We’re proud to report these accomplishments. “Birds, Butterflies, and Bees for Burien” Program Evaluation:
We delivered the following programs and events. Our goal was to educate residents about and to establish wildlife habitats that provide needed and necessary food and nesting places for pollinators and birds. 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.
These were our achieved objectives:
- Made park improvements by removing invasive weeds and installing and maintaining native species at Burien Parks.
- Burien community members increased knowledge of the importance of pollinators to the local environment.
- We partnered with the City of Burien for coordinated maintenance of parks and wildlife habitat sites, installation of new plants, and removal of invasive weeds.
- Coordinated educational events with other local organizations, such as the National Wildlife Federation, to develop speakers and content.
- Evaluated effectiveness of educational events with a before and after survey to gauge learning.
We accomplished all our proposed deliverables:
- We offered classes, restoration work projects, and events for youths and adults.
- We participated in the Best Fest at the Burien Community Center to launch and advertise our BBB4Burien program.
- We advertised the project on social media and the B-Town Blog, as well as with our partners organizations who promoted our classes. This kickoff event at Bird Fest event was followed by 3 Habitat Stewards classes at the Burien Community Center, and 3 restoration events where invasive weeds were removed, and native pollinator plants were planted by members of the community and habitat stewards from the classes.
- We hosted another class on pollinators and 3 birdhouse building events for the Burien community and large. One was held for the community at large, one with the Latinx Community youth of Burien using an interpreter, and the third class at the New Start High School. Class locations were the Burien Community Center, the New Start High School, Seahusrt Park, and the Burien Southwest Youth and Family Services building for youth classes.
- We also hosted additional invasive weed removal and planting events with students from the local High Schools in the late Spring and Fall.
- During the summer we offered information about Bird and Pollinators, the habitat they require, and how to incorporate wildlife supporting habitat into yard landscaping or in pots on apartment balconies. The Burien Farmer’s Market information booths were well attended.
- We hosted planting activities with a local Girl Scout Troop, the New Start High School, and the Sylvester Middle School in the Burien Highline School District, and the local Police Cadet Academy.
- We participated in the Earth Day planting with the City of Burien, Arbor Lake location, and the New Start Community Garden we provided native plants for the all-school Earth Day celebration. Toward the end of the project, we found that we had money unspent from our initial calendar of events and were able to offer another class on Rainwater Harvesting for Home and Garden Use with “how to” manuals at the Burien Community Center. All of our classes were filled to capacity, and we were delighted at the community interest and participation!
- We had 3 graphic artists working with us to create wonderful fliers and banners for our project. The banners, as well as other collateral materials, contained the Port of Seattle and partner logos and were placed at all events and classes. At all of our classes we offered pre and post surveys to gauge the effectiveness of our educational classes.
- For the Pollinator class, we offered a total of 66 surveys, and for the Rainwater Harvesting class, we offered 64 surveys. All pre and post surveys were reviewed by the us and by the speakers delivering the class information. As result, we learned the classes were successful in delivering the knowledge about how to establish and maintain pollinator gardens for wildlife.
- The birdhouse building classes went well, thanks to our partners at the Northwest Carpenter Union who pre-cut and drilled the birds house kits for easy assembly by both adults and youths.
- For the youth classes, we used the laminated Flipcharts, produced by the Audubon Society and the WA Native Plant Society, that showed which bird is attracted to their preferred native plant for food or habitat. The youths at Burien Southwest Youth and Family Services and the New Start High School also painted the bird houses which were placed on trees around the neighborhoods, and at the wildlife area of Mary’s Place, another non-profit partner for the project. It was wonderful to see the kids learn about birds, acquire a new skill using a hammer and build the birdhouses with such joy!
Summary of the environmental and community benefits:
This project increased the wildlife habitat and tree canopy for birds and pollinators, and positively impacted the air quality in Burien, since we planted trees and shrubs that sequester carbon and other air pollutants, mitigate storm-water run-off, and also provide habitat that provides for a healthy ecosystem for both people and wildlife.
- The short-term plan: We successfully delivered the classes and workshops that provided the foundation for understanding the necessity of pollinators in our ecosystem, the role of trees as habitat providers and carbon sequesters, hosted a native planting events that provided parks with increased canopy cover and wildlife habitat.
- The long-term benefits: The long-term benefit to the Burien Community is that, through this project, the native plants and trees that the volunteers planted will continue to provide habitat for wildlife, sequester carbon throughout their lifetime, and add to our personal recreational enjoyment. Thus, planting native trees has long range benefits to the over health of the community by cleaning the air of pollutants, mitigating storm water run-off, and providing wildlife habitat, food and shelter for birds and pollinators. The “outdoor effect” of enjoying green spaces and connecting people to nature also has long term benefits to the community. It is proven that spending time in nature reduces ADHD symptoms in kids, relieves stress, provides fresh air, and also connects the community together when volunteering for a memorable project like establishing a wildlife life habitat garden or planting trees in a public park.
Here’s a thank-you note from one of the attendees of the Pollinators and Birds for Burien classes we held with speaker Julie O’Donald, and our carpenter partners from the Pacific Northwest Carpenters Union and Carpenter’s Sisters Group.
A huge thank you is in order for all your work arranging the food, venue, presenter, handouts, and birdhouse building supplies on Saturday, April 13th! Julie’s presentation was interesting and useful; the food was plentiful and excellent; the room comfortable and well laid out; and the location convenient with plentiful parking. I’m still marveling at the time, materials, and expertise supplied by the Union Carpenters. Our little birdhouse is lovely, and we’ll enjoy it for many years to come! It was just such a welcome event. You were able to offer it for no cost, thanks to the Port of Seattle ACE grant, and it certainly was a big hit for me. You even stayed calm throughout the chaos of direction giving and pounding hammers! Thank you for a job very well done! Best, Cathy Maunu
We also had positive comments from the post surveys we conducted for all our classes held at the Burien Community Center. Many people at the well-attended “Rainwater Harvesting for Home and Garden” came away from the class not only with the knowledge of how to install a system for their home, but also received a series of 3 installation manuals with full color pictures with step-by step instructions.
Dorothy said she, “Would do this at home on a small scale.” Others were going to install all options, including rainwater for watering their gardens and doing laundry. Riley Willis said he would implement a system since, “It would be good for the environment.”