Alexa Russo in a (dry) rain garden. / Marc Studer photo
Salmon-Safe, an environmental rating organization dedicated to water quality for salmon, recognizes that same dedication on the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College campus.
The ecolabel has certified more than 95,000 acres of farm and urban lands on the West Coast and recently recertified the campus for another five years, continuing certifications issued in 2008 and 2013.
“The campus is highly committed to sustaining the Salmon-Safe certification, as guided by their 2017 Campus Master Plan and Sustainability Action Plan,” Salmon-Safe said in its report.
Healthy habitat, healthier fish
For the recertification, the Portland nonprofit sent a four-member science team to campus to review documents and conduct a field review. The team toured three new buildings — Discovery Hall, the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory and the Activities and Recreation Center — plus the sports fields and new surface parking behind Discovery Hall. The team paid particular attention to materials used in building construction and landscaping practices to prevent erosion, control sediment and reduce pesticides and fertilizers.
The University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College continue to demonstrate a high level of environmental stewardship in accordance with Salmon-Safe standards, the science team found.
Recognizing how rainwater flows from the main campus down to the restored wetlands, the certification team noted rain gardens installed with the new buildings. The team also confirmed that campus groundskeepers have largely replaced pesticides and fertilizers in favor of organic land care since 2006.
“The campus is committed to maintaining sustainable stormwater management practices,” said Alexa Russo, sustainability coordinator.
Green today, green tomorrow
As part of the approval for certification, the Salmon-Safe team asked for some additional assessments, documentation or care in several areas. Going forward, the team also asked the campus to ensure it follows standards in new construction.
“Salmon-Safe and the science team commend University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia College for their commitment to implement the conditions listed in the report and to manage the campus to continue to improve water quality and urban habitat over the next five years,” it said.
Salmon-Safe plans a free public Salmon in the City event Jan. 24 in Seattle.