Better Ground

Partner Events Throughout the Region

Together, let’s make a difference.

If you have questions about a certain event or would like to help coordinate an event this year, please reach out to the organizations listed.

If a project you sign up to volunteer with is full, please try another one nearby or pledge Three Actions for Orcas.

Find a “Pod” of family or friends
Choose 3 of our “10 actions for Orcas”
Write them on paper titled #OrcaRecoveryDay
Take a picture and share
Hold each other to your actions! 

Clallam Conservation District | Orca Recovery on the Olympic Peninsula | October 5 – 9

We are currently working with local Tribe’s and agencies to plan some exciting events throughout the Olympic Peninsula this October. The events will be designed to bring awareness to the plight of the southern resident Orca whale through educational workshops and volunteer activities, such as tree planting and in-stream trash clean-up. These events will be designed to aid in salmon recovery efforts since the Orca whale’s diet is comprised of 80% salmon.  

We are still fine tuning locations and dates for the events, but plan to have opportunities throughout the county during the week of October 5th through the 9th. If you are interested in learning more about these events please SIGN-UP for more information. As we sort out the details, we will send an email to you with sign-up opportunities for specific events.

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Jefferson County Conservation District | Native Shrub Planting | Snow Creek Estuary Preserve

Join the Jefferson County Conservation District, North Olympic Salmon Coalition, and Jefferson Land Trust for a day of planting native shrubs at the Snow Creek Estuary Preserve! Along with many others throughout the Pacific Northwest, you can play a part in helping orcas. By planting native trees and shrubs along streams and rivers, you help improve water quality and salmon habitat. By helping salmon, you are helping orcas!

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Oceans Blue Corp | Beach Clean-up | October 16, 10 am – 12 pm | Shine Tideland State Park

Join us at Shine Tideland State Park on Orca Recovery Day to aid in helping the recovery of the SRKW. We will have all you need including gloves, reusable bags, and trash grappers. Plus some tasty donuts and eco friendly handouts.

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King Conservation District | Thomas Road Restoration Project

The Thomas Road Restoration Project is located on a tributary to Covington Creek in the Town of Kent. This 6.70 acre project consists of approximately 2125 linear feet and averages 75 feet wide for the length of the property. The main objective of this project is to protect critical fish habitat through restoration. KCD is assisting the landowner with the establishment of a forested riparian buffer which will create shade, reduce erosion through the stabilization of stream banks, help protect water quality, and create general habitat and refuge for wildlife. Forested riparian buffers are comprised of a diverse stand of native trees and shrubs that are representative of a relatively undisturbed stand of mature forest. The Orca Recovery Day activity will be starting the plant establishment phase of the project by installing native trees and shrubs, making cutting and installing them in the banks of the stream and hand digging blackberry.

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Green River Coalition | Orca Recovery Day Planting Event | October 16 | Riverview Park

Please join us for our annual Orca Recovery Day Planting Event! We will be partnering with the city of Kent and Duwamish Alive to host a restoration planting event at the beautiful Riverview Park in Kent!

If you would like to partner/collaborate on this event please email our operations manager: Michael Taton at michael@greenrivercoalition.org

Learn more and register here

City of Shoreline | Bruggers Bog | October 16 | 10 am – 1 pm | Bruggers Bog Park

Join the Brugger’s Bog Park Native Plant Stewards and Shoreline Green Partnership to celebrate Orca Recovery Day as we continue to restore this important wetland habitat with native shrubs, trees and meadow. This City of Shoreline Park is located in the Lyons Creek Watershed which includes creeks that enter Lake Washington with this fresh water continuing to Puget Sound. You’ll be helping to improve this shrub and forested area by mulching and adding the start of this year’s plants which will continue into the late Fall.

Learn more and register here

World Relief Seattle- Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden | October 16, 9 am – 12 pm

Join us for planting native plants in our newly constructed bioswale and removing invasive weeds. Email Kaila Korosec for more information at kkorosec@wr.org.

