A Tale about the Swale on Yale

Block 11, located in the Cascade Neighborhood in South Lake Union is one of the next in a series of Vulcan projects slated to be certified under Salmon-Safe Urban Standards. Designed by Runberg Architects, the proposed development at 1255 Harrison Street will add considerable punch to the fight to clean up our waterways through public private innovation.

This 384-unit, full-block development includes the installation of the second half of the Swale on Yale, a joint venture project with Seattle Public Utilities to treat stormwater before it reaches Lake Union. The newest two block-long swales will be situated on the eastern and western margins of the development, along the Pontius and Yale Avenue sides of the block. The first half of the Swale on Yale was completed in 2013, alongside Vulcan’s former property, Stack House and Supply Laundry development, one block north.

Together, the four swales will treat stormwater from 435 acres of Capitol Hill streets and sidewalks annually. The Swale on Yale project works by slowing and capturing the stormwater in a diversion vault.

A primary design goal of the project is to create pedestrian-friendly community spaces by connecting with Cascade Park to the west and aligning with the alleys of the Stackhouse apartments to the north and blocks to the south.

Green roofs will be installed on top of the new building and at the first level. All other roof drainage, not captured by one of the green roofs will be directed to one of five bioretention planters, the total size of which exceeds the optimal size for this type of best management practice according to the City of Seattle’s green stormwater infrastructure guidelines. These features provide additional stormwater management benefits beyond regulatory requirements. Other strategies of the project which contribute to meeting the Salmon-Safe standards include native drought tolerant landscape design, on-site rainwater harvesting for irrigation; high performance irrigation and water fixtures for conservation and a commitment to Integrated Pest Management in long term operations. The contractor for the project is Exxel Pacific, a Salmon-Safe Accredited Contractor.

City Habitats: Introducing the new Puget Sound campaign working to green our urban world

On the heels of last February’s first of its kind Green Infrastructure Summit, Stewardship Partners entered into a collaborative effort to develop a new campaign aimed at reinventing the way Puget Sound residents engage in their urban landscapes. Six months later, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy, Washington Environmental Council and City of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, with help from dozens of other groups and hundreds of insightful stakeholders, that campaign is emerging as “City Habitats.”

Cities are where the vast majority of human habitat exists and, simultaneously, it is where natural habitats are most altered and diminished. Realizing that these dense, vibrant places are where nature’s services are most needed but also where people’s power to create, cultivate and curate nature is most available, a new question emerges. It is no longer “can we coexist sustainably with nature?” We are asking: “how best can we partner with nature?” and “what innovations will provide the most and the best benefits?” This call to innovation is at the heart of City Habitats.

This campaign resonates with Stewardship Partners’ mission and our distinct way of connecting people to the land and waters and place where they live. For you, our friends, partners, supporters, these ideas are not radical or new. But this collaboration provides a vehicle for more people to catch onto optimism and see opportunity. With innovation and emerging technologies, we can combine the urban and natural into a radically new kind of habitat.

Stay tuned as this campaign rolls out across the Puget Sound region. Stewardship Partners’ focus will remain the same but opportunities will expand. You can participate in both small and larger ways by choosing Salmon-Safe products in your local grocery or restaurant, volunteering for Snoqualmie River riverbank restoration and salmon habitat projects, building a rain garden or using other water management tools at your home or business, or by building and retrofitting better buildings.


A Word from Our Executive Director

A common challenge for environmental non-profits is how to clearly describe their organization’s niche – how do we uniquely add value? Earlier this year, we spent a little time with Samantha Neukom and her team at Northbound, and now have a clear message about the who and the what behind Stewardship Partners.

Stewardship Partners creates people-based solutions for Puget Sound that engage all kinds of people to become caretakers of the land and water that surrounds and sustains us. When everybody understands their role, has access to simple tools and resources, and has a sense of belonging to their surrounding community, land and water, then lasting positive change happens.

We connect every part of the system from landowners to legislators to shopkeepers to nature lovers through a potent mix of empathy, optimism, intelligence and action. Committed to creative and collaborative solutions, Stewardship Partners innovates based on what engages people and makes a measurable impact. By doing this, we create communities that belong to the land and water.

-David J. Burger
Executive Director