Goodbye Chef Bill

It’s with a heavy heart that we share the sad news that our good friend and stewardship partner Bill Ranniger passed away recently after a battle with cancer.  Bill was the Executive Chef at Duke’s Seafood and had a profound love for the Northwest, the environment, salmon, music, and community. His passion for food and wine ran deep, as did his belief in the importance of sourcing from local farms and selecting wild, natural and sustainable seafood.

Bill was a smart, caring, and loving person that would share his big smile and positive energy with everyone around. Duke’s was one of the first businesses to Adopt-a-Buffer in the Snoqualmie Valley, back in 2016.  He loved planting trees, removing blackberry bushes, and sharing his thoughts. “It’s a great day for saving a salmon and making some oxygen!” he once told me.  We will miss you Bill.

Executive Director, David Burger

Bill’s family requests that memorial gifts be designated to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center for cancer research.

Welcome Bryan Haakenson to the Board

We are thrilled to welcome Bryan Haakenson, Principal and Senior Project Manager at GLY, to the Stewardship Partners Board of Directors! A Northwest native who embodies every aspect of GLY’s collaborative, community-centered approach, Bryan provides leadership on projects in the heart of thriving residential, educational, and corporate campuses that are fully occupied during construction. His unique skills, personality, and temperament make him ideally suited to work within occupied settings to safely and expediently deliver new construction nestled in with renovated spaces. Bryan oversees the GLY Sustainability Advocacy group and focuses efforts to reduce GLY’s operational carbon footprint. He and his family enjoy all the outdoor activities the PNW has to offer, including boating in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Thank You Olivia!

At the end of May we are saying bye to our wonderful intern, Olivia Schwartz. Olivia joined Stewardship Partners in September and was quickly involved in Feast on the Farm, a big event for a newcomer! Since starting she has worked with the whole staff on projects from Adopt-a-Buffer to Salmon-Safe to Sound Impacts and did an amazing job at the Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea. Throughout her internship she demonstrated all the values of a Stewardship Partner and put up with the sometimes hectic Feast and Summit with a great attitude. We wish her the best as she graduates from UW and moves on to new opportunities. Thank you Olivia!  

The 8th Annual Green Infrastructure Summit: An Amazing Convergence of Like Minds and Hearts

It seems like absence really does make the heart grow fonder. After 3 years of virtual Summits, on March 17th, we were finally able to gather about 230 leaders of the green infrastructure movement together in person (with a couple dozen more joining us online). It was great to see everyone (and the sunshine didn’t hurt either)! Faces and perspectives new and old gathered at Cascadia College in Bothell for the 8th annual Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea. The host committee’s chosen theme of “money as medicine, historic investments are a historic opportunity for healing*”, helped us all consider our work with shared goals of healing harms, environmental, social, and otherwise.

Over the course of 8 summits in 8 years, a lot has happened. But one theme has persisted throughout: How can we repair environmental damage in a way that heals our social wounds as well? Or put in the terms that Host committee member Bridget Ray spoke, the people here belong to this land, are of this land, not the other way around, and when we work to heal and care for one, we must keep that relationship in mind. This is happening. Investments in green infrastructure are taking community-identified goals and needs into account. Some of those goals relate to workforce and career pathways. Others talked about the very rich complexity of community-centered strategies. Green infrastructure is increasingly helping create accessible outdoor spaces in the form of stormwater parks.

Most of the sessions (all the ones in the auditorium) were recorded and will remain available for you to watch and share with your colleagues on the summit webpage (along with content from past summits).

“While I didn’t know it at the time, this summit was my last in my current role. I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding send off than that. I am profoundly grateful for this community, your vision, your love for this land and all the people that belong to it.” -A note from Aaron Clark

*Acknowledgement to Edgar Villanueva who popularized the concept ‘money as medicine’ in his important book, Decolonizing Wealth.

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!

Buy Summit Tickets Now!

At the 2023 Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea we are taking the historic opportunity to look at the way infrastructure investments have been done to date, and inform the ways that we want them done now. This year’s theme is: Money as Medicine* – Historic investments are an historic opportunity for healing that we can’t afford to miss. There will be presentations and discussions on funding, workforce and career pathways, regional coordination, research, modeling, design and planning at watershed scales, and food systems too. We’ll have opportunities to walk outside, share food and drinks together, talk in the hallways, and yes, we will talk about tires too!

On behalf of an incredible host committee and Stewardship Partners, please join us.

What: The 8th annual Green Infrastructure Summit of the Salish Sea
Where: Mobius Hall, Cascadia College, Bothell, WA (with an online livestreaming option for the larger sessions)
When: March 17, 2023 (approx. 8:30 AM-4:30 PM)
Register Now: Eventbrite

*Acknowledgement to Edgar Villanueva who popularized the concept ‘money as medicine’ in his important book, Decolonizing Wealth.

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

Helping to Green Up Pioneer Square

As part of a broader greenspace improvement project, 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. This ecologically beneficial beautification project is the result of the volunteer group’s work! Funding for this project was made possible by Historic South Downtown.

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.