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Whale Scout | October 16, 10 am – 1 pm | Former Wayne Golf Course, 16950 W Riverside Dr, Bothell, WA

Volunteer to improve habitat! Portions of Bothell’s largest park, the former Wayne Golf Course, are a migratory corridor for Chinook salmon in the Sammamish River and potential habitat for Coho at the confluence of Waynita Creek. As this amazing property transforms from a golf course into a public open space, volunteers are offered the opportunity to help improve the habitat. By controlling non-native and invasive weeds, and protecting native trees and vegetation, we’re able to improve water quality for salmon and down the line provide more prey for killer whales in Puget Sound! Registration is required.

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Sno-King Watershed Council | October 16, 11 am – 2 pm | Wallace Swamp Creek Park, Kenmore, WA

Join Sno-King Watershed Council, in partnership with the City of Kenmore, for habitat restoration! From 1997 to 2015, volunteers with the Salmon Watcher Program recorded salmon observations at various locations in Swamp Creek. Volunteers consistently saw coho in the creek. Less commonly spotted were kokanee and sockeye salmon. We’re working on making Swamp Creek a place where salmon are again regularly spotted. We’re not working creek-side just yet, but every bit of the natural open space in the park is valuable as native habitat. Please bring a mask in the event that social distancing is not possible. Please also bring your own work gloves and your favorite tool for digging (both small garden shovels and large digging shovels will be handy) and/or a hand clippers. We will be digging knotweed, clipping blackberry canes, and digging blackberry root balls! We will be working near the parking lot. Questions? Ready to RSVP? Email Tracy at tlbanaszynski@yahoo.com

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Guardians of the Orca | October 16, 11 am – 2 pm | Wallace Swamp Creek Park, Kenmore, WA

Join Sno-King Watershed Council, in partnership with the City of Kenmore, for habitat restoration! From 1997 to 2015, volunteers with the Salmon Watcher Program recorded salmon observations at various locations in Swamp Creek. Volunteers consistently saw coho in the creek. Less commonly spotted were kokanee and sockeye salmon. We’re working on making Swamp Creek a place where salmon are again regularly spotted. We’re not working creek-side just yet, but every bit of the natural open space in the park is valuable as native habitat. Please bring a mask in the event that social distancing is not possible. Please also bring your own work gloves and your favorite tool for digging (both small garden shovels and large digging shovels will be handy) and/or a hand clippers. We will be digging knotweed, clipping blackberry canes, and digging blackberry root balls! We will be working near the parking lot. Questions? Ready to RSVP? Email Tracy at tlbanaszynski@yahoo.com

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Forterra | Green Snoqualmie Day | October 16, 9 am – 12 pm | Three Forks Natural Area, Snoqualmie

We are excited for the return of a larger Green Snoqualmie Day event this year!

Join your Snoqualmie neighbors in celebrating the community’s forests by helping to transform plant several hundred trees and shrubs under Mt. Si at Three Forks Natural Area. This year, we are partnering with the City of Snoqualmie, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and the Snoqualmie Tribe to help to reforest the banks of the Snoqualmie River.

This event is our biggest volunteering event of the year and a great time to plant a tree and leave a living legacy in the community. There will be food from local businesses, prizes to raffle off, and all gloves, and tools are provided. This event is great for families, and all ages and abilities can help out!

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EarthCorps | Shoreline Restoration | October 16, 10:30 am – 1 pm | Jack Hyde Park, Tacoma

Come help restore an emergent marsh along the shoreline of Tacoma! We will be removing invasive plants and planting native riparian tree and shrub species at a nearshore restoration habitat restoration site along the shoreline of Commencement Bay. The site provides important habitat for migrating salmon which are an indispensable part of the Orca lifecycle. 

Learn more

 

Kitsap Conservation District | Carpenter Creek Estuary Restoration | October 16 | Kingston, WA

Help us take the next step in restoring a portion of the Carpenter Creek Estuary in Kingston, WA. Volunteer work will including using a tool such as a shovel to remove noxious weeds or install plants. Everyone can do something to help save orcas, one of the most iconic species of the Pacific Northwest. Help us at our event in the morning, afternoon, or both! This event is FREE. RSVP using Brown Paper Tickets.

Please bring:
-Weather appropriate clothing.
-Water proof boots or shoes.
-Snacks and water.
-Be ready to get dirty!

Covid safety will be our first priority. We will be working socially distanced outside. Hand sanitizer, masks, and sanitary gloves will be available.

Register here

Shore Friendly Kitsap | Marine Nearshore Restoration | October 16, 10 am – 12 pm | Harper Park, 3500 SE Southworth Drive, Port Orchard, WA 

We are holding a collaborative volunteer event at Harper Park and Estuary in Kitsap County. This event will be hosted by a collaboration of partners: Shore Friendly Kitsap, Harper Stewardship Group, Kitsap County Parks, WSU Kitsap County Extension, Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group and WA Sea Grant. With volunteer help, we will remove invasive plants from the Estuary and riparian areas, plant native plants in a stream riparian area (that is connected to the Estuary), facilitate a community science and art event, and hold a beach tour.

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Great Peninsula Conservancy | Orca Recovery Day | October 16, 9 am – 11 am

Join Great Peninsula Conservancy in taking action for Puget Sound Orca Recovery Day! GPC’s stewardship team will work with volunteers to remove invasive blackberry and scotch broom along the estuary shoreline at the Klingel-Bryan-Beard Wildlife Refuge. This saltmarsh, where the tides of Hood Canal mix with the freshwater of Union River, provides prime habitat to threatened Hood Canal summer chum, Puget Sound Chinook, and winter steelhead. This work prepares the area for planting native trees and shrubs in January 2022. With your help, GPC can improve this habitat for salmon and for the resident orcas who depend on them for food! Be sure to dress for the weather, wear close-toed shoes, and bring a water bottle. GPC will bring the rest!

Learn more

Kitsap County Parks (multiple events)

Please contact Aaron Bartleson at abartles@co.kitsap.wa.us if you have any questions. Visit the Kitsap County Parks Volunteer page here.

North Kitsap Heritage Park | October 16, 9 am

Please meet at Miller Bay Rd. Parking area by 9 am. Bring sturdy shoes, gloves, pruning tools, and water.

Banner Forest Heritage Park | October 16, 9 am

Please arrive at Banner Rd parking area by 9 am. Bring sturdy shoes, gloves, pruning tools, and water. Group will be removing invasive plants.

Newberry Hill Heritage Park | October 16, 10 am

Please arrive at Newberry hill parking area at Klahowya Secondary School by 10 am. Park near kiosk. Bring sturdy shoes, gloves, pruning tools, and water. Group will be removing invasive plant species.

Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park | October 16, 9 am

Please arrive at Port Gamble Bayview parking area by 9 am. Bring sturdy shoes, gloves, pruning tool, and water. Group will be removing invasive plant species.

Veterans Memorial Park | October 23, 9 am

Please arrive at Veterans Memorial Park in Port Orchard by 9 am. Group will be removing large volumes of litter from the park. Bring Gloves, sturdy shoes, and water.

Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group | Planting Dry Shrub Steppe Habitat | October 16 @ 9 am | Wilson Creek at Central Washington University

Come out to Wilson Creek on the CWU campus for a morning of restoration work! We will be expanding one of the planting areas on campus to improve the dry shrub steppe habitat. We will be planting Ponderosa pines, sage brush, and other dry-tolerant species. We welcome everyone of all ages and backgrounds looking to get involved in the local community and help improve water quality and create habitat for important native species. We will be providing refreshments, tools, and PPE (gloves, masks, etc.), but please wear sturdy work shoes, pants, and weather-appropriate layers, and bring a water bottle.

Please feel free to sign up ahead of time or show up the morning of anywhere between 8:45am and 9:00am at the planting in the middle of the parking lot near the Starbucks on University and the CWU Counseling center. Parking will be street parking near the area.

