holyoutlaw: (me meh)
The Central Valley is the area in light green (planting) and pale yellow. The blue line is the stream. (Source: GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com.)

The Central Valley is the area in light green (planting) and pale yellow. The blue line is the stream. (Source: GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com.)

At 1.97 acres, the Central Valley (“CV”) is the largest HMU in North Beach Park. Its northern border is a stream crossing; its eastern border is the main social trail; its southeastern border is a stream crossing and the start of the south loop social trail; its western border is the south loop social trail. The gradient between the eastern side of the central valley and the main social trail varies from almost nothing to very steep. The gradient between the south loop social trail and the floor of the valley is very steep throughout.

The slopes of the valley are heavily invaded, but explorations of the middle of the valley reveal an area not in such bad shape. The Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry; RUSP) layer of the canopy is so dense that it makes exploration very difficult. In the summer of 2014, we did a belt transect through the widest part of the CV; please see “Vegetation” below for a discussion of the results of the transect, and “Belt Transect” in “Monitoring” for a discussion of the protocol.

The tree canopy percent cover for the CV is 60% deciduous, almost exclusively Alnus rubra (Red alder). There is less than 1% coniferous cover, Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar), located in the southwest corner. There is about 5% cover of regenerating deciduous trees, and less than 1% of regenerating coniferous trees. The CV has the largest canopy gaps in the park, allowing Calystegia sepium (bindweed) to establish in the sunlight.

The reference ecosystem and target forest type for the CV are the same as for the Headwaters Bowl: “riparian forest and shrubland” for the ecosystem and ALRU/RUSP/CAOB-LYAM (Red alder/salmonberry/slough sedge – skunk cabbage) (Chappell 2006) for the target forest type.

The existing plant community is ALRU/RUSP (Kunze), and the soil is correspondingly relatively dry. The saturated areas of the CV are much smaller than those in the Headwaters Bowl.

The RUSP layer is so dense that it forms a closed canopy and prevents any other shrubs or trees from establishing. The most noticeable groundcover under the RUSP canopy is Tolmiea menziesii (Piggyback) and Hedera helix (ivy). Care must be taken during restoration not to disrupt the RUSP canopy lest the ivy take off.

The southeastern section of the CV (part of Subarea A, below) is in phase one of restoration, invasive removal. See “Monitoring Protocols and Success Metrics.”

As with the Headwaters Bowl, the CV is split into four sub areas, depending on who can do the work or the technique for best restoration. See “Invasive Removal and Vegetation Plan,” below.

Water Flow

Again, as with the Headwaters Bowl, most of the water flow in the Central Valley is from the southern wall of the park towards the stream channel. The water appears to be more channelized than in the HWB; perhaps this is because the RUSP canopy provides greater soil control.

Vegetation

1/10th Acre circular monitoring plot

There was one 1/10th acre circular forest monitoring plot established in the south eastern corner of the Central Valley (Subarea B). Please see “Green City Monitoring Protocol” in “Monitoring Protocols” for a discussion of this protocol. The baseline monitoring was taken in September 2011, and the plot was revisited in August 2012. As with the HWB plot (above), percent cover was determined by consensus of the people doing the surveying, and reported in broad categories for city-wide consistency.

2011 invasive groundcover for Central Valley monitoring plot.

2011 invasive groundcover for Central Valley monitoring plot.

2012 invasive cover in Central Valley monitoring plot.

2012 invasive cover in Central Valley monitoring plot.


Key: Groundlayer and shrub percentages are for percent cover. Tree density is trees per acre. Red bar indicates immediate attention needed; light orange bar means attention needed soon. Source: EarthCorps, 2011 and 2012.

The figures below compare native groundlayer change between 2011 and 2012. Note in particular the return of Hydrophyllum tenuipes (Pacific water leaf) and Lysichiton americanum (skunk cabbage) both of which returned from the seed bank.

2011 native groundcover in the Central Valley monitoring plot.

2011 native groundcover in the Central Valley monitoring plot.

2012 native groundlayer cover in the Central Valley monitoring plot.

2012 native groundlayer cover in the Central Valley monitoring plot.

Belt transect

In the summer of 2014, a cross-gradient belt transect was done in North Beach Park that crossed the Central Valley along the 90th St. right of way. Eight 4’x16’ plots were established in the Central Valley. The transect went from west to east, through subareas C, D, and A.

