A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Food & Water Watch hosts forum on right to know about genetically engineered foods

March 19th, 2013 by Doree

Food & Water Watch is hosting the Right to Know GE Food Forum from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N. 85th St.

The bottom line is that all consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat. That is why Food & Water Watch is working to pass the ballot initiative I-522 to mandate the labeling of all genetically engineered food in the state of Washington.

GE foods have been on our local grocery store shelves for over ten years without our consent or knowledge. With GE Salmon slated to hit the shelves soon, the debate over labeling has never been more urgent. The good news is that Washington voters get the chance to settle the debate this fall by voting yes on I-522.

The forum will kick off with tables set up by local groups where guests can look at informational demos and eat local food. This will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Trudy Bialic of the Yes on I-522 campaign, Micaela Preskill, State Advocate for WashPIRG, Joe Rogoff, NW Regional President of Whole Foods, and Chris Bell, Sustainability Officer at Pike Place Fish.

You can RSVP for the forum online.

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Celebrate the return of Carkeek Park’s chum salmon on Nov. 23

November 13th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Parks and Recreation is celebrating the return of chum salmon to Pipers Creek at a special celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, at Carkeek Park. Besides a good opportunity to see salmon, they’ll also have children’s activities, music, treats and hot drinks.

Those chum are a gift to the people of Seattle from the Suquamish Tribe for the Piper’s Creek salmon stock supplementation program.

The chum and a few coho return each year to the natural beauty of Carkeek Park. From Saturday, November 10 to Sunday, December 9, Salmon Stewards will be on hand at the park each Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to enhance visitors’ understanding of the life cycle of the salmon. The Salmon Stewards Program is a community volunteer program funded and collaboratively run by Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Restore our Waters program at Seattle Public Utilities. To date, volunteer salmon watchers have recorded 145 live chum and 17 live coho.

Pipers Creek has a long and spotted history with salmon. Historically the creek and its tributaries most likely supported runs of steelhead, sea-run cutthroat, and coho salmon. In 1893, the Great Northern Railroad was built over Pipers Creek, and in 1906 the railroad built a rock seawall and placed the creek in a culvert under the tracks. The last of the virgin timber in the watershed was logged in 1921. Development in the watershed also contributed to water quality and habitat degradation and in 1927, local residents reported seeing the last pair of spawning salmon in the creek.

Fortunately, in 1929 much of the Pipers Creek watershed became Carkeek Park. This preserved the land surrounding Pipers Creek (currently 223 acres). The park land, the existing open spaces, nearby back yards and large trees act as buffers to help protect the creek and its spring-fed tributary system. Though the historical salmon populations vanished, the creek system has continued to provide habitat for an ancestral, resident cutthroat trout population.

Because of the potential for salmon production in the watershed, in 1980, volunteers from Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project began a salmon enhancement project in Pipers Creek in partnership with the Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). Today the Suquamish Tribe’s Grover’s Creek Hatchery provides chum salmon as fingerlings for release into Pipers Creek and eggs for local schools to raise.

About 70,000 chum fingerlings are first introduced into the Les Malmgren imprinting pond at Carkeek Park each winter, and 5,000 additional eggs are provided to approximately 25 elementary schools that raise and release their salmon into the imprint pond at Carkeek Park each spring as an activity of the Salmon in the Schools Program. The young chum are held in the pond under the care of diligent volunteers and fed for about three weeks to imprint them to the “smell” of the creek system, which helps them return as adults to spawn.

After two to five years at sea, the chum salmon return to Pipers Creek as 10 to 22 pound adult fish, ready to spawn. The returning chum salmon include fish released through the stock supplementation program and potentially, descendants of fish that spawned naturally in the creek. typically, between 100 and 600 chum salmon spawners return to Pipers Creek between late October and mid-December.

The peak of spawning generally occurs each year around Thanksgiving. Stay up to date on fish sightings in Pipers Creek by following the Carkeek Park Salmon Stewards on Facebook, or call 206-684-5999.

