Through Soundkeeper’s Lost Urban Creek Project, we aim to improve water quality in South Seattle and South King County watersheds through youth-led, community-based education, outreach, stewardship, and civic engagement. In addition, we’re actively working with local partners to increase environmental equity by identifying barriers and empowering marginalized communities through financial resource and power sharing.
In every city, everywhere, there are creeks running through our neighborhoods, under our streets, and behind our schools and shops. While these lost urban creeks help clean our air, cool our communities, and safeguard Puget Sound, they are all too often forgotten and neglected. Through its LUC Project, Soundkeeper hopes to create a new approach for supporting the community-led revival of lost urban creeks that can be replicated throughout Puget Sound.
Geocaching Adventure Lab along Renton’s Lost Urban Creeks
On July 29, 2021 Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and youth interns from Unleash the Brilliance are releasing two scavenger hunts called “Adventure Labs” of Springbrook Creek in South King County. These phone-based games are designed to test local knowledge of the history and natural resources of this sub-basin to the Green-Duwamish Watershed.
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Adventure Lab is a new form of geocaching that allows the user to participate in a hunt not of a hidden, physical geocache but of solutions to questions that can be answered only by clues found at specific locations.
Puget Soundkeeper and Unleash the Brilliance developed the two Adventure Labs along Springbrook Creek Trail in Renton, WA. They, along with Forterra, Sno-King Watershed Council and other local partners have been working since 2017 to help restore Springbrook Creek. The two Adventure Labs (one starting at Fort Dent Park in Tukwila and one starting at the entrance to the Springbrook Creek Mitigation Bank Wetland located on 27th Ave in Renton) each have 7-10 separate locations that will test your knowledge and help you gain new insight into the issues facing Springbrook Creek.
Springbrook Creek 2019-2020 Water Quality Report
The Lost Urban Creeks Project highlights streams in urban areas, streams that are abused and neglected. These creeks often flow through communities most impacted by pollution and social injustice, highlighting environmental inequities in our region. Springbrook Creek is an example of a Lost Urban Creek, and from October 2019 to September 2020, LUC participants conducted wet weather and dry weather water quality sampling. In February 2021, the youth interns published this report, detailing the Water Quality of Springbrook Creek.
A success I’ve had with this project is being able to walk away with so much information and knowledge whenever we have a workshop or a site tour. I believe the opportunities and education these events provide me and my peers help nurture a new passion growing within us about the environment and ecosystems. Whenever we do outreach, I am confident in being able to explain what we stand for, what we do, and what our goals are. It’s something I’ve learned throughout my time with Puget Soundkeeper and I hope to continue with this internship. – Adrian, Lost Urban Creeks Youth Intern
Touring the water treatment plant was one of my favorite activities that we got to do through our program. I will admit that before going to the plant I never thought about what happens to all the “stuff” that gets flushed away or disappears down our drains. It was eye opening to see the journey that it all goes though and to learn about how much the process gets messed up if something gets flushed that shouldn’t be there. Going on that tour made me so much more mindful when it comes to making sure that what goes down my drains is safe for our environment. – Ashley, Lost Urban Creeks Youth Intern