When you live in a beautiful place like the Pacific Northwest, you cannot help but be shaped by where you live ….
Love Where You Live
When you live in a beautiful place like the Pacific Northwest, you cannot help but be shaped by where you live. Such is the case with Eric and Staci Adman. Both Eric and Staci grew up in Seattle, and Eric remembers coming to Kenmore to fish on the banks of Swamp Creek when he was a kid. Now, as a paramedic for the Shoreline Fire Department, he works in North King County, including in Kenmore, and serves as a Northshore Fire Commissioner. Staci is a local artist and one of the designers and creators of Kenmore’s St. Vincent de Paul mural (https://historylink.tours/stop/kenmore-mural/). She also works and teaches in lampwork glass and textiles at the Schack Art Center in Everett. They both have a love for nature and enjoy the outdoors.
Shoreline Firefighter/Paramedic Headed Back to Haiti: Eric Adman of Kenmore will teach an EMT class to Haitians to help them set up a emergency transportation system in Port-Au-Prince. (2011)
A Place to Call Home
In 1998 the Admans moved to Kenmore to a house near Little Swamp Creek, a fish-bearing stream that joins Swamp Creek as it flows past the heron rookery (which is located about one block east of 73rd Avenue Northeast on 181st Street at the north end of the Kenmore Park and Ride). Eric admits that living on the creek is magical and has piqued his interest in streams and water quality in general. The Admans have had many opportunities to watch the native wildlife and to learn about issues which challenge the health of the creek, such as removal of trees and native vegetation in the watershed and contaminated run-off from nearby roads. They have also taken action to protect the creek, such as when Staci petitioned the City of Kenmore to retain an additional 50-foot buffer meant to protect the heron nesting area. There was already a 100-foot buffer in place to protect the stream, but the City was proposing to eliminate the additional protective buffer.
The SnoKing Watershed Council Gets a Start
In 2007-2008 a group led by Elizabeth Mooney, another Kenmore resident concerned with local water quality, organized a group to protect the stream that runs through Logboom Park (known variously as 0056, Tschet Cha Thl, or Little Creek). Both Eric and Elizabeth had children that attended Lockwood Elementary, and Eric was recruited by Elizabeth. The group held regular meetings to determine what they could do to protect local streams. Tom Murdoch of the Adopt A Stream Foundation was part of the group, and the meetings took place at the Northwest Stream Center. Eric began attending the meetings, and later volunteered to lead. This group became formalized as the SnoKing Watershed Council and in 2011 was incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
As Nature Intended
In 2009 the Adopt A Stream Foundation (https://www.streamkeeper.org/history), a group whose mission is “teaching people how to become stewards of their watershed,” approached the Admans, asking if they would be willing to do a streamside restoration project, replacing lawn next to the stream (in its “riparian zone”) with native plants and trees. A grant from the Department of Ecology paid for the plants and mulch, and trained volunteers from the LEAF School (The Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field School at Edmonds Community College) came to plant the new vegetation. Details of the restoration project, before and after photos, and more about Little Swamp Creek can be found in the Little Swamp Creek Blog (www.littleswampcreek.com), which Staci maintained from 2009-2015.
Community Water Watchers
A group that started as concerned citizens, the SnoKing Watershed Council now has regular programs, including a community-based water monitoring program called Water Watchers (https://snokingwatershedcouncil.org/water-watchers/). These classes aim to train community members to monitor water on their own creeks for turbidity and pollutants. The group also has ongoing restoration projects planting native plants and eliminating invasives both at Wallace Swamp Creek park and the new Tl’ awh-ah-dees park (Swamp Creek Habitat Restoration Project, www.swampcreekwatershed.org).
Continuing in Service
Eric Adman, once a program attendee, is now president. Both he and Staci have been selected as an Adopt a Stream Foundation Streamkeeper of the Year and have earned King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski’s Silver Spur Award for their environmental work. Staci was also honored to be a 2012 McMaster Heritage Award winner by the Kenmore Heritage Society.
A Home Restored
The Admans continue to live on Little Swamp Creek. Their mowed lawn used to inch right up to the shore. Now the lawn has been replaced with native plants and trees which provides better water filtering and shade for fish. From the privacy of the wildlife cameras, they can watch the beavers who have built a dam on the creek. (Eric explained that beavers are beneficial to our landscape, because their dams serve to hold water on the land. Due to over-trapping of the beavers, some areas have actually dried out.) In addition, they are now happy neighbors to river otter, ducks, heron, crayfish, and bobcats. They have even taken up beekeeping. Creeks are major wildlife corridors and the Admans have done so much to become better neighbors. They have allowed the landscape to shape them and, in turn, they have shaped the landscape to better suit the neighbors that would call this place home.
To see what a restored riparian zone looks like, contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org.