The following table lists the target forest type species for the Central Valley, all the species found in the belt transect, their percent cover across the entire transect, and what the percent cover of their TFT goal is. Percent cover was determined by one person consistently, and is given in specific amounts. Please see the key below the table for a full explanation of the numbers.

Scientific Name Common Name Pct. Cover TFT Goal
Acer circinatum Vine maple 0.00 4.00
Acer macrophyllum Big leaf maple 26.11  
Alnus rubra Red alder 32.22 93.00
Angelica genuflexa Kneeling angelica 0.00 20.00
Athyrium filix-femina Lady fern 2.44 4.00
Atrichum selwynii Crane’s-bill moss 0.33  
Calystegia sepium false bindweed 0.33 0.00
Carex amplifolia Bigleaf sedge 0.89  
Chrysosplenium glechomifolium Pacific golden saxifrage 0.00 15.00
Circaea alpina Enchanter’s nightshade 0.00 3.00
Dryopteris expansa Spiny wood fern 0.22  
Equisetum telmateia Giant horsetail 2.22  
Erhythranthe guttata Yellow monkey-flower 0.00 4.00
Hedera helix English Ivy 14.28 0.00
Hydrophyllum tenuipes Pacific waterleaf 3.33  
Ilex aquifolium Holly 3.00 0.00
Lysichiton americanum Skunk cabbage 5.22 30.00
Moss   0.44 20.00
Mycelis muralis Wall lettuce 0.06 0.00
Oenanthe sarmentosa Water parsley 0.67 6.00
Oxalis oregana Oregon oxalis 0.00 8.00
Picea sitchensis Sitka spruce 0.00 8.00
Poa trivialis Rough-stalk bluegrass 0.00 30.00
Polystichum munitum Sword fern 3.06 6.00
Prunus laurocerasus Cherry laurel 0.39 0.00
Ranunculus repens Creeping buttercup 0.33 0.00
Ribes bracteosum Stink currant 0.11  
Rubus armeniacus Himalayan blackberry 0.67 0.00
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry 53.89 57.00
Sambucus racemosa Red elderberry 0.44  
Stachys chamissonis var. cooleyae Coastal hedgenettle 0.00 4.00
Stachys mexicana Mexican hedge-nettle 0.00 4.00
Tolmiea menziesii Piggyback 2.17 34.00
Urtica dioica Stinging nettle 2.72

Key: “0.00” in Pct. Cover column indicates a target forest type indicator species not found during the survey. No value in the TFT Goal column indicates a native species not listed in the target forest type. “0.00” in the TFT Goal column indicates an invasive species to be removed.

Plots 4 through 10 of the transect were on the floor of the Central Valley. The following chart illustrates the relationship between density of salmonberry and red alder cover and ivy. How this will affect restoration is discussed in “Subarea D,” below.

Interaction of Salmonberry, Red alder, and English ivy.

Interaction of Salmonberry, Red alder, and English ivy.

Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan

There are four distinct subareas to the Central Valley.

North is to the top. A: All volunteers can work here. B: Forest stewards and experienced volunteers. C: Parks District Natural Area Crew (slope). D: Forest stewards and experienced volunteers.

North is to the top. A: All volunteers can work here. B: Forest stewards and experienced volunteers. C: Parks District Natural Area Crew (slope). D: Forest stewards and experienced volunteers.

Subarea A

Subarea A (outlined in blue above) measures approximately 17,350 square feet. It lies between the social trail and the stream and is relatively flat and accessible. A holly thicket was cleared from the southeastern portion in 2011. The ground returned with Hydrophyllum tenuipes (Pacific waterleaf) and was replanted with shrubs and ferns in the subsequent planting seasons.

The dark green section of Subarea A (approximately 9,600 square feet) was cleared and planted by EarthCorps volunteers in 2013. This work will be extended and monitored by the Friends of North Beach Park. In January 2014, Friends of North Beach Park cleared about 800 square feet of black berry past the north end of the dark green section of Subarea A. This received some Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted hair grass) and Fraxinus latifolia (Oregon ash) in March that has established well. Ribes bracteosum (Stink currant) is spreading into the cleared area from nearby. The clearing did not reach the streambank because the ground was still very wet.

Work in Subarea A can be done by any volunteers or forest stewards. Parks Department Natural Area Crew will be requested for large laurel and holly removal.

Care must be taken working close to the stream to not disrupt the streambank. A section of Subarea A lies across the trail from an area called Knotweed Hill. This area should receive extra attention and monitoring.

