Monday, December 19, 2011

KGI Meeting: Lu Winsor Grant Reports, Tues, Dec 20th, 4-6 pm

Don't miss this fun gathering tomorrow evening at the Peninsula Light Company office, 13315 Goodnough Drive N. W., Purdy, WA. Hearing about the great projects accomplished, thanks to funding provided by the Lu Winsor Small Grants Program, is always uplifting.
See you there!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Come One, Come All December 20th

Key Peninsula, Gig Harbor and Islands Watershed Council (KGI) has a wonderful tradition. Each year our December meeting is dedicated to project presentations by recipients of our Lu Winsor Grants.

KGI's Lu Winsor Small Grants Program, named in memory of a committed environmental land steward and founding KGI member, provides competitive grants of up to $2,000.00 for projects making an environmental difference in the watershed. Worm bins to stream restorations, Seastars to enviro-camps and so much more; these grants have provided a way for those with interest, focus and creativity to get things done.

If spending a couple of hours hearing about some completed projects that will make you feel good about successes in the watershed sounds appealing, do come and join us. Questions of the presenters are always welcome.

We are proud of the Lu Winsor Small Grant Program and the successes that have resulted because of it. Come enjoy holiday refreshments and learn a bit about what can and is being done to make the KGI Watershed and its people healthy, informed and ready to be the next generation of environmental stewards. Lu would love that.
Join Us
December 20th, 4:00-6:00 PM
at the Peninsula Light Company Office
Purdy, WA

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Storm Drain Marking Program

Did you know that the water that flows down the street and into the storm drain empties directly into local waterways, including Puget Sound, without treatment? Your group can help improve water quality in the Key Peninsula-Gig Harbor-Islands Watershed by participating in the storm drain marker program. The markers include the message "Only Rain Down the Drain" to remind people that what goes down the storm drain can result in pollution of our waterways.

This project is appropriate for individuals and groups with participants age six and older. The kit includes markers, adhesive, and instructions to install markers. Kits will be issued while supplies last. If this sounds like the project for your organization, contact Tiffany O'Dell with Pierce County Surface Water Management at (253) 798-2468.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Donkey Creek Chum Festival

"It takes a fish to raise a village." On Saturday, October 8, 2011, from 10am-5pm at the Harbor History Museum, we will be celebrating the role of salmon in Gig Harbor's past and present. Come watch kayak racing, eat a chum burger, paint a fish, and find out the latest on the City of Gig Harbor's Donkey Creek day-lighting project. There is no fair quite like this one.


Lu Winsor Grants for Local Environmental Projects

Grant funds are available for organizations, schools, and individuals to work collaboratively with the Key Peninsula-Gig Harbor-Islands (KGI) Watershed Council on drainage, water quality, and/or habitat issues within our watershed. Such projects may include watershed education, enhancement and restoration activities, and/or purchase of equipment and supplies. The maximum grant amount is $2,000.00 per project, but you are encouraged to apply for less if your project requires a much smaller amount. These grants are funded by Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Surface Water Management Division and Peninsula Light Company's Green Choice Program.

Grant materials are available under the Current Events/Announcements section on the KGI Watershed Council website:

Grant applications are due October 14th, 2010, 4:00 PM.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Car Wash Kits Available

One of the more popular fundraising activities in Pierce County is the Car Wash. This has proven to be a fun, easy, and effective way for youth-oriented groups to support their programs. Unfortunately, there is a down side; when a car is washed on paved surfaces, the soap, automotive fluids, oil and roadway dirt goes into nearby storm drains. Water in storm drains flows directly into lakes, wetlands, streams and Puget Sound with little or no treatment.

However, Pierce County Surface Water Management has a solution that allows your group to raise money and protect Puget Sound at the same time; just borrow a free Fish-Friendly Car Wash Kit. The Fish-Friendly Car Wash Kit is easy to use and helps keep toxic car wash runoff from entering our waters. Each kit comes with a catch basin insert, submersible pump, garden hose, extension cord, instructions, and a sign identifying the car wash as fish-friendly. You can borrow a kit free of charge for your event by contacting Pierce County Surface Water Management at 253-798-2725. If you host more than five car washes a year, you may even apply to keep a kit.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Vaughn Bay Tidelands Open!

In case you missed the recent coverage regarding Vaughn Bay on “Pierce County News”, this link ( ) will take you to it. At the 2.58 minute mark you will be able to hear more details about the “great news” regarding the re-opening of a significant amount of Vaughn Bay to shellfish harvesting following a thirty year closer. This success is due to Pierce County Shellfish Partners efforts to restore water quality.

Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department and Pierce Conservation District initiated the development of Shellfish Partners in 2005 with the goal of healthy tidelands. That goal includes the prevention of shellfish bed closures, due to poor water quality, and ensuring that all shellfish harvested in Pierce County are safe to eat. “Safe to eat” ultimately means water clean enough for fishing and swimming. Big goals. As shown by the improvements at Vaughn Bay, big goals are achievable.

