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In 2009, the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT) Environmental Program teamed up with First Creek Middle School (FCMS) to launch a volunteer monitoring and stewardship program of First Creek.  

What is First Creek?
First Creek is a stormwater-fed creek located in the City of Tacoma adjacent to First Creek Middle School (red marker on map).  The approximate boundary is shown in green on the map below. The creek feeds into the Puyallup River and was historically an area of political and social significance to the Puyallup Tribe.  First Creek was also known to be laden with salmon.  The creek’s name originated from the fact that it was the “first creek” the tribe came to as they paddled home on the Puyallup River from Commencement Bay. Today the creek is heavily impacted by stormwater and the surrounding area is affected by invasive plant species.
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Program goals
It is a goal of this project to restore and improve First Creek by engaging the local community to be stewards of their local watershed.  Other specific goals of the project are:
  • bring together First Creek Middle School (FCMS), UWT students and local citizens on a monitoring program of a local creek that directly impacts the Puyallup River Watershed and Puget Sound as a whole
  • improve the public’s understanding and engagement on local environmental issues such as stormwater in hopes of translating into stewardship
  • improve the educational experience of both middle school and college level students
  • motivate middle school students to pursue further education in the field of science and the environment by providing them with environmental action experiences



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