Kent gets county grant for Downey Farmstead Restoration Project

Work along Green River to protect salmon, improve flood storage

Dave Upthegrove

Dave Upthegrove

The city of Kent will receive a $780,000 grant from the King County Flood Control District to be used as part of the Downey Farmstead Restoration Project along the Green River.

The King County Flood Control District, funded by property taxes, approved $1.7 million in grants on Sept. 4 to protect the Green River Watershed (WRIA) 9, including a boost to salmon recovery efforts in Kent. These funds were part of $4.6 million the district approved as part of the Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program.

“I’m happy to see these grants going towards important local projects, like the Downey Farmstead Restoration,” said Supervisor Dave Upthegrove in a county press release. “The new project with create new space for salmon, and protect property from flood damage.”

“When we invest in restoring critical habitat in King County we invest in the future of our region’s ecosystems,” said Reagan Dunn, chair of the Flood Control District. “I look forward to seeing the results of these projects throughout our four major watersheds.”

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph appreciates the county’s help.

“The Downey Farmstead Project is a great multi-benefit ecosystem project that will expand critical side channel salmon habitat in the lower Green, provide shading along the river keep the water cool and create flood storage,” Ralph said. “This grant funding will go directly into construction and the city is very grateful to the King County Flood Control District for the opportunity to take another step forward in building this critical project.”

The funds will go toward the construction of nearly 2,000 linear feet of side channel to the Green River to provide rearing and refuge habitat for threatened Chinook and other salmon species. The project will also provide flood storage to reduce flooding in nearby urban and agricultural areas.

Work started this summer on the estimated $7 million project. The Downey Farmstead, formerly a tree nursery, is between the Green River and State Route 516, aka Kent Des Moines Road.

Grant recipients participating in the Cooperative Watershed Management Grant Program must address high priority habitats or watershed processes that significantly influence productivity in each basin. To ensure high quality projects, only those that have been scientifically vetted and ranked competitively by their respective WRIA Forum are candidates for funding. Cities, towns, special districts, public schools, King County, federally recognized tribes and non-profits are eligible to apply for the grants.

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