The Citizen Action Training School is starting in March! Applications due Friday, 2-28

I wanted to share with you this special opportunity to learn more about the ecological communities of the region and the human regulations that affect these resources. The Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group is now accepting applications for the Citizen Action Training School, and is looking for participants from diverse backgrounds and occupations and with a passion for local watersheds and shorelines to participate.

The Citizen Action Training School, or CATS, is modeled after a successful program first implemented in the late 1980s in Snohomish County by the Pilchuck Audubon Society. The RFEGs program will include the original watershed ecology and civic education and engagement components with an added focus on Puget Sound Recovery. CATS participants will become aware, educated, and active stewards and advocates for their watersheds and the greater Puget Sound. Participants will receive 50 hours of training over 3 months, and will give back by volunteering at least 50 hours to plan and complete a service project in their community related to the Puget Sound Strategic Initiatives: 1) Prevention of Stormwater Pollution, 2) Protection/Restoration of Habitat, 3) Recovery of Shellfish Beds. For more information, I encourage you to check out the program website at

CATS is a great opportunity for anyone interested in Puget Sound recovery, especially for people who want the tools to be active in their community and advocate in support of local watersheds and shorelines. The training sessions will be conducted on a diverse spectrum of issues related to Puget Sound recovery and by presenters who are experts in their field, so this is an awesome opportunity for students, government officials, concerned citizens and others.

CATS sessions are being offered throughout the Puget Sound region, with the next session starting early this March in Seattle and additional trainings in Everett, and on the Olympic Peninsula in 2014. Applications for the winter 2014 sessions are due by February 28th and there are limited spaces available so get yours in soon! To apply or for more information, contact the Seattle CATS Coordinator Leihla Scharlau at or (206) 529-9467.

General Membership Meeting, Thursday, January 30, 2014 – 7:15 – 9:00 PM – Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave NE

Feet First’s Annual Stairway Walks Day – Seattle (with walks in the Thornton Creek Watershed), Bellevue, and Burien


Stairway Walks Day 2014


Join the only Stairway Walks Day in Washington. On Saturday, February 8, from 10am to 12pm, lace up your shoes, grab a friend, and get ready to explore neighborhood byways you can only see by foot.

Last year, more than 260 people joined our signature event that featured fifteen walks exploring the region’s stairways. Participants climbed 70,000 stairs, and collectively traveled more than 500 miles in two hours.

This year, we are planning for an even bigger event. Trained Neighborhood Walking Ambassadors are preparing to lead eighteen concurrent scenic, family friendly walks in Bellevue, Burien, and Seattle. The Stairway Walks Day is estimated to bring out 450 people, who will collectively climb over 120,000 stairs.

Last year every stairway walk was filled up in advance of the event. To ensure your space in Stairway Walks Day, become a Feet First member today and you will receive a priority registration invitation on Monday, January 13 for this event that only happens once a year.

Should you have any questions about Stairway Walks Day or you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Drew DeVitis by calling 206-652-2310 ext. 5 or emailing .


H 2013_2_Stairway Walks Day_Lakewood-Seward (1)

Good Bye, with Thanks, to Watershed Warrior and Community Leader Richard Conlin

President Ruth readies to read TCA's letter of appreciation.

President Ruth readies to read TCA’s letter of appreciation to Councilmember Richard Conlin at his farewell celebration, December 18. The full text of the letter is posted below.  Also pictured are John Lombard, Imogene Williams, and Chuck Dolan.

Download PDF Letter to Richard Conlin


Grants Available

Aquatic Lands Enhancement Account (ALEA)

Volunteer Cooperative Grant Program

Grant applications will be accepted from December 1, 2013 – February 28, 2014.

Over the years, WDFW’s ALEA Grant Program has supported hundreds of individuals and organizations who have undertaken a variety of projects that engage volunteers and benefit Washington’s fish and wildlife resources.

ALEA grants are in high demand; therefore, we follow a competitive process to select recipients.  If interested, read below for more information about the program and how to apply.

Project Types

The ALEA Grant Program funds five major types of projects; however, others may be considered.

Details are here!

  • Habitat projects include activities that restore and/or preserve fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Research projects increase our knowledge of fish and wildlife species.
  • Education projects communicate information or provide hands on experiences that will enhance public understanding of fish and wildlife and their habitat.
  • Facility Development projects provide or enhance access to fish and wildlife related recreational opportunities.
  • Artificial Production projects rear and release fish or wildlife for public recreation or to restore populations. All artificial production projects must be pre-approved by WDFW to be eligible to apply for an ALEA grant.

