Building partnerships is a necessity. We must work together to create the watershed we desire to live in. These presentations highlight how diverse partners connected to create a shared vision which exponentially increased the power of the project.
Cedar Creek Park, Partnerships Key to Developing Park Lisa Parsons, Founding Member of Middle Green River Coalition and Friends of Cedar Creek
Cedar Creek Park, located between Covington and Maple Valley, is a successful example of community efforts to conserve the surrounding area and protect Cedar Creek and Jenkins Creek, both tributaries of the Green River by creating an 84 acres park. The initial effort was a success due to the strategic partnerships and timing that played a critical role in preventing this area from becoming another mega development. As a result of the initial effort we were able to then leverage more resources to conserve an additional 43 acres adjacent to the original area. The main trail was adopted as part of a King County regional trail network. In 2010 a partnership with REI and King County allowed the community to build a new trail loop, create a map of the trails, and establish a community trailhead to attract recreational use and reduce undesirable activities. That initial effort started a process that is continuing today. Today community members are working with adjacent developers on community trailheads, trail linkages, and extending the trail to protect additional acreage along Jenkins Creek. Key partnerships with local cities, local homeowners associations, adjacent landowners, individuals, elected officials, Department of Natural Resources, and King County were critical to the success of the project.
Building Partnerships for Clean Water in the Soos Creek Basin Antonia Jindrich, Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group
Soos Creek is the largest tributary to the Green-Duwamish River, with a basin that drains about 70 square miles of area. At the same time, it is one of the fastest growing areas of the state. This has resulted in increasing problems with water quality in the streams of the basin – with high temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels becoming an increasing challenge for fish in the basin. A new partnership of Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, Green River Coalition, the internship program at Green River College, and local governments is working to combine habitat restoration and landowner outreach to improve water quality in this tributary system. We are seeking to address change through a suite of projects: riparian restoration projects to cool the streams and provide filtration, landowner outreach to streamside property owners about ways they can better address water quality, and community education to a diverse community on ways we can all improve the health of our local streams. Through this multi-pronged approach, we seek to both make marked improvement at specific sites, and increase public understanding of the needs of the watershed.
Partnerships to Restore & Enhance King County Parks & Natural Lands Ingrid Lundin, King County Parks King County Parks (KC Parks) has been using community partnership grants and our volunteer program to expand the amount of work completed on our lands. With decreased funding, KC Parks has found creative ways to partner with conservation groups such as South Seattle Sierra Club, Rainier Audubon, and Middle Green Coalition to help with plantings, weeding, and restoration projects. We have restored over 25 acres of habitat with volunteer help over the past 5 years. In addition, our backcountry trails program has benefited from involvement with Washington Trails Association, Evergreen Bike Alliance, and Tahoma Backcountry Horseman. These groups provide volunteers and funding to construct new trails and reroute others. This is a great way to support our trails by having recreational users maintain the trails they are using. Our Volunteer Program includes active Park Ambassadors that commit to completing over 100 hours per year in benefiting a park or natural area, and completing over 150 volunteer events in the Green-Duwamish Basin on yearly basis.
Mapping Restoration Activities in the Green-Duwamish Watershed Tracy Stanton, Urban Waters Partnership In 2013, the Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Federal Partnership (GD-UWFP) received official designation as one of 19 Partnership sites across the country. The goal of the UWFP is to reconnect urban communities, particularly those that are overburdened or economically distressed, with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with community-led revitalization efforts to improve our Nation's water systems and promote their economic, environmental and social benefits. The work in the Green-Duwamish is driven by the creative work of the USFS, PNW Research Station in partnership with US EPA and NRCS. During the first year of operation, the GD-UWFP Coordinator participated in many community or watershed organizations’ meetings to better understand how the UWFP could add value to their existing efforts. During those meetings, a number of key themes emerged as priorities for the GD-UWFP, starting with the need for an integrated map to show where restoration activities have happened, are ongoing or are planned in the future. In response to this need, the GD-UWFP program compiled an inventory of restoration activities modeled after an effort undertaken by the Puget Sound Federal Caucus and thus completed a portfolio of restoration organizations across all levels of government and NGOs that are engaged in restoration activities. Simultaneously, EPA developed a tool for use by the Urban Waters program call the Urban Waters Mapper. A small amount of funding was secured to transform the inventory of restoration activities across the Green-Duwamish watershed into the Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Mapper, which will be demonstrated and launched as part of this presentation.