LFP Streamkeepers team-up with LFP Stewardship Foundation to sample local streams

Monday, October 25, 2021

Volunteers use  the bottom sampler to collect stream macroinvertebrate
Photo by Mark Phillips

By Brian Saunders

On a cloudy morning in early October, a group of Lake Forest Park residents gathered at Animal Acres Park to finalize some instructions and split into two teams before heading out to sites on McAleer and Lyon Creek to conduct a biomonitoring analysis.

The group is a merger of sorts, consisting of the Lake Forest Park Streamkeepers and the Lake Forest Park Stewardship Foundation (https://lfpsf.org/). 

Both groups consist of volunteers who are concerned about the health of the environment and the streams that meander through Lake Forest Park proper. The mood is light, spirits are good and the commitment undeterred.

This stone fly larva was actually captured with
the bottom sampler. Photo by Mark Phillips
Biomonitoring of creeks and streams is a key component to assessing stream health. 

In the process, “bugs” called macroinvertebrates are collected from the stream using a stream bottom sampler.

Identification of these bugs can give biologists and government officials good insights to the health of the stream since some species cannot tolerate high levels of pollution whereas other species can. 

By collecting and quantifying all the species found within a 1-foot square plot, a biological health index can be calculated and used to compare with other streams.

For the past 20 years, the biomonitoring collection of McAleer and Lyon creeks has been done by the Department of Ecology and volunteers such as the Streamkeepers, who have been supported by the City of LFP by providing equipment and supplies and paying for lab analysis of biomonitoring samples collected. 

Recently, Streamkeepers and the LFP Stewardship Foundation agreed to combine forces and efforts to monitor the watershed using biomonitoring and chemical / physical analysis using the SnoKing Watershed Council certification (https://snokingwatershedcouncil.org/water-watchers/). 

Volunteer efforts such as these are becoming increasingly important to connect citizens to what’s happening in their local environment and spread awareness of how to be a positive contributor for keeping urban areas healthy.

If you are interested in being involved in local environmental issues in and around Lake Forest Park, you are welcome to attend the LFP Stewardship Foundation Annual meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 from 7:00-8:30pm.

Guest speakers Ashley Chesser and Sharalyn Peterson from the NW Center for Alternatives to Pesticides will present “Healthy Habitat: The Benefits of Using Alternatives to Pesticides.” 

Register in advance for this meeting: https://bit.ly/LFPSFAnnualMtg

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


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