Thank you to everyone who wrote letters to the King County Council. Your support of a flourishing future for Arboretum Creek is greatly appreciated! As of this afternoon, Nov. 26th, 2019, King County Staff has reassured Friends of Arboretum Creek that our grant request has been included in the Council’s upcoming legislation. A sub-committee will review the legislation on Dec. 3rd, 2019. The full Council is scheduled to approve the result on Dec. 11th, 2019. Additional Letters of Support will not improve our chances of approval and will only increase the workload for KC Staff – who have been very helpful in answering our questions.
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Going forward, the letter below will serve as a succinct statement of the known benefits of restoring of Arboretum Creek – as of November 2019.
Dear Council Member,
Please approve the ‘Alder Creek to Arboretum Creek – 30% Design’ project via the 2019 Waterworks council-allocated funding. This is the next logical step after the previously funded ‘Arboretum Creek Water Enhancement’ (ACWE) project – which was funded by the council in 2017. The earlier ACWE project proved the water in Alder & Alley Creeks is quite clean – as tested by the King County Environmental Lab. The combined quantity of year-round flow was measured and found to be in excess of 40,000 gallons per day.
Removing this water from the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) will increase wastewater treatment capacity and decrease pollution due to storm surges causing overflows. Reuniting the water with Arboretum Creek will provide life-giving benefits. Currently, the upper portion of Arboretum Creek runs dry in the warmer half of the year and becomes a series of stagnant ponds, which do not support fish and propagate undesirable vegetation.
Enhancing Arboretum Creek will also compliment the investment in the recently-completed, ADA-accessible Arboretum Loop Trail which crosses back and forth above Arboretum Creek.
Specifically, the ‘Alder Creek to Arboretum Creek – 30% Design’ project will create a design for:
- Removing Alder & Alley Creeks from the King County Combined Sewer Overflow,
- Reuniting these clean, cool, year-round flows with Arboretum Creek and will
- Lay the required groundwork for complimentary capital projects, sponsored by the appropriate City and County agencies, which will physically reunite the streams.
Returning this flow to Arboretum Creek will provide cascading benefits for King County ratepayers. Including:
- Economical – freeing up wastewater treatment capacity
- Environmental – enabling a functional ecosystem in the creek & reducing pollution in Montlake Cut.
- Educational – providing residents access to easily learn about native flora and fauna.
- Health – just two hours a week with nature has positive *health benefits.
- Social Equity – Having free and ADA-compliant access to nature in a centrally-located, and our most easily-accessible, park means these health and educational benefits will be available to all King County citizens regardless of their physical or economic challenges!
Multiple relevant stakeholder organizations have responded positively to the concept of re-uniting this clean spring water with Arboretum Creek. Including:
Seattle Parks and Recreation,
King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD),
Seattle Public Utility,
Seattle Department of Transportation,
University of Washington Botanic Gardens,
Seattle Parks Foundation
Approving this project has so many benefits it should be considered an irresistible investment! Please help restore Arboretum Creek.
A resident of King County
*The University of Exeter. (2019, June 13). Two hours a week is key dose of nature for health and wellbeing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 26, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190613095227.htm