Suggested tasks for Subarea A:

  • Plant newly cleared area in Fall of 2013.
  • Work with Parks Department crews to eradicate the holly and laurel.
  • Monitor invasive resurgence and native establishment in the Earthcorps-cleared areas.
  • Connect the cleared areas.

Subarea B

Subarea B, outlined in red above, measures approximately 4,800 square feet. It is a large, active seep with water flowing from the south wall of the ravine. The soils are permanently saturated and can bear little or no walking. The ground is too wet for all but such obligate plants as Oenanthe sarmentosa (Water parsley) and H. tenuipes.
This seep is bordered by a social trail, the soil compaction of which provides a little stability. There are also three large Acer macrophyllum (Big leaf maple), two of which are visible below, taken before any restoration work was done.

Central Valley Subarea B in 2011.

Central Valley Subarea B in 2011.

There is a large conifer nurse log (obscured in the photo above) lying across the seep that provides some stability. Tsuga heterophylla (Hemlock) trees have been planted into the nurse log and are doing well.

Hedera helix (English ivy) grows down from the slope, under the trail, and then over the seep. The ivy is not firmly rooted in the seep and provides little or no stability or erosion control. However, clearing the ivy would destabilize the sides of the seep and disrupt the trail.

In November, 2013, some planting was done in Subarea B. They are listed in the table below.

Scientific Name Common Name #
Alnus rubra Red alder 1
Carex deweyana Dewey sedge 6
Carex obnupta Slough sedge 4
Cornus stolonifera Redtwig dogwood 6
Juncus acuminatus Tapertip rush 6
Picea sitchensis Sitka spruce 1
Physocarpus capitatus Pacific ninebark 4
Salix lucida Pacific willow 4
Scirpus microcarpus Panicled bulrush 2

The C. stolonifera were livestakes. All others were potted.

These were installed in two locations in Subarea B. In both cases, only the minimum amount of clearing was done to allow planting. As of summer 2014, all the plants appear to be doing well. We’ve also spread seed berries from Lysichiton americanum (skunk cabbage) into bare areas.

Suggested tasks for Subarea B:

  • Plant shrubs in areas of stable soil, at the base of the slope and around the trees and nurse log.
  • As these establish, spread planting into less stable areas.
  • When the shrub layer establishes, remove ivy from beneath it and increase groundcover diversity.

For further plans for Subarea B, please see “Stewardship Grant,” below.

The ivy comes down to Subarea B from the West and South Slopes. For a discussion of the plans for those HMUs, please see the “Uplands and Slopes” chapter.

Subarea C

Subarea C, outlined in green above, is the least volunteer-accessible area of the Central Valley. It measures approximately 26,490 square feet. The western border is the south loop social trail, and the eastern border is on the floor of the valley. The social trail is frequently 50 and more feet above the floor of the valley, with well over 40% grade. Work here will have to be done by contract or natural area crew, either arranged through Green Seattle Partnership or secured through a grant.

Subarea C is heavily invaded by Rubus armeniacus (Blackberry), Calystegia sepium (Bindweed), and many other ornamental and invasive plants. The true extent of the invasiveness, or what remnants of native plant cover under the blackberry or bindweed, is not known at this time.

Subarea D

Subarea D, at approximately 38,970 square feet (yellow outline above), is the largest area of the Central Valley. The belt transect cut across it at the widest point, but the rest of Subarea D has not been fully explored.

As discussed in “Vegetation,” above, the dense salmonberry and red alder canopy might be controlling the ivy and other invasives – at the cost of preventing tree succession or shrub and groundcover diversity. Care must be taken not to disrupt the salmonberry layer, as this would allow the ivy to take off, and perhaps choke out restoration plantings.

We plan to remove the ivy from underneath the salmonberry in test sections beginning in early spring 2015, before the salmonberry and red alder are fully leafed out. This will allow the sun to reach the soil and promote any seedbank or native growth resurgence. In the summer, we’ll spread seeds from piggyback and other plants already growing in Subarea D. Live stakes from other shrubs growing in the park will be introduced as well, drawing from a number of different plants to avoid problems caused by dense cloning. Deep-shade groundcover will be planted or spread by seed.

As diversity increases, we will remove more ivy and thin the salmonberry to start tree succession. We’ll begin with Alnus rubra. Although this is already the dominant tree cover, it is mainly large, old trees, with no seedlings or sub-canopy examples yet seen. As the next generation of A. rubra establishes, we will begin planting Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar) and Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock).

