33rd Annual Blueberry Bash, August 15 at St. Christopher’s

Come enjoy a neighborhood tradition at St. Christopher’s 33rd Annual Blueberry Bash!

Sunday, August 15
Noon to 4:00 pm

Located at 7902 Steamboat Island Road NW, Olympia

Celtic Irish music provided by Cricket on the Hearth and Snake Oil in our beautiful park-like setting.

Food: brats, corn on the cob, beans, hot dogs, nachos, homemade blueberry and other fruit pies (whole or by the slice).

Activities: bingo garden, silent auction, carnival games, face painting, family games (egg toss, 3-legged race).

Donations of canned food or fresh produce for the Thurston County Food Bank appreciated!

Sign your kids up for Sunday School too! Sunday School starts September 12.

Questions? Call 360-866-2111 or e-mail saintchri@aol.com

Visit their website at http://www.stchristopherolympia.org/

“What Really Goes On In A Crime Lab” is This Month’s Science Café

When: 7:00 pm, Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Where: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee House, 516 Capitol Way S. Olympia, WA, phone (360) 786-6717.

Batdorf & Bronson has three locations in Olympia. Science Café meets in the downtown coffee house on Capitol Way. On-street parking is available on Legion, Capitol Way, Columbia Street, and Water Street. After 6 p.m., there is parking available at Heritage Bank on Columbia Street between 5th and Legion.

Our topic for August is “What Really Goes On In A Crime Lab”. (No, It Isn’t Really Like CSI!)

People get their idea of what goes on in a Crime Lab from popular television shows such as CSI. These shows take the viewer from the commission of the crime to its resolution in one hour (which includes commercial breaks). In this presentation, Terry McAdam will describe each of the sections in a real modern crime lab and outline the services each section provides. At the conclusion of his presentation, you will have an opportunity to get answers to all those burning questions about forensics that have been occupying your mind.

Terry McAdam began his forensic career with the Northern Ireland Forensic Science Laboratory where he worked for 10 years before moving to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory, where he has worked for over 22 years. He is presently the Manager of its Crime Laboratory in Tacoma. Terry has expertise in most forensic disciplines, but has most experience in trace evidence and crime scene analysis. He was a member of the FBI-sponsored Glass Analysis Subgroup of the Scientific Working Group on Materials Analysis (SWGMAT) for 10 years. He is a Member of the American Academy of Forensic Science and a Member, and Past-President, of the Northwest Association of Forensic Scientists. As an Assessor and Inspector, certified by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors – Laboratory Accreditation Board, he has evaluated crime laboratories in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand.

Coming in September: “The Health of Puget Sound: What Can Be Done To Improve It, What We Can Learn From Sediment Monitoring” with Margaret Dutch, Washington Department of Ecology

Click here for more information about the Science Café.

Voting is Neighborly

Washington’s Top-Two Primary system means there are some races being decided now, during the Primary, instead of in November’s General Election.

If you are registered to vote, you should have received your ballot in the mail by now.

If you are not yet registered to vote, you can still vote in the Primary. You must register in-person by Aug 9. Go to the Thurston County Elections Office at 2000 Lakeridge Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98502-6090.

Get your ballot in by August 17.

There’s a handy drop-box in the parking lot of the Griffin Fire Station. It closes by 8 PM on Election Day. Click here for more area drop-box locations.

If you fail to register to vote by Aug 9, you can still vote in November’s General Election, if you register by October 25.

The Thurston County Elections Office is online at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/auditor/Elections/electns.htm Or, call them at (360) 786-5408.

Griffin Neighborhood Beach Party – Saturday, July 31 – Frye Cove Park

The Griffin Neighborhood Association invites our neighbors to bring a salad, dessert, snack, or just bring yourself. We’ll provide the rest.


Saturday, July 31

2:00 to 6:00

Frye Cove Park
4000 NW 61st Ave, Olympia, WA 98502

Join us for a variety of good food and the company of our neighbors.

3:00 pm – Guided beach walk, with People for Puget Sound

Shoreline Restoration Demonstration tour, with the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group

Kayak rentals from Kamilche Adventures (rent a kayak for 1/2 hour or more)

Touch tank with local aquatic life and a playground

Come and discover the beach and walking trails of our beautiful Frye Cove Park.

In addition to hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and potluck items, Xihn, the award winning chef from Xihn’s Clam and Oyster House, will be preparing BBQ oysters, mussel curry and sauté clams.

Donations of non-perishable food and cash for the St. Christopher’s Food Bank are welcome.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 31st.

Many thanks to the businesses and organizations that are making this year’s summer picnic possible:

Taylor Shellfish Farms    –    People for Puget Sound
South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group     –     Kamilche Adventures
Chelsea Farms – Xinh’s Clam & Oyster House

Science Café: “The Unknown Sea: Flotsam Above, Snarks Below”

When: 7:00 pm, Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Where: Batdorf & Bronson Coffee House, 516 Capitol Way S. Olympia, WA, phone (360) 786-6717.
Batdorf & Bronson has three locations in Olympia. Science Café meets in the downtown coffee house on Capitol Way. On-street parking is available on Legion, Capitol Way, Columbia Street, and Water Street. After 6 p.m., there is parking available at Heritage Bank on Columbia Street between 5th and Legion.

Our topic this month is The Unknown Sea: Flotsam Above, Snarks Below.

Dr. Curt Ebbesmeyer will enlighten us with his lively discussion and colorful slide show about flotsam in the news, including the latest status of the BP oil spill, disembodied feet that wash ashore, and eight huge garbage patches, totaling an area several times the size of the U.S., floating on the ocean where much of our plastic waste end up. Lastly, but most importantly, learn how the ocean is a pointillist maze of water slabs, like an immense pile of slithering amoebas.

Curt is an internationally recognized oceanographer and has recently authored (along with Eric Scigliano) a Smithsonian book entitled, Flotsametrics and the Floating World. Editions include Audible Books, Chinese, and is now paperback. He.also worked in the oil industry for 40 years.

Coming in August: Forensic Science by Dr. Terry McAdam, Forensic Supervisor, Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and Lecturer, St. Martin’s University and Centralia College.

We welcome comments and suggestions on topics, speakers, and how we can improve our meetings. Also, please feel free to pass this notice on to like-minded friends.

Science Café of Olympia provides an informal atmosphere where people both with and without scientific background can meet to gain a better understanding of interesting topics in science and technology. After a brief presentation by an expert in the field, the meeting will be opened to discussions. Science Cafés are found nationwide and are loosely affiliated with the U.K.-based Cafe Scientifique, an international organization promoting public engagement with science. The Sciencecafes.org website is produced by the Science Unit of WGBH in Boston in association with Sigma Xi. Support for Science Café of Olympia is provided in part by the Puget Sound Chapter of The American Chemical Society.


We thank Batdorf & Bronson and its staff for welcoming us into their delightful gathering spot.

Naturally Raised Meat and Eggs from Building Earth Farm

Local residents Jason Jurst, Jen Johnson, and Iris Johnson Hurst operate Building Earth Farm, located in the 9100 block of Steamboat Island Road NW. Building Earth Fam provides naturally raised meat and eggs. Harvest dates for their boiler chickens are coming up soon and they are taking orders for those as well as grass-fed lamb and holiday turkeys.

Building Earth Fam was started in 2007 by Jason Hurst and Jen Johnson. This ten-acre organically maintained farm is in its third year of producing fresh pastured poultry and eggs. In 2010 they are introducing turkey and lamb production to their farm.

They are excited to be adding to the economic vitality of our community, and to the health of both their family members and the families of other residents in the Griffin area, through sustainable, organic agricultural practices.

Building Earth Fam raises egg layers, broiler chicken, turkey and lamb. Their animals are raised without antibiotics or hormones; outdoors on pastuer, connected with the ground. The chickens adn turkeys are also fed organic grain.

Their egg layers get plenty of fresh air, sunshine, grit and bugs and you can tell that when you eat the eggs; full of flavor with deep golden yolks. Eggs are available for pickup at the Farm most times of the year, and from the Madrona Grove Summer Fruit Truck through September, for $4 per dozen. Give them a call at 867-9331 to find out when and where to pick up your farm fresh eggs.

Broiler chicken harvest dates are:
July 23, 24, 25
August 27, 28, 29
October 1, 2, 3

Harvest dates for grass-fed lamb are in September and October.

Holiday turkeys are available in mid-November and mid-December.

Click here for an order form with more details on the harvest and how you can pick up your order. Also included in the download is a form you can complete to request further information about Farm offerings and projects including Supper Club dinners and cob building workshops.

Building Earth Farm
9140 Steamboat Island Rd. NW
Olympia, WA 98502

Text is from the Building Earth Farm flyer, which is distributed at local businesses and available directly from the Farm.

Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail is “a Gem in Our Own Backyard”

Many local residents are likely already familiar with the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail. This trail, operated by the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, provides guides (in the late Fall) and interpretive signage to tell the salmon story. Observation platforms enhance viewing. Nearby, the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve showcases Puget Sound estuary habitat, with shorebirds, waterfowl, and migrating salmon. Each year, nearly 5000 people flock to the Salmon Trail to witness chum salmon as they return home to spawn. The Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail truly is a gem in our own backyard. If you haven’t visited the Salmon Trail, you ought to make a point to do so, particularly around November. It’s located too close by to miss.
The interpretive trail is nationally recognized and  funded and coordinated by a partnership between Mason Conservation District and South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group. Of the 5000 annual visitors, approximately 2500 students and their teachers also visit the trail, incorporating this outdoor classroom into their regular lesson plans. Students from Steamboat Island Cooperative Preschool and the Griffin School District are regular visitors to the trail. Last year 41 volunteer trail guides participated in our training and contributed a whopping 327 volunteer hours during the month of November. Says Stephanie Bishop, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Mason Conservation District, “Kennedy Creek is a catalyst for behavior change, providing a crucial link between water quality issues in Totten Inlet and the general public who have the power to decrease certain non-point sources of pollution entering this waterway.”
This year the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail is experiencing a budget shortfall which could seriously impact this amazing program.
There are two opportunities to help support the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail. First, it’s easy to make a tax-deductible contribution to the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group. Click here to initiate a secure transaction and to get all the details necessary to include your gift on this year’s tax return.
Second, residents are invited to the 3rd annual “Kennedy Creek Salmon Splash” Sunday, August 22, from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. This “fun” fundraising event is held right at the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail and features live music and food.
$35.00 per person includes appetizers, shellfish, beverages, and dessert. All proceeds directly support the Kennedy Creek Salmon Trail Education Program. Every $35 raised at Splash will support 10 student visitors.
Click here to download a flyer for the Kennedy Creek Salmon Splash, with a reservation form for you to use to purchase tickets to the event.
Please RSVP by August 19.
For more information, email LanceW@spsseg.org at the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group.
Click here for more information about the fundraising drive to support the Salmon Trail.
Click here for information regarding the Salmon Trail, on the web site of the Mason Conservation District.
Many thanks, too, to Taylor Shellfish, for their support of this year’s Kennedy Creek Salmon Splash.

Capitol Land Trust Eld Inlet Acquisition Conserves 1.25 Miles of Puget Sound Coastal Habitat

More than a decade ago, Capitol Land Trust identified lower Eld Inlet’s coastal habitats as a strategic conservation priority. Now, ten years of investment have culminated in the conservation of six miles of Eld Inlet marine shorelines and more than 600 acres of surrounding upland habitat, spanning 17 individual sites.

Completion of the Eld Inlet Coastal Preserve project, the Trust’s latest Eld Inlet success, is the result of extraordinary collaboration and an agreement between Anderson & Middleton Company and Capitol Land Trust, with support from many other partners. Anderson & Middleton is a family-owned agri-business company involved in forestland management, table grapes, wine grapes and wine production (click here and here). Anderson & Middleton was founded in Aberdeen, WA in 1898 and today is headquartered in Hoquiam, WA. Capitol Land Trust began working with cousins Jim and Rick Middleton more than three years ago to explore the potential for purchase of the site. Rick Middleton and his family live on Eld Inlet and the Middletons were personally invested in the outcome of this effort.

“It was a pleasure to work with Eric Erler and Capitol Land Trust on this project. Our company owned this property for many years and we can attest to its unique and special character. Capitol Land Trust will be a great steward of this property going forward. From our perspective, this was a win-win for all of us,” said Rick Middleton.

The site is located along the eastern shoreline of lower Eld Inlet (Mud Bay), just south of Capitol Land Trust’s Randall Property and the Highway 101 Bridge. The property encompasses 1.25 miles of high-quality, undeveloped Puget Sound estuarine shoreline, 40 acres of saltmarsh and freshwater wetlands, and 15 acres of mature forest. McLane Creek, recognized for its hearty, native salmon runs, flows through the property and into Puget Sound. The vegetation on the Preserve consists of saltmarsh and wetland emergent grasses near the shoreline, and native coniferous and hardwood forests. The property also conserves an area of great cultural and historical importance to the Squaxin Island Tribe.

The new Preserve provides intact habitat for five salmon species and anadromous coastal cutthroat trout. Large numbers of juvenile salmon smolts produced in McLane Creek use the waters along the property for feeding and transitioning to life at sea. Forage fish species and numerous waterfowl, shorebird, waterbird and landbird species also take advantage of the property’s unique coastal habitat.

The site also contains a rare mineral salt deposit which is an important source of nutrients for the Band-tailed pigeon, a Bird of Conservation Concern as identified by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Approximately 350 Band-tailed pigeons visit the property in early morning every day from late June to September. There are fewer than 100 documented mineral sites in Oregon and Washington frequented by these pigeons.

Capitol Land Trust wishes to thank all of the project partners, especially the former landowners, Anderson & Middleton Company, for their support and commitment to seeing the project to completion. Generous funding support and project oversight was provided by the WA Department of Ecology and the US Fish and Wildlife Service through the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, and the WA Recreation and Conservation Office through a Salmon Recovery Funding Board grant. According to Jeanne Koenings of the Department of Ecology, “Protecting the shorelines of Washington State, particularly Puget Sound, is a job that the Department of Ecology and local governments can’t do on our own. Partnering with groups like Capitol Land Trust is crucial to our success. Thanks to the high quality projects Capitol Land Trust works on, Washington State has been able to secure more funding from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and NOAA than most other coastal states.”

Finally, completion of the Eld Inlet Coastal Preserve project would not have been possible without generous private contributions from Taylor Shellfish Farms, the Squaxin Island Tribe, Margery Sayre and other Capitol Land Trust members and supporters.

Eric Erler is Capitol Land Trust’s Executive Director.
Reprinted from Issue 49, Summer 2010, of Capitol Land Trust News

Help support the Capitol Land Trust’s efforts right here on the peninsula between Eld and Totten inlets by contributing to the Steamboat Conservation Partnership. Click here to learn more about this unique partnership between the Capitol Land Trust and Griffin Neighborhood Association.