners gathered the talents of Merlino Media Group and Northbound to create a media plan and creative campaign to reach property owners in the King County area. Our goal? To let them know that there are grants available that can cover  $4,000 toward installing a rain garden or cistern and that by doing so, they can create a win-win. The first win is improving property: rain gardens can improve drainage, dry out basements and decrease mold, and cisterns can significantly lower summer water bills. Rain gardens can also be a beautiful way to add landscaping to your yard. The second win is that by installing a rain garden or cistern, you’re also helping your human, orca, salmon, and other wildlife neighbors that cohabitate with us here in Puget Sound. 

The creative idea came from a mix of Pacific Northwest quirky attitude with lovable, custom animations of our fauna neighbors, featuring the Orca, the Octopus, and the Salmon. In posters, print ads, and bus side ads, you see our animal neighbors installing their own rain gardens and encouraging us, their human neighbors, to do the same. Radio ads feature Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam, a rain garden and cistern owner himself, chatting with his orca, salmon, and octopus neighbors. In one radio ad he notes, “if you want to keep your basement dry and the Sound clean, cisterns and rain gardens are a beautiful way to help.”

Stone Gossard, The Neighbor

Monisa Brown, The Orca

The campaign’s goal is to reach King County residents who may be eligible for one of several grants that could cover up to 100% of the cost of installing a cistern or rain garden and to let them know the multiple benefits of doing so. With a simple click or two at www.rainchangers.org, property owners can check their eligibility and set up a visit from a local certified contractor.   

Check out RainChangers in the news at https://www.seattletimes.com/life/garden/installing-a-rain-garden-you-could-be-eligible-for-a-rebate/

View the press release at https://www.stewardshippartners.org/new-program-offers-free-rain-gardens-and-cisterns/

Summit 2021 Highlights and Call for Action

Looking back on six years of Green Infrastructure Summits, some things have changed and others have stayed the same. That first year, I had this phrase I couldn’t stop saying about how this region was poised to become the “silicon valley of green infrastructure.” I felt that we had the necessary components for an “innovation ecosystem” that could lead the world in nature-based solutions to complex, “wicked problems” like stormwater, climate change, and environmental justice if we could “connect the dots” across sectors (.com, .gov, .org, .edu)  and “bust silos.” With all those catchphrases, I’m lucky no one kicked me out of the PNW to go live in the real silicon valley! Creating a host committee that shared many of those ideas and brought so many more of their own took that initial vision and made it into something that the whole green infrastructure sector can feel proud of.  

The summit host committee is the heart of the event, and this year proved that yet again. From identifying a unifying theme to selecting speakers and sessions, right down to redefining and helping de-colonize the event name, this year’s summit host committee put on a fantastic event against the odds, in the face of multiple pandemics (e.g. COVID and Global-scale Zoom Fatigue) a societal reckoning around race and equity, a climate crisis, and a more divided society than we’ve seen in decades. Yet we all gathered. We all shared openly, even vulnerably. And we participated in difficult conversations that opened doors, and learned about collaborations that poked holes in silos and brought down barriers. We heard about agencies “failing forward” (did .govs learn that from our .com colleagues?), community needs that were put first and ultimately supported by stormwater funding. It is humbling and inspiring at the same time to see where we started and the significant progress we’ve achieved as a community and as a green infrastructure movement. There’s a long way to go before we reach our shared goals of human and natural systems in balance, the end of any one dominant culture, and an infrastructure system that grows better with age rather than deteriorating. But looking back at where we started and forward into the unknown, it’s possible to imagine all those things. And if we can imagine them, we can create them.   

If you missed this year’s summit, or if you joined us but want to revisit anything that was shared, please visit the summit webpage at: www.12000raingardens.org/summit2021. All the presentations are available to watch, and additional resources from the event can be downloaded at that webpage.  

Written by Aaron Clark, Director of Strategic Partnerships

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. 

Save the Date: GiveBig

GiveBig returns again this year with a two day giving event on May 4th-5th, 2021. We hope you will mark your calendars with a reminder to support Stewardship Partners and other causes dear to your heart during GiveBig.

Your support is critical to ensuring a healthy Puget Sound environment both now and for years to come. Together we can achieve clean water, sustainable agriculture, thriving salmon and orca populations, and healthy communities, throughout our region.