From its Coho mascot, its salmon-colored facade and its annual salmon-release curriculum in the spring, Sakai Intermediate School and salmon are closely intertwined. And now on display in front of the school, is an artistically created interactive sign that teaches the importance of clean water and ways residents can improve the health of salmon habitats.
The sign was created by Bainbridge Island School District students, staff and community members such as the City of Bainbridge Island and the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council. The display highlights the Murden Cove Watershed (of which the stream on the school property feeds into) and tells the story of how water travels through the region and the steps people can take to protect Murden Creek and the watershed.
The sign culminates a three-year Murden Cove Watershed Nutrient and Bacteria Reduction Project which was a city-led effort to identify and improve the causes of elevated levels of contaminants in the Murden Cove Watershed. This study engaged many volunteers, including a partnership with the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council, a program of Sustainable Bainbridge, and its volunteers, and hundreds of Sakai students that collected monthly water quality data over a three-year period. The data is being used by the City and the Kitsap Public Health District to identify and mitigate sources of these pollutants.
The sign will be housed at Sakai, but during the summer months, the plan is to move it to multiple stops around the watershed where the broader public can learn from it. Special thanks to Smallwood Design & Construction for donating the fabrication of the sign frame.