Pierce County Shellfish Partners is now comprised of eight public, private and nonprofit organizations. Through their collective efforts the following actions are bringing about change; stormwater inspections, water quality sampling, public education, Best Management Practices (BMP) in farming, drainage improvements, identification of failing septic systems, the septic repair grant and loan program (grant funded by the Department of Ecology) and more.

So, after those thirty years of closure due to polluted waters, between the years 2008 and 2011 there have been over one hundred and fifty acres of tidelands restored in Vaughn Bay, with the last fifty being giving the green light by the Washington State Department of Health in June. Now that’s something to write home about! Congratulations to all who, in one way or another, support the continuing efforts of restoring healthy waters to Pierce County tidelands and beyond.

Your KGI Watershed Council Executive Committee

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kopachuck State Park Public Meeting

A Public Meeting is scheduled for 6:00-7:00 PM tonight (Wed, June 22nd) at Kopachuck Middle School in Gig Harbor. Sponsored by Washington State Parks, the meeting is being held to discuss the challenges facing Kopachuck Park due to trees suffering from root rot which have resulted in the closure of portions of the park. At the meeting, various prescriptions to address the issue will be discussed and public input will be received.

Tour: The parks commission has invited the public to attend a tour of Kopachuck State Park with Preserve Our Parks representatives at 3 p.m. Friday, June 24th.

More information: The link below will direct you to a recent News Tribune article discussing the root rot issue at Kopachuck Park:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Harbor WildWatch & Shellfish Partners
Guided Beach Walk
at Purdy Sand Spit
Harbor WildWatch and Shellfish Partners will be hosting their Annual 2011 Guided Beachwalk, Saturday, June 18th, 12:00-4:00 PM at Purdy Sand Spit on the shore of Henderson Bay off of Hwy 302 in Purdy, WA.
This fun FREE event for all ages provides a great opportunity to explore dynamic local tidelands, guided by marine experts from Harbor WildWatch. In addition, Mike Behrens, Professor of Biology with Pacific Lutheran University will provide a glimpse of what lives in and under the sand while demonstrating sand core sampling.
Come join us as we stroll the beach learning about the critters that dwell there and how to interact with them in a harmless way.
For information, contact Barbara Tripp, HWW Volunteer Coordinator, via email:

Friday, April 29, 2011

May 7th...Key Peninsula Livable Community Fair!

Be sure and stop by the Key Peninsula Civic Center, on Saturday, May 7, 2011 between 10 AM and 3 PM for the Key Peninsula Livable Community Fair where, "Together We Can Build a Better Tomorrow"! For ten years this fair has been showcasing the people, agencies and organizations that contribute in making the Key Peninsula more livable. A wide range of activities promises an interesting time for the whole family.

Outdoors you will find the Lakebay Fushia Society hosting their annual plant sale. Master Gardeners will be on hand to provide their expert advice. On site is the Key Peninsula History Museum where special tours and heritage plants will be available. In addition, Key Pen Parks annual Touch a Truck event will include Peninsula Light trucks, vintage tractors, Army vehicles and tow trucks. Local Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians and Sheriff's traditionally bring their equipment as well. Oh, and be sure and stop by the trout fishing pond!

Indoors booths representing forty or more local services and interest groups make for a well rounded afternoon. Providing background entertainment will be Local musician, Mike Sckweedler of Steel Impressions, the Minter Creek Elementary Marimba Band and Choir, and the Key Peninsula Middle School jazz ensemble. And last but certainly not least there are opportunities for some tasty treats!

Come on out, join in the fun, meet your neighbors and see what services are available in YOUR community. See you on the 7th!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Enjoy an Informative Evening April 25th at 7PM: No Charge

Looking for a no cost evening packed with good information about the permaculture process, stewardship, landscape management and reducing our impact? FIRST mark your calendar for April 25th at 7PM and then… read on.

“Our Forested Commons: A Permaculture Perspective on Land-Use and Stewardship in the Pacific Northwest.” An evening with Kelda Miller, in association with the Pierce County Reads book of the year, The Big Burn.

Reading The Big Burn invites us to not just understand our history, but to think about our common resources going into the future. ‘Permaculture’ is the study and design of landscapes that sustainably meet (but don’t overreach) human needs. This talk by Kelda Miller will introduce the permaculture ‘zones of use’ and then focus on Zone 4. This ‘commons’ zone is where we hold forests and wildlands in trust for future generations, but also wisely steward, wildcraft, manage, harvest, restore, and learn from nature. Humans are intrinsically a part of ecosystems, as evidenced by sustainable ecologies from all over the world, many of them maintained through fire. We will talk about theory in landscape management, practical reduction of our ecological footprint, and projects in Pierce County that hold many possibilities. Encouraged reading before this talk, besides of course The Big Burn, is also 1491 by Charles Mann and The Woodland Way by Ben Law.

This event will be April 25 at Gig Harbor Library at 7pm.

