2017 in Review


A Very Productive Year

The Adopt A Stream Foundation’s Northwest Stream Center opened to the public and is getting rave reviews!  A common visitor comment:

“Coming here is like going to a small scale National Park without the travel hassle and crowds.”

Streamkeeper Academy

The spring Swamp Lantern Festival opening was a big hit, as was the summer Sustainability Fair attended by more than 300 visitors.

Fall and winter guests, on the other hand, are enjoying the beautiful Elevated Nature Trail in a very private and relaxed manner.

Our great team of Streamkeeper Academy adjunct professors taught incredible courses featuring: snow geese and trumpeter swans; beavers; bears; hummingbirds; lynx; killer whales; cougars; suburban birds and wildlife; salmon/trout; and bats. 

It has been said that by attending all Streamkeeper Academy classes, “you get a PhD’s worth of natural resource education at a very low cost...with no pressure to do a thesis... and have a lot of fun in the process.”

Sammy the Salmon hosted six Junior Streamkeeper classes for elementary school audiences; and our in-house Stream Team conducted six riparian restoration-training events next to local streams along with two Streamkeeper Field Training events.  Also, 20 volunteers completed a Docent Naturalist Training Program and are now turning visitor’s strolls on the Elevated Nature Trail into wonderful outdoor learning experiences. 

Total Streamkeeper Academy attendance was 1,723!

Streamkeeper Academy Endowment Fund Donor Recognition Salmon & Trout

December 28, 2017

The beautiful “run” of stainless steel salmon and trout on the Trout Stream Exhibit wall that recognizes contributors to the Streamkeeper Academy Endowment Fund is getting bigger.  Thanks to donor generosity, that endowment has grown to $139,257 getting us closer to our $1 million goal.

Stream and Wetland Restoration

We are also pleased to announce that our Stream Team and hundreds of volunteers planted 9,347 trees and shrubs next to 8 Snohomish R. and Sammamish R. tributaries.  

That incredible effort  resulted in 26.5 acres of restored riparian zone benefitting salmon runs for hundreds of years into the future! 

Our Ecologists, Technicians, and Interns designed/constructed two “rain gardens” in the Thornton Creek watershed; and converted eighty 40-foot long trees complete with root balls into 9 complex in-stream salmon habitat structures in the lower main-stem of Woods Creek – a Chinook salmon habitat success story!


Hundreds of volunteers put in thousands of hours planting trees and shrubs at our stream restoration projects.  At the Northwest Stream Center regular volunteers like Marian Hanson who keeps our native plant landscape beautiful; Larry Gearheard who keeps the Trout Stream Exhibit flowing and “fixes what’s broken;” Cherie Votaw who is the Nature Store “stellar seller;” and our corps of Docent Naturalist invite you to team up with them as a volunteer or intern during 2018 for some rewarding experiences. 

Wetland Donation!!

After several years of discussions, we are very pleased to announce that, during December, that a  family partnership donated 12.78 acres of forested wetland to the Adopt A Stream Foundation.  This property borders the eastern edge of the Northwest Stream Center.

It includes several large abandoned campsites requiring very careful cleanup, restoration of degraded vegetation next to those camps, and strict control of public access. (The downside).

However this property also contains beautiful forested wetlands surrounding Sitka Creek.  That beautiful stream is the most ecologically intact tributary to North Creek that flows on the west side of the Northwest Stream Center. This site presents wonderful research opportunities, and a potential expansion area of the Northwest Stream Center Elevated Nature Trail. ( A very big upside).

“We are very excited about becoming the owners and stewards of the riparian zone that surrounds Sitka Creek,” says Adopt A Stream Foundation Director Tom Murdoch.   “This creek is near and dear to our heart. The Adopt A Stream Foundation discovered it in 1994, got it on the Washington State map in 1997, and has been looking out for its welfare ever since.  Picking up this property is a terrific way to end 2017!!”

                                                                      Sitka Creek - great cutthroat trout and juvenile salmon habitat

2017 Supporters and Partners

Most of the funding for most our stream restoration work came from Tulalip Tribes, Washington State Department of Ecology, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Board competitive grants. 

Special projects in the Thornton Creek watershed were funded by grants from the King Conservation District and the King County Waste Water Treatment Division. 

Partners in 2017 stream restoration projects include:Snohomish Conservation District, Sno King Watershed Council; Thornton Creek Alliance; Earth Corps; Snohomish County Surface Water, Snohomish County Parks, Recreation and Tourism; Cities of Marysville, Lake Stevens, Arlington, Lake Stevens, Kenmore, and Seattle;  and North Seattle College.

Moving Forward

In 2018, we project 10,000 trees and shrubs will be planted next to Quilceda, Allen, Catherine,Woods and Sorgenfrei Creeks in the Snohomish R. watershed and Swamp and Bear Creeks in the Sammamish R. watersheds.  Also construction several large in-stream log fish habitat structures are planned for the Woods Creek in the Snohomish basin, and another on Griffin Creek in the Sammamish basin. Designs will be initiated to remove an abandoned creosote log railroad crossing and to restore the underlying stream channel at the lower end of Woods Creek, and the relocation of 650-feet of Olaf Strad Creek 100-feet away from a roadway. 

Streamkeeper Academy events are being scheduled along with Swamp Lantern, Summer & Winter Solstice Festivals at the Northwest Stream Center.  And we are on the hunt for sponsors for a new Adopt A Stream Machine, a Visitors Building remodel, Trout Stream Exhibit backup generator and water filter system, and several features on the Elevated Nature Trail.

None of our stream restoration or environmental education efforts happen without the support of the Adopt A Stream Foundation Board of Directors and Members. Consider applying to become a board member.  If you have not done so, renew your Adopt A Stream Foundation membership or become a new member

There are many benefits including unlimited free admission to the Northwest Stream Center and options for free or reduced rates for friends and families and discounts to Streamkeeper Academy events and on merchandise in the Nature Store. 

Another membership benefit is that your support will help the Adopt A Stream Foundation

“to teach people how to become stewards of their watersheds.”