Stewardship Partners 


Stewardship Partners is celebrating its 15th year as a successful conservation non-profit dedicated to helping landowners restore and protect the natural landscapes of Washington State. We collaborate with diverse stakeholders to build bridges and find solutions that achieve common goals of environmental health, economic vitality, and community well-being. Our three main programs address water quality issues at the source by filtering polluted stormwater runoff, restoring fish and wildlife habitat, supporting green building initiatives and maintaining the ecological and economic viability of farms, forestland, and communities. 

Mission Statement
Stewardship Partners helps private landowners restore and preserve the natural landscapes of Washington State. We promote and implement incentive-based programs that encourage landowners to participate in fish and wildlife conservation and habitat restoration, while simultaneously meeting their economic needs through sustainable land management.
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Stewardship Partners
1411 4th Ave Ste 1425 
(206) 292-9875 

Mr. David J. Burger 
Executive Director 


Stewardship Partners Programs

Our Salmon-Safe certification program is an eco-label and marketing campaign created to recognize local farms, vineyards, and urban developments that are protecting watersheds and critical salmon habitat through responsible land management practices. Stewardship Partners has certified over 125 farms through the Salmon-Safe program, which translates to more than 10,000 acres of farmland that is now directly benefitting the recovery of our most emblematic Pacific Northwest species, the salmon. The Salmon-Safe Urban Initiative certifies sites within urban watersheds and accredits large scale contractors who responsibly manage their stormwater runoff. This program provides recognition for those who strive to ensure the health of our regional waterways and the Puget Sound. 

The 12,000 Rain Gardens program builds partnerships with Puget Sound homeowners and developers to address the issues caused by polluted stormwater runoff. Rain gardens act like miniature native forests by capturing and storing runoff from impermeable surfaces like rooftops and roadways. Over time, the water is filtered by the plants and soil as it makes its way back into the ground water. When we reach our goal of 12,000 completed rain gardens, we will soak up 160 million gallons of polluted runoff each year, preventing flash flood events and significantly reducing pollution in the Puget Sound.

The Snoqualmie Stewardship program helps landowners restore fish and wildlife habitat while maintaining the economic viability of farms and forestland in the Snoqualmie Valley. One of the last wild runs of the endangered Chinook salmon, the Snoqualmie River has been nationally recognized as critical for the survival of the species. Because of this, the river is a focal point of our efforts in the valley. Since its creation, the Snoqualmie Stewardship program has worked on 25 properties and restored over 13 miles of the Snoqualmie River, creating a safer place for salmon spawning and rearing. This program also partners with environmental organizations to develop and implement the Snoqualmie Strategy. This strategy engages the people who live, work and visit the Snoqualmie Valley to build a sustainable future for both the environment and the economy.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Salmon-Safe’s large scale contractor accreditation continues to grow at an exceptional pace. In winter of last year, Salmon-Safe welcomed GLY Construction and Lease Crutcher Lewis to the Salmon-Safe community of watershed leaders. This program was piloted with Turner Construction at the Nintendo Headquarters site in Redmond, and these new participants mark the tremendous progress our certification efforts have made. These Seattle based construction companies represent exceptional examples of stormwater runoff management and sedimentation control at all of their constructions sites. 

The City of Redmond Ordinance 2562 provides green building incentives for developers who certify their properties as Salmon-Safe. This is an extremely progressive zoning strategy, as some of the most critical Chinook population in the country run through the Redmond region of the Lake Washington Watershed. This incentive allows developers who take responsibility for their stormwater runoff to add an additional story to their buildings, maximizing their return on investment and minimizing their environmental impact. 

King County has also adopted a new Green Building Ordinance, and now requires a list of environmentally responsible certifications for all County owned and managed properties and facilities. The County chose four certifications including Salmon-Safe Urban and Parks certifications as well as the BuiltGreen/Salmon-Safe 5 Star Dual Certification for residential development to be applied to public housing. This is great news for our urban landscape, as the County is now a leader in responsible stormwater management.

Why is Salmon-Safe important?
Salmon-Safe is the only bioregional site certification of its kind. Salmon-Safe uses the power of the marketplace to protect rivers and the lands that surround them, recognizing certified landowners, and influence consumer purchasing through our public relations and media campaigns. In addition, all of our offices and staff are based here in the Northwest and our standards were developed for regional conditions. Our Salmon-Safe Urban program uses its funding to work exclusively with local businesses, so your donation is guaranteed to benefit the local economy of the Pacific Northwest.  


Stewardship Partners helps farmers, landowners and community-based organizations to garner resources and take advantage of the variety of incentive-based programs that reward environmentally responsible land management.

Proven Success
Since 1999, they have restored 10+ miles of Snoqualmie River on 21 different private properties; built over 100 rain gardens and facilitated development of hundreds more, launched the 12,000 Rain Gardens campaign; completed "Salmon-Safe" certification on 107 agricultural properties, and conducted 60 educational workshops for 1,500 people on how to reduce polluted run-off. They have established collaborative relationships with other environmental groups, government agencies, tribes and the agricultural community to bring about mutually workable solutions to environmental problems.

Stewardship Partners manages the Washington Salmon-Safe program, an eco-label that recognizes farms, vineyards, golf courses, and college and corporate campuses that adopt conservation practices to help restore native salmon habitat in Pacific Northwest rivers and streams. To qualify each property owner adopts rigorous measures to restore in-stream habitat, conserve water, improve water quality, protect river and wetland habitats, reduce erosion and sedimentation, and limit the use of chemical pesticides. Stewardship Partners has certified as Salmon-Safe the University of Washington Seattle campus, REI's flagship store, a golf course, Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, and the Edmonds PCC, and they are in conversations with Boeing and Microsoft about participating in the Salmon-Safe program.

Best Practices
Stewardship Partners offers programs and demonstration projects aimed at providing homeowners with ideas and tools to create stormwater runoff landscapes in their homes, public spaces and local businesses. Its rain garden program is an accessible tool for individuals to take action against stormwater runoff. The 12,000 Rain Gardens in Puget Sound project, a partnership with Washington State University, aims to grow and designate 12,000 rain gardens — which reduce pollution and alleviate flooding all while creating attractive landscapes that promote native plant growth in hearty soil — in the area by 2016. Caffe Vita, which has created the 12,000 Rain Gardens blend to benefit Stewardship Partners.

Stewardship Partners works with the community to implement collaborative restoration, environmental planning and conservation projects. It is effective at brokering relationships and involving community groups, government entities and landowners in creating sustainable stewardship plans.

Two primary partners are Washington State University (WSU) Extension and the Salmon-Safe Certification program. WSU is the national leader in rain garden research and design and their 12 Puget Sound Extension offices are committed to helping them build or register 12,000 rain gardens by 2016. WSU will provide students in their Master Gardener program with 100 hours of free training to become Rain Garden Mentors. In turn, each Mentor will volunteer an additional 100 hours to promote, build and maintain rain gardens throughout the region.

Financial Health
In recent years a high percentage of their budget has been from grants. In late 2011, they hired a part-time Development Director, the first dedicated fundraising staff position, to create a plan to identify and cultivate potential new donors and to retain and steward existing donors and diversify their revenue streams.

They have maintained a balanced budget the last three years. Through conservative fiscal management, Stewardship Partners has set aside reserves that will fund organizational expenses for up to six months should funding not be available from other sources. They are ramping up their new Adopt-a-Buffer program, which they expect will raise new funds from businesses and corporations who want to participate in the restoration of Puget Sound and its watersheds.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

3/10/2013 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2010 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2008 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.


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