Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Heron Habitat Helpers, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recently held the grand opening of Seattle Parks’ first wildlife sanctuary at Kiwanis Ravine on the eastern edge of Discovery Park.
The first group to step up and participate in the new wildlife sanctuary nomination program was Heron Habitat Helpers, a local organization committed to the preservation of the Great Blue Heron colony in Kiwanis Ravine. HHH’s goals are to preserve the colony, control invasive plant species, and create a backyard monitoring program in the adjacent neighborhood. For more information on HHH, see http://heronhelpers.org/.
Kiwanis Ravine, located on W Government Way between 35th Ave. W and Brygger Ave. W., is home to a broad diversity of wildlife, including the largest Great Blue Heron colony in Seattle.
The site is now recognized under Parks’ Wildlife Sanctuary Program. With the public’s help, Parks is identifying and protecting critical urban wildlife habitat in Seattle for Washington State’s most vulnerable species. Parks’ Wildlife Sanctuary Policy articulates Parks’ commitment to sustain habitats for a wide variety of wildlife and outlines steps Parks will take to create and manage wildlife sanctuaries for these species:
- Local populations of federally endangered or threatened species
- State Priority Species and Species of Concern
- Locally important species with declining populations.
The program goal is to promote the value of healthy and diverse urban wildlife populations by working with the community to combine planning efforts, maintenance practices, educational opportunities, and volunteer stewardship to support our Wildlife Sanctuaries.