This is a modification of the Bradley method (Bradley, 1988). Although it might sound like it would take longer than the general clearing and replanting, it will have less disruptive impact on existing habitat and aquatic systems (Apastol & Berg, 2006)

Suggested tasks for Subarea D:

  • Remove ivy from under Rubus spectabilis before leaf out
  • Monitor for native plant return from seedbank
  • After seed set, spread seeds from plants already growing under the salmonberry (mostly Tolmeia menziesii [piggyback]).
  • Live stake with stakes taken from other shrubs in the park, particularly Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry) and Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry).
  • In the fall, spread seeds of plants that like deep shade under the salmonberry.
  • When an alder falls, take advantage of the extra light to encourage conifer succession.

All tasks are to be done with as little disturbance to the salmonberry cover as possible.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Note: This is the third in a series of Monday posts about the Restoration Management Plan for North Beach Park. To read the others in the series, please click the “Restoration Management Plan” link in the tags at the bottom of the post.

Stakeholders are users of North Beach Park, homeowners who live on the rim of the park, and any individual or organization concerned with its restoration. Some, such as dog walkers or joggers, might not consider themselves stakeholders, but they still benefit from the restoration. Others, such as the forest stewards, take an active hand in the restoration.

Supporting Organizations

A number of supporting organizations help Friends of North Beach Park (“FoNBP”) in its restoration efforts. These descriptions focus on what the organizations do for North Beach Park and do not attempt to describe the entire organization. For more information, visit their websites, listed in the references section. After FoNBP, the listing is alphabetical.

Friends of North Beach Park

FoNBP sponsors and coordinates the monthly 4th Saturday work parties, and does the Monday morning forest steward work parties. FoNBP is responsible for the long-term planning of the restoration of North Beach Park. The actions of FoNBP are detailed in “Restoration History” in “Park and Restoration History.”

EarthCorps

EarthCorps mapped North Beach Park in 2011 and provided GPS assistance with the wetland delineation. It sponsored seven work parties in NBP in 2013. It also coordinates the city-wide forest monitoring program.

Fellow Stewardship Groups

Three nearby stewardship groups have also helped Friends of North Beach Park. They are Carkeek Park STARS (Streams, Trails, and Restoration Stewards), Golden Gardents GGREAT (Golden Gardens Restoration and Trails), and Friends of Llandover Woods. They have assisted in providing tools, volunteers, expert assistance and mentoring, and plant storage. (There are no websites for these groups.)

Green Seattle Partnership

Green Seattle Partnership provides training, resources, materials, logistical support, best management practices, plants, and coordination with the Parks Department. It was formed in 2005 with a 20 year plan to have 2,500 acres in Seattle’s forested parks and nature areas in restoration.

Groundswell NW

Groundswell NW provides financial and logistical support to park and greenspace community efforts in Ballard and other NW neighborhoods. The first grant assistance FoNBP received, a “microgrant” of $500 in 2012, was from Groundswell NW. Groundswell NW also awarded Luke McGuff one of two “Local Hero” awards for 2014. FoNBP assisted Groundswell NW with its open space inventory in the summer of 2014.

Seattle Parks Foundation

Seattle Parks Foundation provides financial support, grantwriting assistance, and 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship for FoNBP and numerous other “Friends of” groups. It also coordinates such programs as the South Park Green Vision and was a major player in bringing the Metropolitan Parks District to a vote.

Washington Native Plant Society

The WNPS – Puget Sound Chapter has provided assistance with Plant ID and volunteers. It also awarded FoNBP its second grant, $500 for stewardship of the wetlands.

Other Stakeholders

The remaining stakeholders take a more passive role in the restoration of North Beach Park, but still have a valid concern for the restoration’s success.

Neighbors of the Park

Neighbors of the park are the homeowners who live along the rim of the ravine. There are two small gated communities: Olympic Terrace on 24th Ave. and Fletcher’s Village on 28th Ave. As far as we know, only one person who lives on the park has come to a work party, although some are on the email list. We have done physical mailings to all the neighbors of the park twice, and a special mailing to the people who lived near the South Plateau once. The Olympic Terrace parcel boundaries extend into the park.

In many cases, the boundary lines between the neighbors and the park are obscure. Sometimes that is due to the parcel line being on a very steep part of a slope. In one or two cases, it’s because the homeowner has deliberately obscured it. There is one fence in the Fletcher’s Slope HMU.

