Friends of the Cedar River Watershed Programs
Our roots are in the water. The Friends began in 1996 with the charter to support the construction of the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, and since then has evolved to promote community stewardship and education about the importance restoring the Cedar River/Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish Watershed (WRIA 8).
The watershed provides some of the best remaining salmon and wildlife habitat and environmental education opportunities in King County. We strive to promote and implement habitat restoration, environmental awareness education, and stewardship initiatives throughout the watershed in cooperation with our diverse community partners.
Friends of the Cedar River Watershed has a 18-year track record of successfully managing volunteer community stewardship programs.
Volunteer Habitat Restoration: FCRW recruits, educates, and coordinates nearly 2,000 volunteers annually to restore wetlands, forests, and riparian areas. Restoration events are necessary to help address problems of flooding, property damage, water pollution, and habitat loss for fish and wildlife. They are also the gateway to deeper community involvement in the long-term health of the watershed. In 2012 alone, volunteers planted approximately 10,000 native shrubs and trees. By providing a direct opportunity for people to improve the health of our natural community, we build the foundation for long-term investment in the future of the sites restored. Our year-round weekend projects are designed to be appropriate for all ages and we offer Service-Learning Restoration Field Experiences that include a tailored classroom curriculum by request.
Cedar River Salmon Journey: Salmon are the vehicle through which we tell the story of clean water and healthy habitat. Trained volunteer naturalists and storytellers annually inform over 13,500 local residents about the connection between the natural and human history of our rivers and region as they draw connections between the health of our watershed and our daily choices. Naturalists engage people in discussions about how individuals can take simple actions to improve watershed health.
Stewardship In Action: The Friends is working with our partners, Seattle Public Utilities, Forterra, and King County Noxious Weed Control Program, to help citizens in the lower Cedar River basin systematically remove infestations of invasive knotweed from private and public properties from Maple Valley to Renton city limits and to replant the area with native species. This partnership reached over 300 targeted landowners and educated over 10,000 individuals in 2013. We look forward to expanding this resource into the City of Renton to help landowners protect their property and restore wildlife habitat.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Success of 2013:
Recruited over 2000 volunteers to restore critical wildlife habitat within the Cedar Rive /Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish Watershed.
Restored and/or maintained 48 acres of wetlands, uplands, and riparian areas.
Completed 60 riparian habitat restoration events in WRIA 8.
Trained 110 volunteer naturalists who reached over 13,500 people with messages of environmental stewardship to change behaviors for the benefit of native habitats and clean water.