Dec. 31, 2008
Snoqualmie watershed restoration work gets $685,000 in King Conservation District funds
New educational tools for lakeside homeowners, habitat protection and enhancement projects, plus new park amenities, are among the benefits coming to communities in the Snoqualmie watershed through a series of grant awards announced today.
The King Conservation District (KCD), in partnership with the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, has awarded 21 grants for habitat restoration and stewardship projects in the Snoqualmie Watershed. Grant funding totaling $685,000 was awarded in 2008.
Among these projects is a restoration and education initiative at Lake Marcel, to be administered by King County’s Lake Stewardship Program in partnership with the Lake Marcel Community Club. The community club for the lake, north of Carnation, will contribute labor and other resources to the project, as will King County.
About $22,000 has been awarded to design and construct educational signs at two lakeside sites, and demonstrate through lakeshore plantings how native plants can protect water quality and habitat without sacrificing views. Additional plantings will test natural ways to deter beavers from feasting on landowners’ young plants.
A key component will be creating a 30-page educational booklet about the lake and its community, including natural features, animals and plant populations. Tentatively titled “Living Well at Lake Marcel,” the handbook will also discuss algae blooms and aquatic weeds and provide information on weed control.
“We are happy to be working with the Lake Marcel community on this project,” said Sally Abella of King County’s Lake Stewardship Program. “Information in the booklet will help homeowners find plants for their lakeside gardens that won’t be so appealing to beavers.”
Beginning in January and continuing for two years, the grant will also support pre- and post-project surveys of watershed residents to assess changes in awareness and action
KCD funds were also awarded to the City of Duvall for Depot Park improvements. As part of a larger project to locate a historic train depot in McCormick Park, nearly $44,000 will be used to build a walkway that demonstrates Low Impact Development (LID) techniques by allowing rainfall to infiltrate the ground.
The project will also restore at least half an acre near Coe-Clemons Creek, including planting native vegetation to discourage invasive plants and to add more biological diversity.
Interpretive signage will explain the LID features, which can be used to reduce stormwater impacts in future residential development, and the importance of habitat improvements. The project will likely involve volunteer labor, including students, in plantings and perhaps in signage design, allowing the community to learn more about the wetland, its flora and fauna, and LID practices.
“We are so excited about the grant,” said Lara Thomas, senior planner for the City of Duvall. “It gives us a great opportunity to implement low-impact development for the first time on a city project, and to set an example for the community.”
This stretch of Coe-Clemons Creek, and the adjoining six-acre wetland, is home to juvenile chinook salmon, migrating adult coho salmon, herons, ducks, beavers, frogs and salamanders. The project is one of several along the creek and the Snoqualmie River that Duvall has implemented to restore salmon habitat.
The Snoqualmie Watershed Forum administers a competitive grant process each year to identify salmon habitat protection, restoration and stewardship projects, which the KCD considers and awards through its Member Jurisdiction and WRIA Watershed Forum Grant Program.
The KCD grant program is made possible by the KCD county-wide $9.98 per-parcel assessment. The KCD special assessment supports many KCD activities as well as the habitat and stewardship projects identified by the King County’s three watershed forums.
Government entities and non-profit organizations may apply to the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum for funding each year. Priority is given to proposals that promote salmon recovery and/or address water quality problems in the Snoqualmie Watershed.
The forum and conservation district also offer smaller grants to local landowners who want to improve habitat on their own land. The next round for both types of funding begins early in 2009.
For more information about the KCD grant program, grant applications, and other projects funded by KCD grants, please visit http://www.kingcd.org/pro_gra.htm For more information on the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum, please visit: http://www.govlink.org/watersheds/.