One neighbor drains their roof run off into the stream. Another has a large patch of Lamium galeobdolon (Yellow archangel) growing from their property into the park.

Contact with neighbors has been limited. One was upset with some clearing done on the slope underneath his house but has since been mollified with the subsequent work. We’ve talked to two who are concerned that we will “open up” the park.

Efforts to contact and work with the homeowners around the park continue. Lack of neighbor participation has felt frustrating at times, but contact, at least, is improving.

Users of the Park

North Beach Park is underutilized. A better trail system would increase users, but the sides of the ravine are too steep to support trails, and the soil structure is too friable when dry. Although we’ve seen all the groups below in the park at one time or another, we never see more than a two or three people an hour, and sometimes nobody else.
There is no evidence of anyone currently living in the park.

North Beach Elementary

Students from North Beach Elementary, located across the street, occasionally visit the park when school is in session. In the fall of 2012, we tried to arrange regular visits with the first and second grade classrooms, but scheduling became too difficult. A fourth grade teacher would take her students through every month, but she was transferred to kindergarten. Starting in the fall of 2014, North Beach Elementary will be temporarily relocated to a school in Wallingford while it is rebuilt.

Dog Walkers and Joggers

These are the users we see most often in the park. Of these two, dog walkers are more common than joggers. And, luckily enough, the majority of dogs are leashed.

Adolescents

Evidence of adolescent use of the park is more circumstantial than concrete. There is graffiti on the trees and sometimes marijuana paraphernalia. The fresh litter looks like it was from adolescents — candy bar wrappers and juice bottles.

Next week: Volunteer network.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Note: This is the second in a series of Monday posts about the Restoration Management Plan for North Beach Park. To read the others in the series, please click the “Restoration Management Plan” link in the tags at the bottom of the post.

This section is drawn from personal memories, work logs, and notes.

State of the Park at the Beginning of Restoration

Records of the condition of the park at the start of restoration weren’t very well kept. There was (and still is) graffiti on the trees. There was trash throughout the park, ranging from bottles’n’cans, through tires and wheels, and up to water heaters and a 300 gallon drum (which is still in the park). For the first several work parties, at least a couple dozen pounds of trash came out of the park, sometimes quite a lot more.

At least 40% of the trees had serious ivy infestations reaching up into their crowns. In some cases, the ivy reached back down to the ground from overhanging branches.

When Luke, Drexie, and Tad took Lex Voorhoeve (instructor of the Master Forester Class) through the park for a site review (September 2011), he said there was a “depressing amount of work.”

There were extensive ivy monocultures in the Headwaters Bowl, particularly along the rims and the dryer areas. There were also extensive ivy monocultures in the South Plateau and on the South and West Slopes.

The vast majority of the canopy was deciduous, with Alnus rubra (Red alder) on the bottomlands and Acer macrophyllum (Big leaf maple) on the slopes and dryer areas. For HMU-specific information about canopy coverage, please see the relevant sections in the “Wetlands” or “Uplands and Slopes” chapters.

2011

The first meeting about restoring North Beach Park took place on March 17, 2011. Attending were Michael Yadrick (Parks ecologist), Mark Mead (Urban forest manager), Joanna Nelson de Flores (Forterra/Green Seattle Partnership), Theresa McEwan (North End volunteer coordinator), Patrick Merriam (North End crew chief), Morry Browne (neighbor) and Loren McElvain (neighbor).

The first restoration work party was held April 30th, 2011. Fourteen people attended, an unusually high number.

From the start, Friends of North Beach Park (FoNBP) had five priorities for restoration work:

  1. Hedera helix (ivy) off the trees – rough estimates (made long after the fact) are that 40% of the trees in the park had ivy up into their crowns.
  2. Ivy off the ground – there were many places were ivy formed a groundcover monoculture that have been cleared. There are still monocultures on some slopes (See “Uplands and Slopes.”)
  3. Rubus armeniacus (Blackberry) off the ground and dug up.
  4. Smaller Ilex aquifolium (laurel) and Prunus laurocerasus holly pulled, larger marked for herbicide.
  5. Invasive groundcover removed and replaced with native plants.

Work was done both at the front of the park, to make visible changes that made the restoration work obvious; and in the forest, getting the ivy off the trees.

First Workparty Group Portrait

Many of the people in this photo (and the person taking it) are still involved in the restoration of North Beach Park.

Many of the people in this photo (and the person taking it) are still involved in the restoration of North Beach Park. Photo by Drexel Malone.

