Wrap-up Report on the 2018 ACE (Airport Community Ecology) Grant

We’re proud to report these accomplishments. “Making Burien Awesome” Program Evaluation:

The “Making Burien Awesome” project accomplished its goal, delivering the following programs and events.  Our goal was to address climate change and enable residents to make decisions and take steps to mitigate the local impacts of climate change. This was accomplished through knowledge obtained at workshop learning events and through experience with hands-on restoration projects in Burien Parks.  The program results benefit the Burien Community and the environment.

  • We delivered 1 educational event and discussion on the topic of climate change and carbon pollution, March 17th at the Burien Community Center. Attendees learned how to determine the carbon mitigation amount and overall tree benefit for trees in their yard using the National Tree Calculator.
  • We also delivered 3 more educational events with the City of Burien on the following topics related to climate change mitigation through sustainable gardening and landscaping with native plants. Partners in these events included the National Wildlife Federation, the Audubon Society, WA Native Plant Society, and the New Start Community Garden. Speakers from these partners gave presentations on the topics, “Establishing a Backyard Wildlife Habitat,” March 24th; and Sustainable Gardening Practices with Edible Plants, March 31st; and Workshop/Class on drought tolerant native trees and plants for backyard wildlife habitats, April 14th.
  • We delivered a 5th educational event at the Burien Community Center on Creating Wildlife Habitats and Connection Corridors, June 9th.
  • We hosted 10 restoration stewardship events in Mathison Park in partnership with the Burien Parks Dept. Many of the volunteer groups that participated had different days and time when available, so instead of hosting 3 large events, we hosted smaller events when the volunteer groups were available.  In the 2 targeted restoration areas in Mathison Park, we removed invasive weeds and planted native plants.  Volunteer groups included students from Highline Key Club, National Honor Society, Highline Environmental Club, Sylvester Middle School, and the Eastside Preparatory School.
  • We hosted 5 information booths that provided hand-outs and information on carbon mitigation, sustainable gardening, stormwater mitigation, and backyard and balcony wildlife habitats. One information table/kiosk was located at the Burien Community Center during the Wildlife Bird Festival in February. The other information booths were hosted at the Burien Famers Market on the downtown Burien Plaza, June through October.  We always brought numerous living native plant and tree specimens and informational placards for each plant to Farmer Market events to enhance public awareness.
  • We delivered 2 learning events with the Highline United Methodist Earth Keepers in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation’s “Sacred Ground” program, Recology on recycling, April 15th, and the New Start Community Garden on sustainable gardening practices and wildlife habitats, May 5th, at the Highline Church recreation room.
  • We also delivered invasive English Holly tree removal events in Mathison Park with the City of Burien’s Park Maintenance Contractor, LandCare, whose employees used chain saws to cut down the trees. Volunteers cleaned-up the downed material, filling two large dumpsters provided by Recology.  To date, the dumpsters are full, and many more branches remain.  This will be an ongoing effort by volunteers that we will coordinate.  The largest volunteer group that helped with this effort totaled 56 people!
  • We hosted 3 native tree giveaway events for Burien residents; two in the Spring and one in the Fall.

We were able to successfully meet our goal and deliver the various learning and stewardship activities, which are listed above.   All educational events offered many informational and educational hand-outs, a power point presentation, encouraged discussion and asking questions, and included a time at the end of the workshop class for attendees to share what they learned.

Attendees for the April learning workshop on Drought Tolerant Plants for warmer, drier summers, hosted at the Burien Community Center, received an excel spread sheet on drought tolerant plants listing soil wet/dry and sun/shade conditions, compiled specifically for this program by Stewart Weschler, botanist for the WA Native Plant Society.

We engaged the community and made announcements for events by using Volunteer Match, Meet-Up, B-Town Blog, Mail Chimp, and the Nature Stewards face book page for posting pictures, and giving reports of the events. We also used the City of Burien Recreation Guide, their Newsletter to the community, their bulletin board in the Community Center, the Nature Stewards website, NatureStewardsWA.org, with calendar, and Brown Paper Tickets. The Seattle Parks and Recreation Dept. published the Burien Arbor/Earth Day tree planting at Mathison Park and the following Wildlife Walk and Talk in the Seattle area’s “Wildlife in the City” week events.

Here is a report on the dollar value of the project outcomes:

  • At the 2 Tree giveaways in the Spring, 46 native trees were distributed. At the Fall giveaway in October, 75 trees were distributed, totaling 121 trees.  We offered many species of Pacific Northwest native trees, but featured the Vine Maple, a good choice for urban yards, since this tree with a 10” diameter tree will reduce atmospheric carbon by 259 pounds, as compared to a same size Western Red Cedar that will reduce 140 pounds. Numbers are provided by the National Tree Benefit Calculator.
  • Volunteers participated in environmental stewardship and educational learning activities, supporting the “Making Burien Awesome” project, totaling a dollar value of $37,285.11, according to Independent Sector.
  • In-Kind donations supporting the project were valued at $4,744.14.
  • The “overall value” of the trees, if they live to maturity, included in the restoration projects and the tree giveaways totaled $1,033,230.00. This overall value determined by the National Tree Calculator includes carbon and other pollutant sequestration, stormwater mitigation, and increased property value and aesthetics.
  • Monetizing the carbon reduction: These plants and trees, over their life-span, will reduce 63.815 tons of carbon at a total monetary value of $2,616.42, based on $41.00 per ton.
  • The value of public education/learning classes and meetings totaled $10,769.34.
  • Contact hours for the learning and community engagement projects totaled $3,419.54.
  • The total match value of this project for the ACE grant is $1,092,064.55.

Thank you to all our volunteers, our partners, the City of Burien, and the Port of Seattle through their Airport Community Ecology Grant Program for funding this project!