Free event and no pre-registration is required. See you there!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Timber Talk and a Park Tour - Tues, April 19th

The Key Peninsula, Gig Harbor and Islands Watershed Council will be at Homestead Park in Gig Harbor on Tuesday, April 19 from 4-6 PM. The Council will be hosting and informational meeting with a representative from the Natural Resource Conservation Service discussing the process and eligibility requirements for the Forestry Conservation Stewardship Program, now available for private forest landowners in the Puget Sound area. This is a voluntary program working with property owners to provide them with the tools and resources to improve, manage and develop a sustainable plan for their timber properties. A park tour will follow this discussion.

For directions or additional information, please contact Erin Ewald (253) 884-9474 or Barbara Ann Smolko at (253) 798-6156

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Big Change to Gig Harbor

As of Wednesday, March 16, 2011, the outfall from Gig Harbor's Wastewater Treatment Plant will no longer discharge to Gig Harbor but will, instead discharge into Colvos Passage.  It should be fun to see how the water quality and critters in the Harbor react to the change.

If you're interested, join city officials and staff for the ceremonial valve turning on Wednesday, March 16. The event will celebrate the completion of the Wastewater Treatment Plant Outfall Extension Project. It will be held at the Bogue Viewing Platform, 8803 N. Harborview Dr. at 3 p.m.

The City of Gig Harbor began planning for this $6.1 million, four-phase project more than 10 years ago.
Since 2008, the construction for new outfall pipe included replacing the old 10-inch pipe with 24-inch high density polyethylene pipes.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

April is Puget Sound Starts Here Month!

Mark your calendars…April is Puget Sound Starts Here Month!
There are a host of workshops, events, volunteer opportunities and more planned for you and your family throughout the month. Visit this site to see the growing list of things to do. Be sure and save the link in your Favorites folder so you can check back often for updates and additions!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pier Into the Night with Harbor Wildwatch, March 19th

Harbor Wildwatch is hosting another of their wonderful Pier Into the Night events! Mark your calendar for March 19th "about" 7:30 PM! Folks will be peering into the night waters from Jerisich Dock in downtown Gig Harbor to see what lurks below.

Once darkness descends on the harbor, lights are placed in the water around the dock drawing out all manner of water creatures. Buckets are used to safely bring up samples. Harbor Wildwatch volunteers will be on hand with identification and information about the visiting creatures.

In past Harbor Wildwatch Pier Into the Night events all kinds of expected and surprising marine invertebrates have shown up. You may see jellyfish, squid, tube worms, sea slugs, shrimp and more, in addition to any number of interesting fish.

Grab your jackets and spend an evening seeing things in a whole new light.

Wild Edible Plant Programs at Penrose Park

Looking for a sure way to spot wild healthy greens? You are in luck. Penrose Point State Park will be hosting two "Wild Edible Plant Programs" at 1:30 PM on Saturday, March 5th and Saturday, March 19th. The meeting spot will be in the big parking lot at 321 158th Ave., Key Peninsula Highway S in Lakebay. Be sure to call for reservations as each class is limited to 15 people.

Feel free to bring examples of plants you have questions about. The programs are free however donations are welcome and used to keep the park open. For reservations call: 253-884-2514.

(Information courtesy of the Peninsula Gateway)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Can Mushrooms Clean Up Puget Sound?

Couldn't resist posting a link to this story!

The potential for using mushrooms in treatment has come up before in our discussions about shellfish growing areas.  Here in the KGI area, we've been looking into mushrooms as a potential method for treating the fecal coliform bacteria in livestock waste.  One of the leaders in this effort is Paul Stamets who owns a company called Fungi Perfecti which is based out of Olympia, WA.  He is also the author of Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Big Thanks!

Thanks to all who attended the 2011 KGI Watershed Council Planning Retreat January 8th. It was a success and each of those attending provided valuable input and direction for the coming year.

Keep an eye on KGI in the year ahead.
It's going to be a good one!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

KGI Annual Retreat Time!

Saturday, January 8th, 2011, Key Peninsula, Gig Harbor and Islands (KGI) Watershed Council will come together in a facilitated retreat to review past efforts, better our effectiveness, and set a course for the year ahead. It is always a good and fertile time for ideas, discussion, and determining how our available resources can best assist us as we strive for a healthy watershed.

Opportunities for attaining a healthy watershed take on many forms. KGI serves that purpose in a number of ways.
  • Bringing people together.
  • Collaborating with our partners on beneficial projects. 
  • Providing opportunities for education through speakers at our monthly meetings. 
  • Awarding small grants through the Lu Winsor Memorial Grant program.
  • Participating in numerous public events.
  • Providing workshop opportunities.
  • Working toward clean, unpolluted waters; runoff, groundwater, lakes, streams and the Puget Sound.
  • If all that isn't enticing enough, we can offer you suggestions on some interesting books and movies too!
With that in mind, spending part of a day with us may be the best choice you make this year. At a minimum it will be an interesting time with some good folks. Give us a try.

Date: Saturday, January 8th, 2011
Time: 11 AM-3 PM
Location: Gig Harbor Library Conference Rm
4424 Point Fosdick Dr. NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
Beverages, snacks and lunch will are provided

For questions call:
Erin Ewald (253) 884-9474
Barbara Ann Smolko (253) 798-6156
Chris Schutz (253) 798-7620