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Mason Conservation District | October 16

Join Mason CD for habitat restoration and educational fun. More details to come, so visit the website to stay tuned!

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Pierce Conservation District | Work Party at Clark’s Creek | 9 am – 12 pm

Come join our newest Habitat Steward, Logan, as he works to restore this valuable habitat along Clark’s Creek in Puyallup. Must pre-register to attend!

What will volunteers be doing at the event?

While the exact tasks at hand vary, our projects focus on improving the open spaces, forests, and parks in our local cities.  Healthy ecosystems and thriving forests are vital to our community because they absorb and naturally filter rain water, produce clean oxygen, provide living spaces for wildlife, and create a place for people to connect with the outdoors.

In order to create healthy forests and riparian zones, the work can include:

  • Removing invasive species of plants
    • Reed Canary Grass
    • Himalayan Blackberry
    • English Ivy
    • Etc.
    • Caring for existing and previous plantings
    • Planting trees and shrubs during the rainy season

Learn more

Pierce County Environmental Educators | Free Virtual Class | October 12, 6 – 7:30 pm

The Salish Sea and Puget Sound are important habitats for our beloved orca population and the salmon they need to survive. Learn how your water habits at home and our community choices impact the quality of these vital waterways in this free virtual class taught by Pierce County Environmental Educators. Get tips on how you can have a positive impact on the place we call home. Our FREE classes are appropriate for all ages. All attendees will receive an orca sticker and activity book by US mail after the class. Must attend and complete our short survey at the end of class to receive your swag.

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San Juan Island Conservation District | October 13 – 16

This Orca Recovery Day, take action! In partnership with One Tree Planted and Better Ground, the San Juan Islands Conservation District and San Juan County Land Bank  are hosting in-person and virtual events. The events will highlight local salmon recovery and habitat restoration efforts via an educational Zoom speaker series with “day of” volunteer planting events on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Island on Oct. 16th. If you are interested in learning more about these events, please sign-up here for more information. As we confirm details, we will send registration information for specific events.

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Skagit Land Trust | Riparian Restoration | October 16, 9 am – 12 pm | Tope Ryan Conservation Area

Skagit Land Trust will be working to maintain a large restoration project at the confluence of Swede Creek and the Samish River. Improving the riparian buffer along these waterways provides good habitat for the salmon returning to these streams from Samish Bay and the Salish Sea. Just east of the intersection of Gripp & Prairie Roads, Sedro-Woolley, WA.

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Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group | Planting at Pressentin Park | October 16, 10 am – 1 pm | 60060 R 20 in Marblemount

Help salmon and orcas by planting trees! In recognition of Orca Recovery Day, join us in this project to restore Chinook salmon habitat! In partnership with Skagit County Parks and Recreation we’ll be planting native plants throughout Pressentin Park. Gloves and tools provided. Covid-19 safety policy: Vaccinated volunteers willing to attest to vaccination may volunteer without a mask, but unvaccinated volunteers must wear a mask and maintain social distance. All ages welcome.

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The Salish Sea School | Student-Led Virtual Conference | October 16 & October 23

Join us over TWO Saturdays in October (1 – 3 pm) as we learn more about the Southern Resident Killer whales and participate in action projects! Attend both and be eligible for some cool prizes!

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Snohomish Conservation District | Nature Walk in Mountlake Terrace | 11:30 am – 1:30 pm | Ballinger Park

For this Orca Recovery Day, join us for a nature walk around Ballinger Park! We’ll be learning about the different native and invasive plants in the area, how to create bird habitat where we live, and how our actions at home can help our Southern Resident Killer Whales. There will be orca swag for you to take home! We will gather at the Mountlake Terrace Senior Center at 11:30 am for check in, hot chocolate or tea, and orientation. The nature walk around Lake Ballinger Park will begin at 12 pm. Dress for the weather. Kids and adults are welcome! The first 50 households will be able to reserve a native plant to take home. Also, households with 3rd-5th graders will be able to reserve a youth-focused salmon lesson to do at ho me after the event.

