Gateway: Living

10th annual Donkey Creek Chum Festival introduces new short film about location

Caroline, right, and Emma Gregory made salmon hats at the 9th annual Donkey Creek Chum Festival in Gig Harbor.
Caroline, right, and Emma Gregory made salmon hats at the 9th annual Donkey Creek Chum Festival in Gig Harbor. News Tribune file, 2015

A new film from Harbor WildWatch about the past, present and future of Donkey Creek Park will be introduced to Gig Harbor audiences Saturday (Sept. 17) at the 10th annual Donkey Creek Chum Festival.

The film was created in partnership with the Pacific Lutheran University Media Lab using part of a grant from the Pierce Conservation District, said Lindsey Johnson, executive director of Harbor Wildwatch.

“This is the 10th year of the festival so we wanted to do something a little fun,” she said.

Harbor Wildwatch has been leading programs at Donkey Creek since the park’s restoration in 2013. Grants from Pierce Conservation District and the Puyallup Tribe have helped fund these programs.

Specifically, ongoing grants from Pierce Conservation District have funded the Explore the Estuary school program, public tours for adults during the salmon spawning season in November and December and the Citizen Science program, training citizens to assist Harbor WildWatch by collecting biodiversity information from nearby areas.

A grant from the district also funded three new interpretive signs located on the wooden platform at Donkey Creek, along with the short film that will be premiered at the Festival.

Working with the PLU Media Lab, the film team was lead by Gig Harbor native Rachel Lovrovich.

We’re just hoping it just gives that holistic background of Donkey Creek. We just want people to know what used to be there. Being able to show from what it used to be to the restoration project to what we’re getting back to ... Our goal at Harbor Wildwatch is always to inspire stewardship for Puget Sound.

Lindsey Johnson, executive director of Harbor Wildwatch

The five-minute film highlights the history of Donkey Creek Park and its use by Puyallup Tribes, the restoration process of the park and the effects of the restoration for the future.

“We’re just hoping it just gives that holistic background of Donkey Creek. We just want people to know what used to be there,” Johnson said. “Being able to show from what it used to be to the restoration project to what we’re getting back to ... Our goal at Harbor Wildwatch is always to inspire stewardship for Puget Sound.”

The film will be shown prior to Harbor WildWatch salmon tours at Saturday’s Chum Festival at noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the resource room at the Harbor History Museum.

The Donkey Creek Chum Festival is held annually to celebrate the return of the chum salmon to Donkey Creek.

Additionally, the festival invites the community to celebrate the connection between Gig Harbor’s history as a fishing village, current working fishermen, the fish and the environment.

The festival offers fun and activities for all ages, with music, face painting, art activities, tours and activities from Harbor WildWatch and other community partners and Chum Burgers provided by the Gig Harbor Kiwanis and the Commercial Fisherman’s club.

Andrea Haffly: 253-358-4155, @gateway_andrea

Donkey Creek Chum Festival

The 10th annual Donkey Creek Chum Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Donkey Creek Park, located at 4121 Harborview Drive.

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