The City of Washougal joined hands with the Watershed Alliance of Southwest Washington and Washougal High School students on May 5 to carry out a planting event along Campen Creek, which runs near the school campus. This collaborative effort aims to enhance the riparian habitat along the Creek while also providing a hands-on learning experience for the students. The community-oriented project complements the City's broader community engagement efforts, as it fosters a sense of shared responsibility and collaboration in promoting a sustainable and healthy environment for all. A total of 242 native plants, including slough sedge, spreading rush, Douglas spirea, stink currant, Douglas aster, riverbank lupine, and kinnikinnik, were planted by a team of 64 student volunteers.
“It was an amazing experience to participate alongside the Washougal High School students and to hear about their lesson plan that focused on the benefits of a healthy riparian ecosystem,” remarked Stormwater Program Supervisor Sean Mulderig. “I am grateful for the collaborative effort with the Water Alliance, and I found it very fulfilling to help provide this hands-on experience for the students. It was especially rewarding to see some of them plant their first native species!”
This project is a collaboration between several partners, including:
- The City of Washougal, who developed and submitted the mitigation plan to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and whose stormwater operations crew prepared the site, set up traffic control, and flagged the new plants.
- The Watershed Alliance of Southwest Washington, who purchased 242 plants, developed the planting plan, and worked with Washougal High School to organize volunteer participation.
- Washougal High School, who generously involved 64 student volunteers to take part in the planting event.
The City obtained a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) Permit for the Campen Creek bank repair project located at the intersection of 39th and M St, which mandated mitigation for any potential environmental impacts by planting native riparian species along the streambank. Interestingly, around the same time, the Watershed Alliance of Southwest Washington inquired about the availability of degraded creek habitat near the high school to organize a student planting event.
In response to the requirements specified in the mitigation plan, the City and the Watershed Alliance made the joint decision to collaborate and host the planting event together. This initiative serves to fulfill the mitigation obligations under the HPA permit, as well as the community engagement requirements set forth by the municipal stormwater permit. Additionally, this project will enhance the visual appeal of the 39th St corridor, while also providing a positive environmental impact in the community.
Sean Mulderig, Stormwater Program Supervisor
360.835.2662 ext. 228