Sustainable West Seattle has been the recipient of two grants to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, solicited by the Puget Creek Watershed Alliance for ecological restoration in the Puget Ridge neighborhood near South Seattle College.
The first $20,000 grant from King County Wastewater Treatment Division focuses on “Lawn Transformations” to reduce stormwater runoff by improving the soil’s sponge and filtering capabilities. Titled “Clear the Air and Shrink Your Lawn,” this grant intends to reduce lawn mowing that comprises 5% of this nation’s air pollution. By eradicating grass, amending soils, and planting native species, it is hoped these mostly evergreen plants will better intercept winter rains and shade out weeds. Eight properties have had grass removed and plants installed, including a portion of lawn at Sanislo Elementary School. Also, the grant assisted the installation of one backyard rain garden that manages roof and street runoff.
The second $5,500 grant from King County Flood Control District is intended to restore native plant communities on properties with backyard natural areas in the Puget Creek watershed. This grant pays for invasive tree and knotweed removal, and to plant native evergreen trees that will reduce stormwater runoff and create shade conditions for replanting native diversity in the future. Invasive trees include European hawthorn, English laurel, and holly, a plant that is doubling its numbers every six years and is projected to be the dominant species in urban forests within three decades if we do nothing to stop its spread (for information: http://seedrain.org/).
Chosen grant participants will be supported by the restoration contractor, Garden Cycles, to remove invasive plant infestations and assist with planting and plant care. Garden Cycles’ primary transportation is by bicycle with trailer (http://gardencycles.com/).
Have you ever wanted to take a painting, mosaic, or paper making class? Now you can! Unleash your creative side in classes that explore the intersection of art and nature. Nature Consortium’s affordable new EcoARTs classes for beginning-level students begin on September 14th. Classes are taught by professional artists and no prior arts experience is necessary. Register today! Take one class, a whole series, or mix and match. Art supplies included. Open to students of all ages.
Did you know that over 600,000 pink salmon will make the journey up the Green/Duwamish River to spawn this year? This year, Mark Powell is swimming with them. From the crystal clear headwaters of the Green River to the polluted output of the Duwamish River at Puget Sound, Mark Powell of Washington Environmental Council is swimming the river to tell the story of the threats and opportunities facing the watershed and the Sound. Come face-to-face with salmon and frogs…Mark carries a GoPro and makes underwater videos of his swim! View more at SwimDuwamish.org and see cool underwater pictures at Instagram.com/SwimDuwamish. Here is a preview to get you started:
What an excellent way to take action and bring awareness to the issues that face our area. Thank you Mark and the folks at W.E.C. for doing such great work.