Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring Whirlwind

Wow! It’s been an amazing couple of months. We’ve got a great new class ready to lend a hand in Whatcom County and we’ve had terrific team work from experienced Beach Watchers.

Low Tide Walks and Beach Clean-Ups

Thanks to Lisa Balton, Steve Bailey and Bob Ryerson for helping the Gooseberry Point neighborhood association with their Earth Day celebration and beach clean-up. This great team shared information about what lives on their beach and juiced up the neighbors to enhance their stewardship for the beach.

And thanks to Lisa Balton again, Margo and John Ferdon and Jennifer May for lending a hand with the Northwest Indian Colleges Service Learning beach appreciation and clean-up day on the Lummi Reservation. I'm so glad we had a chance to work with our tribal neighbors through the Northwest Indian College!! Hurray!

If anyone has pictures of either of these events I would really love to have them.

Rain Gardens

We did a lot of Rain Garden Promotion this spring

Great Big Thank Yous go to

Beach Watchers Bob Ryerson and Sue Brown, who were joined by Master Gardeners Katharine Harrison and Dac Jamison and Master Composter/Recycler Kay McMurran who did a super job at the Conservation District’s Annual Native Plant Sale in March.

Bob Hendricks, Rose Lavoie, Jeanne Bogert, and Bob Ryerson at the Master Gardener Plant Sale in May.

And Jean Waight, our Beach Watchers intern Sarah Burnett, Crystal Wojcik, and you guessed it, BOB RYERSON, at the Backyard Habitat Fair.

Jean Waight has a lovely blog called Green Tea and Sympathy with a humorous take on "Going Green." Check it out! http://greenteasympathy.blogspot.com/

And Bob Ryerson has been very active in the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and has in fact become their volunteer coordinator. Way to go Bob!

Forest Conservation Tour

We also had a fantastic team teaching students about the healthy forest, healthy stream, healthy fish connection at this year’s Forest Conservation Tour. Big Thank Yous go to Shelley Halle, Jennifer May, Jim Krieji, Steve Bailey, and Rose Lavoie.

And finally a round of applause goes to Jane Lewinski for entering all of the Beach Monitoring Data from 2008 into the online database!! Thank you, thank you, thank you.


BBB said...

Hey, so glad to see you around! Great tabling. I have to say that I am also thrilled to see you promoting rain gardens! I also want people who are interested in rain gardens to let the city/county know it needs to change its attitude about stormwater friendly installations in private yards. I had to get a permit for a larger drainage project that included raingardens, infiltration sumps, and as much on-site treatment as I could fit in my yard. The permitting process has been awful. I can't afford an engineered plan and after many weeks of getting my hand made plans turned back, my only option was to remove the raingardens and create a more "standard" drainage using my carpenter's computer program for several hundred dollars. They wouldn't even take into account that I have been trained as a stormwater watch volunteer, have researched this intensely before draawing up my plans, AND have a masters in soil.

It should not cost tons in permit fees nor be more difficult with the city to do the *right* thing! I hope that as people become more educated from your outreach, that we can move towards advocating for the education to be put in practice at the bureaucratic level too. And I highly recommend if you are only doing raingardens, DON'T get a permit! :)

Cheryl Lovato Niles said...

Rain gardens are fairly new and what you encountered sounds like it could be growing pains.

I applaud your efforts and can only say that the more people who try to put rain gardens in through the legitimate permitting processes, the more likely those processes will adjust to meet our community needs.