Less than 2 weeks till Alki’s wildlife habitat makes history

Thanks to WSBers’ wonderful photography, we have shown you great Alki-area wildlife photos like that one that Gary J shared recently – but there’s an unseen, vital part of those pictures: If there’s no habitat for the birds (and many other species), wildlife won’t be around to see. So we wanted to remind you about an upcoming event that’s been on the WSB Events calendar a long time but is finally now less than two weeks away: The May 23rd celebration of Alki as the Seattle metro area’s first National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat. Here’s the latest on what’s planned for the big event:

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) officially recognizes Alki as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat on Saturday, May 23, 2009 at the Alki Bathhouse.

The celebration is free and runs from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Bring the kids. There will be activities for all ages and light refreshments. Bluegrass duo Squirrel Butter will perform from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local dignitaries, including City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, will participate in the 1 p.m. ceremony.

Alki invites all Seattle communities to join the national trend to counter habitat loss. “Once habitat is lost, it is gone forever,” said Nancy Whitlock, Executive Director and Founder of Nature Consortium.

Learn what you can do to create your own, and encourage neighbors to do the same –ultimately expanding wildlife corridors. The NWF will talk about the elements required for wildlife protection. All flying and crawling friends seek, food, water, shelter and nesting places while using sustainable gardening practices like composting, mulching, selecting drought tolerant plants, avoiding pesticides, fertilizers and over watering. Healthier air, water and soil without high maintenance are the result.

A beach naturalist from The Seattle Aquarium will teach us how to better respect Puget Sound and our waterways. You’ll learn what to plant from the Washington Native Plant Society. To make it easy, native plants will be on sale.

Alki is the first in the Seattle metropolitan area to become a Community Wildlife Habitat, the fifth in Washington State, and 31st in the country. “We’re so lucky to have wild places within our city,” said Sean Schmidt, Director of New Initiatives and Acting Executive Director of Sustainable Seattle. Gene Duvernoy, Executive Director of the Cascade Land Conservancy, added this “certification is well deserved. The Alki community is showing us all how we can live side-by-side with nature.” More than 125 Alki businesses, schools, parks and private homes made healthy habitats a priority.

The Alki Wildlife Habitat Project took root in January 2003 as a shared vision of the Alki Community Council. They formed the Alki Wildlife Habitat Project, sponsored an open house at the Bathhouse and rallied the neighbors to seek certification as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat.

Six years later, linking one yard at a time as well as creating a demonstration garden, the collective efforts paid off. Alki now has “less lawn, more berries… birds, bees and butterflies, “said Chairperson Dolly Vinal. Shawn Cantrell, Executive Director of the Seattle Audubon Society, said, “Global warming, polar bears clinging to ice floes, habitat loss to encroaching development and other environmental woes create a picture of doom. It’s easy to feel helpless. But individuals make a difference as one property at a time is dedicated to nurturing and protecting our wildlife.”

The Alki Community Council and The Boeing Company co-sponsor the awards celebration.

3 Replies to "Less than 2 weeks till Alki's wildlife habitat makes history"

  • Kara May 10, 2009 (4:20 pm)

    This makes me so proud of our community!

  • S.B. May 10, 2009 (5:39 pm)

    Eagles are so majestic.

  • La May 10, 2009 (9:05 pm)

    When we moved to W. Seattle 5 yrs ago, we decided to leave a big chunk of “wild” at the corner of our garden; I was bowled over to see a garter snake in there 2 summers ago.

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