By Dennis Hinton
Special to West Seattle Blog
If you value natural areas in West Seattle and want to keep them healthy and safe, you may now make a tax-deductible donation toward ongoing stewardship of two of them: Fauntleroy Creek and Fauntleroy Park.
Initial goal for the new Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship Fund is $30,000.
The Fauntleroy Watershed Council has arranged for EarthCorps, a 501(c)3 international environmental training program headquartered in Seattle, to receive one-time and monthly donations to the fund. Gifts will help pay for work along the creek and in the park that otherwise would not be funded.
“We’ve made a lot of progress since 1989 in restoring natural features of the neighborhood, primarily
with $2 million in public and foundation funding,” said Judy Pickens, a member of the council’s executive committee. “In recent years, grants have become so scarce that we’re in danger of losing these gains.”
Of particular concern is maintaining the safety of areas used as both classroom and lab by the nearly
11,000 students who have visited the creek and park since 1995 to learn about clean water, a healthy
environment, and salmon-friendly habitat.
Pickens noted that governmental priorities have shifted just when the effects of climate change are becoming evident. Peak flows in the creek are now seven times what they were in 2007, putting pressure on weirs designed decades ago for milder conditions. Also, summer droughts have become the norm, threatening vegetation that holds soil and cools the water for salmon and other aquatic life.
The $30,000 would fund permits, design, supplies, and EarthCorps labor to upgrade weirs and vegetation in the lower creek to withstand heavy flows and improve bank stability, spawner access, and student safety over the long term.
“The work that’s now needed is often too hazardous for volunteers or it requires the expertise and equipment of contractors,” explained Peggy Cummings, one of two volunteer forest stewards for the watershed. “This fund gives residents a tangible way to continue to be involved.”
You can donate:
-Online. Go to the donation page at earthcorps.org, select “This gift is in honor or memory of someone,” and write
“Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship”
-By postal mail. Write “Fauntleroy Watershed Stewardship” on the memo line of your check and mail to Development Office, EarthCorps, 6310 NE 74th St., #201E, Seattle, WA 98115.
-In person. Give your check to any member of the council’s executive committee: Judy Pickens
(firstname.lastname@example.org; 206-938-4203), Peggy Cummings (email@example.com; 206-369-4830), or Dennis Hinton (firstname.lastname@example.org; 206-937-1410).
For a full prospectus, stop by the council’s table at the March 20 Fauntleroy Food Fest or visit www.fauntleroywatershed.org/donate.html, where you’ll also find the 2017 watershed annual report.