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WSU/Pend Oreille Extension introduced the Sense of Place series in 1999, with a focus on place-based stewardship education. Since 2001, a partnership with the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department (KNRD) has supported this newsletter and allowed us to expand class offerings through EPA funding. Further staff support comes through Renewable Resources Extension Act (RREA). Our newest partner, sponsor of the Rain Garden Challenge, is the Pend Oreille Conservation District. Many thanks to our partners and to you, our readers, for your continued enthusiasm for "digging" into the natural history and culture ofthis part of the world.

The Pend Oreille Rain Garden Challenge

by Kathleen Werr
Pend Oreille County Conservation District Salmonid Recovery Coordinator

Pend Oreille Conservation District and WSU County Extension have teamed up to challenge Pend Oreille homeowners to create an on-site rain garden—a beautiful solution addressing stormwater problems and improving fish habitat. Funding to the Conservation District from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the state Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) to form the Pend Oreille Community Salmon Fund makes this new program possible. Together, we will be offering classes, informa-tion packets, and free plants to eligible participants, with the goal of establishing at least 50 new rain gardens this coming year.

Community Salmon Fund Grants focus on salmonid habitat protection and restoration projects that are marked by community involvement and watershed health benefits, and which are consistent with local salmonid recovery plans. In our area, recovery of bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout (both native salmonids) are the major focus of our local plan. Populations of these fish have dropped over the years, with habitat degradation and introduction of competing non-native fish among the probable causes.

To find out more about the Rain Garden Challenge, watch for the November issue of the Pend Oreille Conservation District Newsletter, Watershed News. To get on the conservation district mailing list, or for more information, call Kathleen Werr, Pend Oreille Conservation District Salmonid Recovery Coordinator at 447-4217.

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