StreamKeepers joins Stewardship Foundation

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Jim Halliday and volunteer perform BIBI testing. Photo courtesy LFPSF

From the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation (LFPSF)

For decades, a dedicated group of volunteers has been monitoring water quality in our local streams. Maybe you've seen them with their testing kits and hip waders in area streams. This group has a lot of fun while doing important work.

Lake Forest Park StreamKeepers was founded by Bill Bennett and other members of the city’s (now-defunct) Environmental Quality Commission in the 1990’s.

An ambitious monthly stream monitoring schedule was established – testing water quality at 11 locations on McAleer and Lyon Creeks and their tributaries in the city. Parameters tested were dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity and temperature. This testing has been supported by the City of LFP.

The Stewardship Foundation and StreamKeepers have always been closely aligned, sharing key volunteers and resources.

Officially joining efforts will beneficial to the continued caretaking and citizen science providing vital information about the health of our watershed.

A succession of volunteer leaders, including former City Councilmember Don Fiene and Stewardship Advisory Board member Jim Halliday, have kept up the monitoring over the years. Mark Phillips who is leaving his Council position this year, has been StreamKeepers co-chair since 2000.

BIBI (biotic index of benthic integrity) was added to the StrreamKeepers monitoring in 2005, and continued through 2018, using the protocol established at the UW. Macroinvertebrate samples were collected from the streambed at four locations and delivered to an aquatic entomologist for analysis to give a general rating of stream health.

Several stream improvement projects were also undertaken, including large tree planting on Lyon Creek along SR 522, a re-channeling project on Lyon Creek and silt removal on Brookside Creek along the Brookside School parking lot.

Streamkeepers aligned in 2015 with the newly formed Sno-King WaterWatchers , a network of volunteers monitoring water quality primarily in streams flowing into north Lake Washington. Upgraded water testing protocols were also added at that time using procedures and testing equipment developed by Global Water Watch based at Auburn University. The new protocols added alkalinity, hardness and bacteria levels to the monthly testing, and improved the testing for dissolved oxygen, pH and turbidity.

Test results are shared with the city, posted on the StreamKeepers website, on the Puget Sound Stream Benthos website, and, since 2015, as part of the Global Water Watch database.

Over the years StreamKeepers has sponsored high school students volunteering for community service credits, an Eagle Scout project that removed invasive plants from 75 yards of upper McAleer Creek, and a high school senior project consisting of a study of dissolved oxygen levels along McAleer Creek. 

StreamKeepers at the LFP Town Center rain garden dedication.
Photo courtesy LFPSF

In 2017, Streamkeepers contracted with Snohomish Conservation District to construct a demonstration rain garden that infiltrates storm runoff from a portion of the Town Center parking lot near city hall. That project was funded by a grant from King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski. (See previous article)

Current Stewardship Foundation Board member Brian Saunders, a lifelong resident of LFP, will be stepping up to a leadership role for StreamKeepers. Brian's father was one of the early StreamKeepers in the 1990s, and childhood memories of seeing salmon in our streams have influenced Brian's career in science and teaching. 

Brian says, "It is my wish that the vision and actions started by the StreamKeepers continues, and that an understanding of the fragile health of our watershed will be accessible to a greater portion of our population. I hope to recruit more citizens and students to be involved monitoring our stream health."

Stream testing is a great activity for anyone interested in the health of our streams. You don’t have to live in Lake Forest Park or have any science background to join us. Students can receive community service hours doing enjoyable and meaningful work.

For more information or sign up to help, see the StreamKeepers website


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.
Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP