-* Heron Habitat Helpers: About HHH

Heron Habitat Helpers
About HHH


Mission Statement:

HHH works to help the public enjoy, learn about, and protect great blue herons and their nesting colonies in the greater Puget Sound area.

Our Goals:

  • Restore and protect Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park as an urban wildlife sanctuary.
  • Shape real estate development that compromises wildlife and habitat in Kiwanis Ravine.
  • Partner with Discovery Park naturalist staff to create educational programs focused on Kiwanis Ravine.
  • Encourage public awareness of Kiwanis Ravine wildlife and habitat.
  • Restore lands invaded by non-native plant and animal species.
  • Acquire additional lands, conservation easements, and street right of ways.
  • Create a backyard wildlife refuge and monitoring program in neighborhoods adjacent to Kiwanis Ravine.
  • Daylight Wolfe Creek and restore salmon runs in the creek and its tributaries.
  • Enhance funding, management and monitoring of Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park.

Our History:

HHH was founded in February 2001 by two women, Donna Kostka and Heidi Carpine, who thought that the building of a proposed street near a local heron colony in Kiwanis Ravine would jeopardize the nests. Begun as a committee of Friends of Discovery Park, it was soon declared the official adopt-a-park steward for Kiwanis Ravine. In 2002, HHH left Friends of Discovery Park and moved under the wing of the Associated Recreation Council for assistance with financial management and IRS reports. In 2003, HHH completed the Kiwanis Ravine Management and Monitoring Plan (KRMMP) with approval by Seattle Parks and began its first restoration project. Also in 2003, HHH worked with Seattle Audubon Society to have the Great Blue Heron declared Seattle's "Official City Bird." We advocated for the Director's rule 5-2007, passed in 2007 to protect heron nesting, and in 2008, HHH successfully advocated for inclusion of $600,000 in the budget for the Parks and Green Spaces Levy to provide City funding for Kiwanis Ravine restoration. In 2010, HHH received the Denny Award (Parks' highest conservation award) and notification for Seattle Parks' designation of Kiwanis Ravine as Seattle's first Wildlife Sanctuary. For a more detailed history, please see History and Achievements by Donna Kostka.


HHH works with Seattle Parks and Recreation Department (Parks), www.seattle.gov/PARKS, to restore, maintain, and monitor Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park. We interface and share projects with Parks in the Habitat Advisory Panel (HAP) committee. Also, we are a member of the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP),www.greenseattle.org, a partnership between the City of Seattle and the Cascade Land Conservancy. The City of Seattle is represented by the Department of Parks and Recreation, Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment, and Seattle Public Utilities. The partnership goal is to restore all of Seattle's forested park lands by 2025. We are one of the many non-profit organizations supporting this effort.

In addition, HHH is part of the Great Blue Heron Working Group, a consortium of citizens and scientists organized by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, WDFW. The group has participation from scientists as far north as Protection Island, B.C. (near Nanaimo, B.C.) and as far south as Olympia, WA. One of the scientists from that Heron Working Group is Ann Eissinger, and she has formulated a protocol for studying heron colonies. In that protocol is an in depth study about the life cycle of the great blue heron. To read the study, please click HERE. HHH is working to establish a sense of community throughout this region, called the Salish Sea, focused on appreciation and support for the Great Blue Heron.

Non-Profit Status:

HHH is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization under the umbrella of the Associated Recreational Council (ARC)(Bill Keller, Executive Director), 100 Dexter Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109-5102, 206-684-7083, bill.keller@seattle.gov, www.arcseattle.org, IRS #51-0170717.

Our Structure:

In order to better fulfill our mission, HHH has a Board of Directors, a Restoration committee, an Education and Outreach Committee, a Membership Committee, and an Advocacy committee. Here's how it works:

Restoration Committee:

Purpose: Oversee restoration activity performed at Kiwanis Memorial Preserve Park, including work conducted by the City of Seattle and its contractors, and by volunteers.

Education and Outreach Committee:

Purpose: Increase awareness of and educate the public about the great blue heron and the work done on behalf of these birds by Heron Habitat Helpers.

Membership Committee:

Purpose: Retain and recruit members with initiatives that (a) meet the needs of existing members and (b) convince new people to join the organization.

Advocacy Committee:

Purpose: Stay abreast of, and help shape, policy and public issues with the potential to impact viability of the great blue heron, including habitat and foraging.

In general, the committees meet as often as necessary to do their job, and there is a general meeting of the membership each March. Minutes and Work Plans for these meetings are posted as follows:

Governing Documents:

Other Documents of Interest: