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Water: 5 Star Wetland Restoration & Grants

Thornton Creek Park #6 Riparian Restoration


Five-Star Restoration Program Descriptions

Thornton Creek Park #6 Riparian Restoration
King County World Conservation Corps
Seattle, Washington
EPA Region 10

The King County World Conservation Corps (KCWCC) of Seattle completed a two-year restoration effort in Thornton Creek in September 1998, funded in part by the Five Star Restoration Partners Initiative. Thornton Creek and its tributaries occupy 11.6 square miles of urban North Seattle. The creek has been significantly affected by road, commercial, and housing construction, yet continues to harbor a remnant population of native salmonids including cut-throat trout, coho, and chinook salmon. Seattle City Parks owns significant open space property in and around Thornton Creek including the Park #6 property, which, since its purchase in 1979, has been largely neglected. Project objectives at the site included the following:

  • enhancement of wildlife habitat with removal of invasive plants and replanting of natives
  • reduction of stream bank erosion using bioengineering techniques
  • enhancement of community ownership of the Park by constructing a stable trails system including a 30-foot bridge spanning the creek
  • enhancement of amphibian populations with construction of a 30-foot-diameter frog pond

The KCWCC provides youth leadership development in environmental restoration, community service, and multi cultural understanding of local and global issues. In 1998, the fourth year of the KCWCC program, the Corps was comprised of 24 18-to-24-year-old youth working for eight months (April through November). The Corps provides intensive training and education in natural resources management, and communication and leadership skills. KCWCC crews perform environmental restoration such as in stream fisheries habitat construction, river, stream and wetland bioengineering, erosion control and planting in upland clear-cut, and trail construction in urban and back country parks (including bridges, sinage, erosion control, elevated walkways, etc.). KCWCC conducted the Park #6 project in conjunction with the Thornton Creek Alliance, a 125-member local advocacy organization with the mission of restoring wildlife habitat in the Thornton Creek Watershed. Additional support was provided by Seattle City Parks and their Northern Stars Youth Crew, the King County Department of Natural Resources/Water and Land Resources Division, and the King County Water Quality Block Grant Program.

Implementation of this project was very successful and we built momentum (and funding) as work progressed. One significant highlight was that we used project as a training site in conjunction with the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps. Under the able tutelage of Dennis O'Connor, 12 Conservation Corps Staff from throughout the Western United States Corps were given a five-day class on stream bank bioengineering, at which time we used seven different bank stabilization techniques. The addition of the Five Star Program funding was significant in allowing us to leverage other grants, and therefore was vital toward the success of the Thornton Creek project.

EPA Grant Amount: $12,000
Contact Information: Pieter Straub
King County World Conservation Corps
810 18th Avenue #B5
Seattle, WA 98122
(206) 322-9296
Email: casquest@serv.net

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