Hundreds of FW kids storm the Sound for salmon | PHOTOS

More than 300 students from 13 schools in Federal Way participated in an educational workshop on April 12 that included the release of salmon hatchlings into the Hylebos Creek.  - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
More than 300 students from 13 schools in Federal Way participated in an educational workshop on April 12 that included the release of salmon hatchlings into the Hylebos Creek.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

The baby salmon fluttered in plastic cups that lined the bridge over Hylebos Creek. Nearly 300 children, one by one, named and released the hatchlings into the chilly waters that will carry them to Puget Sound.

Students from 13 schools participated in Storming the Sound for Salmon. Sponsored by the city and school district, the program immersed children in science and environmental education at West Hylebos Wetlands Park. Considered Federal Way's hidden jewel, the park off South 348th Street is also a critical natural habitat for local wildlife. A boardwalk loops through the bog and moss-coated woods.

Aside from releasing salmon into the wild, the students planted evergreens, shriveled their noses at salmon guts, poked starfish and sea urchins, and paid closer attention to the calls of birds.

The program is supported by a $73,000 grant from the Department of Ecology. Participating elementary schools were Brigadoon, Camelot, Lakeland, Mirror Lake, Panther Lake, Sherwood Forest, Star Lake, Twin Lakes, Wildwood and Woodmont. Participating middle schools were Lakota, Saghalie and Sequoyah.

Other highlights from Storming the Sound with Salmon 2013:

• Barker Cabin: Students stepped back in time at the Barker Cabin, the oldest structure in Federal Way. Built in 1882, the log cabin was moved to the West Hylebos Wetlands Park in 1993. The Historical Society of Federal Way restored the cabin.

• Students planted Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees at the park, all part of the overall lesson in environmental restoration.

• Federal Way resident and blogger Teri Lenfest talked about Mar Lake, amphibians and birds. Officials from Federal Way Public Schools and the City of Federal Way spoke to students, including Mayor Skip Priest.

• In a dodgeball-like lesson, students learned about invasive vs. native species. The game ended when all the native plants were tagged out.

• Students painted technicolor murals on mattress-size canvases.

• The Highline MaST center brought starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and other Sound-crawling critters. Volunteers from the Issaquah salmon hatchery dissected an adult salmon and taught kids how to draw the fish. EarthCorps volunteers led explorations of the salmon life cycle and helped plant trees.

• Stormwater pollution solutions: Students played poop toss in a King County-sponsored message about cleaning up pet waste.


See photos from the event below or click here.







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