Salmon habitat restoration efforts have thousands of miles to go in King County. Hundreds of those miles are on private property, which is why King Conservation District is launching a new Urban Shorelines program to assist with restoration costs.

Robert Beresford's dad remembers seeing salmon in Lyon Creek, which runs through the Carrie Lewith Home property in Lake Forest Park. By the 1980s, they'd all disappeared.

Invasive plant species didn't help.

"This was impenetrable. Nothing but blackberries, thistles, Japanese knotweed," Beresford said.

So five years ago, Beresford set out to restore the land.

"It was expensive and it was a lot of work," he said.

Swimming upstream in his efforts, he finally learned about King Conservation District's new Urban Shorelines Program.

"There's over 2,000 miles of stream in King County alone, and a majority is held in private ownership," Adam Jackson said.

It's why Jackson and his colleagues want to partner with landowners. Through grants, they'll pay 90 percent of the cost and set up the labor.

"It's piece by piece and we're all part of the puzzle," Jackson said. "The more we can do on our piece, the better it will look in the end."

The Carrie Lewith home covers five acres. One acre is for elderly women's housing and the other four are wetlands and stream bed.

"I was interested in something that would maintain itself. A balanced native ecosystem does maintain itself," Beresford said.

Thanks to the Urban Shorelines Program, the property has 1,100 new plants, with a variety of 20 different native species.

Now this section of Lyon creek is ready to welcome salmon. Beresford hopes his neighbors follow suit so his father can finally see the fish again.

"He hasn't seen them in 25 years. He's getting pretty old, but it's my hope in the next couple years he will see the salmon here," he said.
"A model for all the people who live up and down the stream."

Related:More information on how to apply for the program