Boeing Supports Vital Salmon-Recovery Work in Lake Sammamish State Park with a $250,000 Grant
100+ Boeing employee volunteers came out on August 17 to celebrate the announcement and volunteer in the park
Representatives from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust (Greenway Trust) were joined by more than 100 Boeing employees at Lake Sammamish State Park on Thursday, August 17 to volunteer and celebrate the company’s investment in an in-stream restoration project that will kick off next summer.
Since 2005, the Greenway Trust has worked with Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, other partners, and thousands of volunteers to restore more than 60 acres of streamside habitat within Lake Sammamish State Park. Removing invasive weeds and planting more than 50,000 native trees and shrubs has created a cascade of benefits for salmon, including Chinook, a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
With the support of Boeing and other funders, the Greenway Trust is now preparing to implement a major in-stream restoration project that will build on the streamside restoration work of the last two decades. The project will involve placing more than 400 large logs in the streambed to create a mix of pools and riffles that will make the environment more suitable for salmon, who need clean, cool streams to survive. The project will also re-engage the floodplain and contribute 5 acres of new restoration work, 50+ acres of restoration buffer enhancement, and 7,500+ new native trees and shrubs.
During the August 17 event, Boeing employee volunteers helped to care for a streamside site that was first planted at the Greenway Trust’s annual Tree Planting Celebration in 2019. By removing invasive blackberry, the young native plants will have a better chance at survival and fulfilling their role of contributing numerous benefits for the health of this important salmon-bearing stream. Their work took place within 200 feet of the creek’s edge, which is the most critical zone for salmon restoration efforts.
With temperatures surpassing 90 degrees during the event, attendees certainly felt the heat and were happy to find shade under nearby mature trees, providing an all-too-real reminder of exactly why this work matters.
“The conditions today really underscore the importance of this work as we continue to face rising temperatures from climate change. Without trees shading the creek and material in the stream to create deeper, cooler pockets of water – things get quite hot, and that’s really not good for salmon.”Mackenzie Dolstad, Field Programs Senior Manager, Greenway Trust
This grant marks Boeing’s most recent support of the Greenway Trust’s work, building on a 30+ year relationship based in shared values of stewardship, youth engagement, and water quality. A 2015 grant from Boeing helped to fund the initial design and site assessment for the upcoming in-stream restoration project, and the company’s support is coming full circle with their latest investment in project implementation.
“A vibrant marine ecosystem is one of the things we all love about this area and it’s essential that we work together to help keep our waterways healthy. Boeing has supported the Greenway for decades, and we are energized to see the progress to protect and restore our salmon population in the Puget Sound.”Gina Breukelman, Senior Manager, Boeing Global Engagement
This grant will complement funding secured from the King County Flood Control District Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program via the Lake Washington/Cedar/Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council, the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) through WRIA 8 and the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office (RCO), and through Representative Kim Schrier via the Community Project Funding program from the FY23 government funding bill.
“We are so thankful for our long-term partnership with Boeing, who’s supported our mission since the earliest days of the Greenway. Grants such as this fill a very important role when you look at the full picture of funding large-scale projects. Our public funding sources have a match requirement, and Boeing’s contribution will be leveraged to achieve an even greater impact.”Jon Hoekstra, Executive Director, Greenway Trust
With 1.3 million annual visitors to the State Park, this is a highly visible project that will provide ongoing opportunities for public outreach and community education about salmon conservation, habitat restoration, and the natural and cultural heritage of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area.
Want to get involved with habitat restoration in the Greenway NHA? You can find upcoming volunteer opportunities at mtsgreenway.org/volunteer, and save the date for this year’s annual Tree Planting Celebration, happening October 14 at Lake Sammamish State Park.