Friends of North Beach Park settled on the 4th Saturday of the month because earlier weekends were taken: Golden Gardens GGREAT (Golden Gardens Restoration and Trails) meets on the 2nd Saturday, Friends of Llandover Woods meets on the 2nd Sunday, and Carkeek Park STARS (Streams, Trails, and Restoration Stewards) meets on the 3rd Saturday. We thought that the 4th Saturday presented the least conflict.

The 4th Saturday schedule does mean that the work party conflicts with Memorial Day in May and the Christmas – New Year holidays in December, so there is no work party on those months.

In summer of 2011, Luke McGuff, Drexie Malone, and Tad Anderson met while taking the Master Forester Class taught by Lex Voorhoeve at Carkeek Park. We were assigned North Beach Park as our project.

In September, EarthCorps Science (Nelson Salisbury and Ella Elman) mapped North Beach Park and delineated the Habitat Management Unit boundaries.

At the end of 2011, Friends of North Beach Park had had 55 adult and three youth volunteers, for a total of 165 hours. We had planted a grand total of 13 shrubs and 8 herbaceous plants, and had more than 0.05 acre in active restoration.

In terms of public engagement, Luke spoke to the Olympic Manor Community Association and the Ballard High School “YES” (YMCA Earth Service Corps). There was a post to MyBallard.com in November about the restoration efforts. Friends of North Beach Park also began working with the Seattle Parks Foundation as fiscal sponsor.

2012

The Master Forester class concluded with a successful three-part presentation about restoration of North Beach Park. This was the same day as the work party would have been, so there was no 4th Saturday work party in January of 2012. However, January 2012 did have a very successful work party and trash removal with a group of 8th graders from a University District alternative middle school, on their “Rite of Passage” program. This was the largest amount of trash removed during a single work party.

Rite of Passage students

This was the single largest pile of trash removed from North Beach Park at one time.

This was the single largest pile of trash removed from North Beach Park at one time.

Early February featured the first annual Friends of North Beach Park potluck, which includes forest stewards and volunteers from Carkeek and Golden Gardens, as well as North Beach Park. At that potluck, we formed an official steering committee of seven.

In summer 2012, an independent forest steward worked in the South Plateau, a large, flat area about 80 feet above the main park. Working with residents of the Labateyah community, they cleared most of the ivy and blackberry off the .57 acre plateau in one summer of weekly work parties. They installed steps into the park, and had plans for a native plant demonstration garden modeled after the garden outside Daybreak Star Indian Center. However, when the rains returned, we found out that the South Plateau received street runoff that accumulated for blocks. The Parks Department had to remove the steps and put in fascines and rip rap. See “South Plateau” in the “Uplands and Slopes” chapter.

Also in the summer of 2012, Doug Gresham, of Gresham Environmental, delineated the wetlands. GPS points for the delineation flags were later established with Nelson Salisbury of EarthCorps Science.

In September of 2012, “Knotweed Hill” was created by Luke and a group of middle schoolers who were on a field trip to the park. They cleared a large area of ivy underneath a canopy gap. Before the clearance, the ivy had covered up some of the steepness of the slope. Removing the ivy revealed the slope to be much too steep for inexperienced volunteers. Also, we had been working on private property without realizing it. This lead to Luke, Drexie, and Tad spending many weekdays in the park, staking down burlap sacks, and work parties where dikes were built across the slope.

At the end of 2012, Friends of North Beach Park had had 343 adult and 162 youth volunteers, for a total of nearly 1150 volunteer hours. We had planted 227 trees, 112 shrubs, and 105 herbaceous plants. Nearly three-quarters of an acre was in restoration.

Public outreach in 2012 included tabling at “Art in the Garden” for the first time, and tabling at “Sustainable Ballard” with the Green Seattle Partnership. “Art in the Garden” is a neighborhood event located very close to the park. We meet neighbors of the park, including people who played in it as children. “Sustainable Ballard” is a much larger event, for the Ballard area as a whole. At this event, we’re helping Green Seattle Partnership promote Green Seattle Day (the first Saturday in November).

In 2012, FoNBP participated for the first time in the Seattle Foundation “GiveBIG” day of online giving.

2013

2013 featured many different groups working in North Beach Park: EarthCorps, Parks Department contract and Natural Area crews, and Friends of North Beach Park.

