Saving Happy Valley Stream

past project

April 2, 2023 - December 31, 2023

goal:

To daylight, restore and protect urban streams which provide wildlife habitat, cool streams during long hot summers, filter toxins from urban runoff,  improve water quality, moderate impacts from extreme rainfall events and maintain nearby nature.  Restoring urban streams can help communities be more climate change resilient.

Happy Valley Stream is not so Happy.  Buried in places, channeled and choked with invasive, nonnative plants, this stream which flows near the City Cemetery and along upper Commercial Avenue could use some love.  

And yet there is hope for this stream.  Happy Valley Stream is one of few day-lighted streams outside the Anacortes Community Forest Lands (ACFL) and within in the City of Anacortes (City).  The stream and intact riparian area provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.  The riparian buffer provides additional ecological services such as filtering sediment and toxins from urban runoff which drains into Fidalgo Bay, a significant eel grass habitat.  If narrow lots are developed, the stream and buffers will be additionally impacted by urbanization, losing habitat value and ecological function. 

Happy Valley Stream, Anacortes WA

The City’s new Stormwater Management Action Plan includes a project to create a stormwater park along a section of Happy Valley Stream.  Evergreen islands is working the City and a property owner to acquire a daylighted segmented to create a stormwater park which would include stream restoration and a trail.  Future plans could include additional restoration, which would protect riparian habitat while contributing to our community’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.

Benefits of Daylighting Streams:

  • Brings waterways back to the surface, back to life.
  • Free from coverings, concrete removed:  streams flow naturally
  • Native plants help improve water quality
  • Provides habitat for wildlife and fish

Stormwater Parks are community facilities that both manage stormwater from a larger area and provide recreational opportunities (parks, trails, open space, community gardens, etc.)

Benefits of Stormwater Parks:  

  • BUILD resilience to climate change by increasing green space and stormwater management.
  • BE the most cost-effective way to treat stormwater.
  • PROVIDE green space and wildlife habitat.
  • ADD recreational amenities such as trails, benches, art and wildlife viewing areas.
  • FEATURE  educational opportunities on protecting water quality, habitat, and other environmental issues.
  • BE called Resilience Parks

Stay tuned for news on how you can further support Saving Happy Valley Stream.

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