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Volunteer at Carkeek Park Earth Day work party

April 5th, 2012 by Doree

Join with Seattle Parks and Recreation, Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project (CWCAP), Seattle Public Utilities’ Restore our Waters initiative, and the Carkeek Park Advisory Council to clean up Carkeek Park on Earth Day, Saturday, April 21.

The work party starts at 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd., and goes from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information and to register, call 206-684-0877.

Volunteer activities include storm drain stenciling, general park cleanup, and community education in the park and surrounding watershed.

At Carkeek Park, home to Piper’s Creek where salmon return year after year, visitors can explore the secrets of this northwest Seattle watershed where 220 acres of lush forest, meadows, wetlands, creeks, and beach are formed by the magic of water and time. Walk the Piper’s Canyon Story Trail, play on the unique salmon themed play area, or touch time at the historic Piper Orchard. In Carkeek Park, years of hard work by neighbors and volunteers have restored major portions of the forest, built miles of trails, created sustainable gardens, educated visitors, reclaimed a unique historic fruit orchard, and created habitat to bring salmon back to Piper’s Creek.

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Volunteers needed for salmon duty

January 30th, 2012 by Geeky Swedes

Volunteer fish feeders are needed for the 2012 salmon supplementation project in Carkeek Park. From February through May, 50,000 Chum Salmon fry will need to be fed three times a day by volunteers. Salmon from the Suquamish Tribal fish hatchery are raised in a small pond at Carkeek Park where they learn the taste and smell of the creek water.

“Salmon duty” takes just 30 minutes at least once a week. Schedules are flexible and fish feeders attend a one hour training. The training for spring fish feeders will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 11.

This is a joint project between Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project. Interested fish feeders should contact Nancy Malmgren at 206-363-4116.

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Carkeek Park and Seattle Public Utilities provide ‘Food for Thought’ after Thanksgiving

November 17th, 2011 by Doree

The annual salmon run will be celebrated the day after Thanksgiving with free food, children’s activities, and a special performance of “Stormwater: Life in the Gutter” at Carkeek Park.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, hear volunteer salmon stewards talk about the lifecycle and habitat of salmon, how people affect them, what the city is doing to protect our waterways, and what you can do at home to help.

A special performance of “Stormwater: Life in the Gutter” is at 12 p.m. in the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center.

The one-man performance, written and performed by Stokley Towles, uncovers the world of urban rainfall and traces it from the clouds to the city’s streets and into the pipelines and creeks through which it flows. Towles’ one-hour presentation is humorous and informative – offering a gutter’s eye view of Seattle’s drainage and sewer system.

 Photo courtesy of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs.

Pipers Creek collects stormwater runoff from the Broadview, Greenwood, Blue Ridge and Crown Hill neighborhoods – about three square miles – from Northwest 85th Street to the city limits between Greenwood Avenue North and Puget Sound.

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Salmon Steward training at Carkeek Park

October 7th, 2010 by Doree

If you’re at least 13 years old and interested in becoming a Salmon Steward, there’s a training session at Carkeek Park on Saturday, Oct. 16.

(It’s) a great way to learn about salmon and your park, get experience with small-scale public speaking, be a naturalist – teacher for a few hours, or get service learning credit. If you have interest in other areas of the park, this may be a new way to share your love of a park and other unique features you care about.

Salmon Steward training is from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Carkeek Park Environmental Learning Center, 950 NW Carkeek Park Road. The training is free; bring a sack lunch and your calendar to sign up for four, three-hour docent shifts in November and December.

For more information or to sign up, call 206-684-0877. Register at least one week in advance.

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Volunteer Salmon Watchers needed

September 10th, 2009 by Doree

Seattle needs volunteer Salmon Watchers to count salmon returning to the city’s creeks and shorelines.

Salmon Watchers spend 15 minutes twice a week during the fall observing a stream or lake shore in the greater Lake Washington Watershed, counting the returning salmon. The data collected are used by agencies and groups working to help restore endangered salmon runs and improve habitat for all salmon.

You don’t need experience to become a Salmon Watcher, but you do need to attend a classroom training to learn about salmon identification. The nearest training class to Greenwood/Phinney is at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, from 7-9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

For more information about the Salmon Watcher Program, contact Ecologist Jennifer Vanderhoof at 206-263-6533.

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