EarthCorps

EarthCorps ran seven work parties in North Beach Park, from April through November. During this time, they mulched Knotweed Hill, and cleared along the trail from Headwaters Bowls through the Central Valley. During the planting work party, they added density to both sides of the trail through their cleared areas, and added density to Knotweed Hill.

EarthCorps volunteers mulch Knotweed Hill.

EarthCorps volunteers mulch Knotweed Hill.

EarthCorps volunteers mulch Knotweed Hill.

Contract Crew

The Parks Department Natural Area and contract crew worked on the North Slope, removing invasives, putting done jute net and coir logs, and planting. On the South Plateau, they installed rip rap, meanders, and fascines to help control the erosion. They also helped clear a trail of fallen alder trees.

Friends of North Beach Park

The FoNBP had their second annual potluck, again with forest stewards from other NW area parks, including Llandover Woods.
There were ten 4th Saturday work parties in 2013: January – April, June – November. The January work party featured some plants donated from the Swanson’s Nursery “Trees for Salmon” program.

By the end of 2013, most of the safely accessible trees in the park needing ivy survival rings had been protected.
2013 had 189 adult and 20 youth volunteers, for a total of nearly 665 hours. Friends of North Beach Park planted 346 trees, 672 shrubs, and 675 herbaceous plants.

More than half an acre was brought into restoration, and nearly 1½ acres were in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of restoration.
Public outreach included an article in the Ballard News-Tribune (Bryan, 2013) and tabling at “Art in the Garden” and “Sustainable Ballard.”

2014 (to date)

The start of 2014 featured nearly 200 extra plants from the Parks Department. The summer work parties have concentrated on after care of plants, mostly watering and weeding to help them deal with the heat stress of June and July.
There were numerous site reviews, from Seattle Public Utilities (with their drainage and wetland scientist), a big site review with the Parks Department to talk about target forest types, the South Plateau, and to plan crew time for the next couple years.

The forest stewards returned to working in the South Plateau once a month. We also wrote a letter to the neighbors of the South Plateau explaining our plans.

In June, we executed a cross-gradient belt transect, crossing three HMUs and going from the highest points on the rim to the lowest points of the park floor. The information this provided is used throughout this report.

In July and August, Friends of North Beach Park participated in Groundswell NW’s open space inventory.

Public outreach this year has been limited to “Art in the Garden,” which was very successful for us.

FoNBP participated in the Seattle Foundation’s “GiveBIG” day of online giving again, and raised more than $800.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Two of the other forest stewards and I were planning 2014 (the planning was fun and we’re looking forward to the activities), and the question of plant diversity came up. How much had we increased native plant diversity in North Beach Park? We had a couple plant lists handy, and were quickly able to come up with a pretty good idea. Other than the first order (made in 2011, before I barely knew anything), we’ve concentrated on ordering plants we knew to be under- or unrepresented in the park. Once I got home, I looked through previous lists and came up with a pretty definite figure.

But first, why does increased native plant diversity matter? It’s such a mantra for forest stewards the question deserves to be asked.

  • It provides more food sources for the creatures that eat plants. That’s, basically, everything else. If a creature doesn’t eat plants directly, it eats things that eat plants. More insects eating plants means (we hope) more birds eating insects. Invasive plants don’t provide food for insects that eat plants, which is why native diversity is important.
  • It also increases the length of the bloom season. Particularly helpful are plants that bloom early in spring or late in summer.
  • The greater variety of food sources and extended bloom time are examples of functional redundancy. There isn’t just one plant blooming, but several, which serve different pollinators. And there isn’t just one genus of wetland plant filtering the water, but three or four.
  • It improves the soil structure with a diversity of roots. Plants taking water from the soil and releasing it through their leaves (evapotranspiration) is important to soil stabilization. And a variety of root structures will make the soil more lively, which will feedback and make the soil better for the root structures.
  • The Pacific Northwest forests need plants at every canopy level — from ground covering forbs and ferns up to the tallest Douglas fir trees. Because (see first item) there are things that eat plants at every level.
  • Many of the forest types we target in our restoration have similar plant communities and associations, with the main difference being proportions between the plants. Planting with as wide a palette as possible provides the opportunity for the plants to sort themselves out a bit.
  • Plant diversity also builds in resilience to disturbances, whether fire, flood, famine, or climate change. And given that we work in a ravine, we could well be creating a refuge for many plants to escape the worst effects of climate change.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but this is what I can think of off the top of my head.

