City gets conservation grants

March 23, 2010

By Staff

City Council members accepted a pair of King Conservation District grants to improve Pickering Garden and mark storm drains.

The council accepted more than $60,000 in grant dollars during a brief March 1 meeting.

The garden grant — $41,358 spread through 2011 — will be at the Pickering Garden to implement education efforts and improvement at the site. The project includes a series of classes on landscaping, gardening without pesticides and herbicides, and natural yard-care techniques conducted by Seattle Tilth.

Officials hope the site updates will improve Pickering Garden as a learning facility as well.

The other grant includes $29,858 through 2011 to educate residents about storm water and pollution-prevention strategies meant to protect local waterways and Puget Sound.

The program will recruit volunteers and community groups to place storm drain markers at every storm water catch basin in Issaquah during the next two years. Markers will tell residents how untreated runoff flows from the drain into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. City officials hope to increase awareness through the Puget Sound Partnership and the Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities, or STORM, campaign. The markers will carry a logo with the words “Puget Sound Starts Here.”

The education and outreach effort accomplished through the project will also help the city comply with a key federal storm water permit.

King Conservation District officials distribute noncompetitive grants to cities to be used in natural-resource improvement and protection efforts. Most funding for the district comes through a $10 per-parcel assessment fee. Money from the state Conservation Commission, and state, federal and local grants form other important revenue sources.

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