Thank you to our partners with the City of Mountlake Terrace for sponsoring this event.

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Friends of North Creek Forest | Work Party at North Creek Forest |  10 am – 2 pm | 112th Ave restoration site, 20598 112th Ave NE, Bothell, WA

Join us for a volunteer Stewardship work party! We are going to be walking up a trail into the inner forest and removing invasive blackberries where they are creeping into a forest clearing Tools and work gloves provided. Dress for the weather. Closed-toe shoes are required. Boots are recommended. Volunteers ages 15 and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteer work parties provide great networking opportunities, an introduction to restoration ecology, and a fun way to spend time in the great outdoors!

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Shelton View Forest Stewardship Association | Habitat Restoration & Trail Maintenance |  October 17, 10 am to 1 pm | Shelton View Forest

Join us in Shelton View Forest in Bothell for trail maintenance, trash and invasive species removal, tree planting, and more. Learn more about this unique urban forest and why it is important to the health of the Swamp Creek Watershed and salmon and orca protection. All participants must pre-register.

Volunteers should dress to work outside and bring their own water, snacks, and work gloves. SVFSA will provide clean tools and gloves to those that need them. Face coverings and physical distancing are required. Read our full COVID Safety Plan here: tinyurl.com/COVIDsafetySVFSA

Questions? Contact sheltonviewforest@gmail.com.

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Thurston Conservation District and OlyEcosystems | October 16, 10 am – 2 pm | Watershed Park: McCormick Ct. Entrance

Join Thurston Conservation District and City of Olympia at Watershed Park for a socially distanced work party! Volunteers are invited to help create better habitat for the wildlife and aquatic species around Moxlie Creek by removing invasive weeds and planting native trees and shrubs. Helping restore this important habitat is an opportunity for you to make a difference for our endangered Southern Resident orca whales!

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Whatcom Conservation District | 9 am – 12 pm | 4460 Bay Rd. Blaine, WA 

This year the Whatcom County Conservation District will joining the other Puget Sound Conservation Districts in Orca Recovery Day, by hosting a work party restoring riparian habitat for salmon in Whatcom County!

Supporting salmon supports orcas because, the largest threat to our Southern Resident Orca population is lack of their primary food source, salmon. Chinook salmon make up 80% of the orca diet, and because of loss of habitat and increasing pollution, local salmon populations are a fraction of what they used to be. Join us in supporting orcas and salmon on October 16th!

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Lummi Island Heritage Trust | 10 am – 12 pm | 4460 Bay Rd. Blaine, WA 

Join us for a beach clean up on Lummi Island! Contact Katie Johnson for more information at outreach@liht.org.

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Orca Network | Orca-Salmon Month

Orca Network will be celebrating Orca-Salmon Month throughout the month of October. This will include an educational webinar (date TBD), a youth Zoom event on October 20th at 4:00 pm, and educational information on our social media sites.

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Central Westcoast Forest Society | Backroads Cleanup | October 16, 10 am – 2 pm

We will be hosting a backroads clean-up on October 16th from 10am-2pm. All volunteers will meet at the Ucluelet/Tofino junction and direction for clean-up will be given there.

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Luckiamute Watershed Council | October 16, 10 am – 2 pm | 250 N. Gun Club Road, Independence, OR 97351

Volunteers will learn about the riparian restoration effort going on along Ash Creek, plant 25 native trees and construct fences to prevent deer browse.

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Palouse Conservation District | Volunteer Planting Event | October 16, 9 am – 12 pm | Paradise Creek

Join Palouse Conservation District for a volunteer planting event to celebrate Orca Recovery Day, a statewide campaign to restore vital habitat for the orca’s food source, Chinook salmon, and work to create better ocean conditions for the orcas.

Far from ocean waters, surrounded by a sea of rolling hills, you can be part of the solution on Saturday, October 16th from 9am-12pm. Volunteers will be participating in a stream restoration project along Paradise Creek to address water quality issues. This is a family-friendly event.

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