Puget Creek Riparian Habitat Restoration
2000 Steward: Scott M. Hansen
Contact: Scott M. Hansen
Project Location: North Tacoma's Puget Creek
This project has several phases. The native plant steward on this project, Scott Hansen, has developed the project plan and obtained grants to fund the various phases. The first phase, which was completed in Spring of 2000, was to organize and coordinate a large-scale volunteer planting of native evergreen trees including western red cedar, western hemlock, Sitka spruce and Douglas-fir along the riparian area. The next phase is to develop a planting plan for the understory of the riparian area using shrubs, ferns and small deciduous trees that are native to riparian habitats in lowland western Washington. The third phase is an environmental education project to train volunteers and community members about native riparian forests and restoration methods. The fourth phase will be to purchase native understory plants, organize invasive plant eradication events, carry out native riparian vegetation planting events (along with a stream bank stabilization planting) and develop informational signage. This phase will be accomplished with volunteers from low-income communities, minority groups and people with disabilities.
Thistle St. Longfellow Creek Greenspace
2001 Steward/Contact: Wendy Hughes-Jelen
Contact: Sheryl Shapiro, Seattle Public Utilities/Seattle Parks
Project Location: Southwest Seattle, between 24th and 25th Ave SW just north of SW Thistle Street
The project site is three acres of open upland, wetland and wooded space just east of Chief Sealth High School, owned by the City of Seattle Parks Department. Longfellow Creek, one of Seattle's largest urban creeks, first daylights here. It has been the location of some plant and tree restoration in the last three years. The concentration has been on Himalayan blackberry removal and mulching around young trees to give them a chance to get a good foothold. The steward's main objective for 2001 for this site is maintenance. Without continued maintenance and further reclamation from blackberries the site will revert to its former state. Primary activities identified include but are not limited to: remove ivy and Himalayan blackberry from trees, remove noxious weeds and invasives, maintain mulch depth for moisture retention and weed control, pull invasives currently coming up in mulched areas, remove graffiti from bridges and tree trunks, remove garbage from the creek, monitor tree health (watch for signs of drought). In order to do this, the steward will organize and coordinate large volunteer groups during the year. In the fall, certain areas of the stream bank that had vegetation removed by mistake are intended to be live-staked with willow or some other similar growing shrub. There is also a small wetland area in the northeast corner of the site that needs native plant installation. Other goals are to maintain the kiosk next to Sealth High School parking lot, post neighborhood activities related to Longfellow Creek and continue neighborhood outreach efforts with individuals encountered.
The native plant steward will work with stewards from previous years and other community volunteers on the enhancement of the forested areas of this urban park. Trees and understory plants have been planted over the past several years and work continues to be done to maintain these plantings, control invasive species and add more plants as needed.
The native plant steward will use her skills as a public speaker to give educational lectures on the use of native plants and trees in private settings. These lectures will be given at community councils, school and area clubs in Seattle and elsewhere in King County as requested.. The goal will be to teach private urban property owners about the benefits and importance of maintaining and planting trees and associated native plants on their properties. In addition to lectures, the steward will use her skills as a writer to publish articles on using trees and native plants in urban landscaping.
This three-year project is the initiation of a programmed effort to restore the native plant matrix at the Washington Park Arboretum. The original plan for the Arboretum included extensive areas of native trees and understory plantings some of which have been destroyed by invasive plants and some have been allowed more light entry to the understory where ornamentals have been planted. The goal of the project is to restore the plants that would have been at the site naturally before the initial logging. The project is a joint effort of the Native Plants Study Group (Arboretum volunteers) and the Arboretum staff who are employees of the University Washington. The plan to restore native plantings has been ongoing but this project will initiate a more concerted effort to seek funding and volunteer help to complete the work in the middle stretch of the Arboretum. For at least the next three years, the steward will be part of the planting work teams and the plant salvage team and will help monitor the success of the plantings. After completion, the site will be a wooded glen bordered on one side by a gravel trail. The existing native trees will be expanded and the understory will be planted heavily with sword fern and salal to keep people from walking in the area. Other understory species will be planted for wildlife habitat and aesthetics.
White Center Heights (a King County Park)
2000/2001 Stewards: Deb Snyder, Linda Wallace, Roberta Roberts
Contact: Deb Snyder, King County Parks Resource Coordinator
Location: Unincorporated King County south of West Seattle
White Center Heights Park is in White Center, an area in King County that is environmentally degraded and economically disadvantaged. The project improves this urban oasis by crafting a restoration effort designed to increase habitat value for wildlife and native plants. The pond has very little in the way of a buffer zone on two sides. The project involves removing invasive species such as Japanese knotweed and planting native trees and associated plants to establish a healthy buffer. The main planting was completed in October of 2000. Trees planted include Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar, Sitka spruce, bigleaf maple, crab apple, black cottonwood, Oregon ash, paper birch and red alder. Understory shrubs planted were hazelnut, gooseberry, ninebark, red-flowering currant, baldhip rose, snowberry, salmonberry, twinberry, vine maple, red-twig dogwood and willows. Additional trees and understory shrubs will be planted in the following spring after the property line has been officially surveyed. It is a central goal of the project to involve local residents in the installation and maintenance of the planting. Volunteers were recruited from the White Center Boys and Girls Club, local schools and the surrounding neighborhood. The majority of the volunteers involved in the project live within a few blocks of the park.
For more information, call The Washington Native Plant Society at 206-527-3210 (or toll free 888-288-8022) and leave a message for Brianne Cohen, Stewardship Program Coordinator in King County.
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