Oh, the statistics. We — the people engaged in restoration in North Beach Park, whether EarthCorps, a crew contracted by the Parks Department, or people working with Friends of North Beach Park — have planted 63 different species of plant in the park. Of these, 39, or 62%, were unrepresented in the park. Note that these aren’t necessarily rare plants, they’re just unrepresented in North Beach Park. And I’m not saying we’ve increased the diversity by that much. That would need a complete survey of all the plants in the park, native and invasive. But it’s still a fairly good number.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

2013 was a really great year for North Beach Park. The previous two years of restoration were starting to have visible effect, and the work of EarthCorps and the contract crew really made a great deal of progress.

In all, we had 17 work parties this year. Six were run by EarthCorps and 11 by the Friends of North Beach Park. In all there were 160 adult and 16 youth volunteers for a total of just over 530 hours. Three volunteers had more than 20 hours, five volunteers had between 10 and 20, and five volunteers had between 5 and 10 hours. Thank you all!

We estimate that 1751 plants were installed in the park. This includes plants from the Seattle Parks Department, EarthCorps, Carbon Capturing Companies, and Green Seattle Partnership. These plants were installed all over the park, from the highest slopes to the bottoms of the wetlands.

The EarthCorps volunteers and crews cleared about 10,000 square feet of the park, between the trail and the stream. They also engaged in a big bucket brigade for some mulching needed deep in the park. They replanted both sides of the trail. Masha (from Russia) was the EarthCorps lead for all the work.

The Seattle Parks Department brought in a contract crew to work in areas where volunteers can’t, specifically the slopes of the Headwaters Bowl and just below 90th St. and 25th Ave. They cleared invasive plants, put down erosion controls, and installed plants. They worked at the South Plateau as well (entrance at 88th St. and 27th Ave.), installing a great number of plants and doing some much-needed erosion control work.

The outreach highlights included tabling at Art in the Garden in August (always a treat) and participating in our first “Give Big” in May. This raised more than $1,000 for North Beach Park, and we’d like to give a special shout out to Doris Katagiri and Julie Fretzin for their very generosity.

For 2014, we’re going to make sure the plants installed this year get some good aftercare. This won’t be “taking it easy,” but will make sure that more of them get established well and be able to live on their own. Our first work party of the year will be January 25, at 9 a.m. Hope to see you there!

If you can’t make it to a work party, a big way to help North Beach Park is by making a donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. Even a small donation will make a big difference. We use this money for materials and tools, outreach assistance, and coffee’n’pastries for volunteers.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

EarthCorps coordinated five work parties in North Beach Park, starting in April and ending last Saturday, November 9th. They accomplished a tremendous amount of work, clearing more than 10,000 square feet of space and more than 240 plants, ranging from ground cover up to conifer and deciduous trees.

The day started earlier than usual, with some volunteers arriving a little before 9 a.m. to stage and place plants.
Early Morning Workers
Yep, the weather was gorgeous and stayed that way throughout the work party.

Here are two of the 24 or so volunteers that were there.
Volunteers
I think they were UW students, but I’m not sure.

Here is a family group (well, the kids are from different families) from Meridian School.
Family group
I really like family groups at work parties. I think (hope) it gives the kids the idea that nature is not something that we just visit, but that we have to take care of as well. And the work is fun and invigorating. Well, that’s a lot to ask, so if the kids just have fun playing in the woods, that’s great.

Some empty buckets:
That's a lotta plants!
This was taken just before the lunch break, which means there were plenty more buckets added to the stack by the end of the work party. (Also, just noticed I forgot to “fall back” on the camera timestamp.)

It was a great experience having EarthCorps at North Beach Park. We’d love to have them back another time.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

2013 has been a tremendous year for North Beach Park. Between EarthCorps, Friends of North Beach Park, and a Parks Department contract crew, we cleared more than 20,000 square feet of new area. This is a significant percentage of our little park.

November will feature two major planting parties, one coordinated by EarthCorps and one by the Friends of North Beach Park. Both are on Saturdays.

Saturday, November 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: THIS SATURDAY join EarthCorps for their last work party in North Beach Park. There is a LOT of planting to be done. EarthCorps cleared ivy and other invasives from a long strip of the park between the trail and the stream. Now it’s time to plant it up! Please register in advance at the EarthCorps website — select the North Beach Park event on Nov. 9 (the 2nd one listed for that day). EarthCorps provides coffee, energy bars, and a sanican.

Saturday, November 23, 9 a.m. to Noon: Join the Friends of North Beach Park for their fourth Saturday work party. