Friday, October 23, 2009

October 2009

Chuckanut Bay Day Part 2

Our second Chuckanut Bay Day event on September 19 was a lot of fun again. Thank you Lisa Balton, Chris Brown, Shelley Halle, and Marie Hitchman for making this a great day. We had torrential rain that morning but the day cleared and was gorgeous. A small group of very interested locals come to our event, and judging by their feedback, they enjoyed it very much.

One of the things we asked people about was their stewardship behaviors. Most people reported numerous good stewardship practices. The top four were:

  • avoid using pesticides and fertilizers,
  • keep litter off the beach,
  • avoid feeding wildlife, and
  • include trees and shrubs in their landscaping.
The water quality of Chuckanut Creek is pretty good. However, the Department of Health has discontinued their marine water sampling for now because the marine water quality was not clean enough to warrant further testing.

The causes of the fecal coliform pollution in the area remain something of a mystery. According to the Whatcom County Marine Resources Committee the most likely causes are:

  • failing septic tanks,
  • congregating wildlife, and/or
  • pet waste.

Beach Monitoring

This year’s beach monitoring has wrapped up and Jane Lewinski has once again offered to enter the data into our data base. Thank you Jane! The beach monitoring team was so wonderfully independent again this year that I don’t even have good photos of their work to share with you. I have special thanks to Margo Ferdon for coordinating the effort! This great team also included: Jeanne Bogert, Chris Brown, John and Margo Ferdon, Marie Hitchman, Gene Hoerauf, Corrine Hughes, Rose Lavoie, Jane Lewinski, Richard Nevels and Kristine Penrod. If you have photos of beach monitoring days I would surely love to include those. And if I’ve forgotten to thank you – please don’t be shy!

Rain Garden Outreach

Our rain garden team has been making some great connections and strengthening our outreach messages with great testimonials and a fresh display with the help of Vincent Alvarez, in our office. Thanks Bob Hendricks and Richard Nevels for your great work on this.
Do you belong to a garden club, homeowners association, or civic group? Would you like to help us spread the good news about rain gardens? We would love to talk to your group. Call me to find out more!

Stormwater Management: One Backyard at a Time

For those of you who missed this great program, you can view it from your home computer online by following the link below. The first hour was the most relevant to our area and the panel discussion at the end was interesting.

Built Green Expo

Our Extension office hosted an entire track of presentations called “Sustainable Lifesytles” at this year’s Built Green Expo. We had Sustainable Landscaping, Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels, Low Carbon Cooking, Community Wind Power, Greener Cleaners and more. While the Expo was not nearly as well attended this year as it has been in years past we made some great connections.

Thanks to Bob Hendricks, Gene Hoerauf, and Richard Nevels for your great help teaching people about rain gardens, thanks to Mark Collins for helping out with the well-water screening for nitrates, and special thanks to Dac Jamison for giving the rain garden presentation.

4-H Natural Resources Curriculum

Our youth education team is diving into this wonderful and substantial project and coming up with great ideas. There are so many interesting facets to this project – what are the central concepts we want kids to know? How do we create a curriculum and is fun, field-trip oriented and hands-on? How do we encourage kids to ask lots of good questions?

The possibilities are endless and the team is making good progress towards crafting something that is manageable, meaningful, and most of all, fun for kids! Thanks to Steve Bailey, Edradine Hovde, Jim Kreiji, and Jennifer May for your hard work!

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