From Green Seattle Partnership — send an email today!

The more we at GSP learn about Seattle’s Parks Legacy Plan, the more worried we get. This Plan basically determines what the Parks Levy or Parks District will fund, and it currently under-funds the Green Seattle Partnership by $1.5 million every year. We need $3.6 million in capital funds every year to restore our forests by 2025, and the Plan only includes $2.1 million per year.


We need you to show the Plan’s Citizen Advisory Committee that Seattle cares about GSP! There are two things you can do, and one is very easy:


1. We need everyone to email the committee:


More information about the Parks Legacy Plan:

Pre-Order Now for 2014 Native Bareroot Plant Sale

Red_Flowering_Currant_CroppedWith winter coming on, it’s already time to think about spring planting! Next year’s growing season begins with the King County Conservation District annual Native Bareroot Plant Sale, set for Saturday, March 1, 2014.

The District offers a wide variety of native trees & shrubs for home landscapes and conservation purposes, including wildlife habitat, windbreaks, hedgerows, reforestation and stream enhancement.

The plants are bareroot stock, which means they are affordable and easy to plant. It is best to pre-order your plants, the sooner the better, as some varities can sell out.

Click here for details and a link to online ordering

Pre-Order now through February 9, 2014

New Construction at 3310 NE 125th St., Environmentally Critical Area

Permit # 3015115


Details and additional links are here.


Environmentally Critical Area

40% Steep Slope


Riparian Corridor

Salmon Watershed


Accepted Permit:  Land Use Application to allow a 6-story congregate residence with 150 bedrooms in an environmentally critical area. 1,990 sq. ft. of retail and 2 live-work units (1,985 sq. ft.) will be located at grade. Parking for 51 vehicles will be located within the structure.


This site was formerly used as a gas station, but the permit history indicates that the polluted soils were removed in 2002.  It is situated directly on top of Little Brook Creek which is housed in a 24’ culvert until it crosses NE 125th.  The construction documents imply that since the creek was legally culverted it is now legal to ignore the presence of the creek.  The Little Brook detention pond is just across NE 125th.


The comment period is extended to Nov. 20th, 2013.  (Thanks, Bonnie Miller!)  E-mailed comments should go to and reference permit # 3015115.  Some in the community are very concerned about the parking and traffic impact.  We would like to see the Little Brook Creek daylighted at this site.  Failing that, it would be helpful if the culvert could be replaced with a more fish-friendly one.  It would also be for the best if run-off water from the site could be reused in the plumbing and irrigation systems.

Mountain Bike Trails in Seattle’s Natural Areas?

DSCN3506Seattle Parks is drafting standards for mountain bike trails in the natural areas.  One would expect them be similar to Portland, Oregon’s standards, which are here, on page 31.  This would mean ripping out plantings to create a minimum 40’ line of sight and trail widths of six to twelve feet when you factor in the one foot margin on either side.  The impetus for this is a grant request from the stewards at Cheasty/Mt View on east side of Beacon Hill.  They view it as a way to reduce crime in the natural area and accelerate restoration.  Their trail plan is here.

In addition to drafting these standards Parks is planning to ask for a change in the code for Seattle’s natural areas.  Right now, only passive uses are permitted.  In order to allow mountain biking Parks will ask for a code change to allow active uses.

We feel that the primary focus of the urban natural areas should be forestry and habitat development.  Since urban mountain bike trials are so heavily used, many, or even most, of Seattle’s natural areas cannot function as intended under the burden of this new use.  The Thornton Creek Natural Areas in particular tend to be small and closely follow the creek.  We are working to get at least these exempted from consideration.

We are pleased to report that we have been in communication with Seattle Neighborhood Greenways;  they understand and are sympathetic to our concerns.  After all, we do have some common goals!  The conversation is continuing.  We hope that together with some of the bicycle groups we can develop standards that will help protect our fragile, urban natural resources.

The Seattle Urban Forestry Commission is beginning to look at the issue.  The Seattle Parks Board had an interview with Parks’ trail planner at their Nov. 14th meeting.  Only one commissioner fully grasped what is at stake here.  The majority seems to be leaning toward asking for the policy change and allowing one trail for a couple of years as a pilot project.  The commission will issue a recommendation in January.

If you would like to send in comments here’s how:

Parks Board:

Parks Trail Planner:

Creative Thank You from The Perkins School 4th and 5th Graders

The Letter



The Envelope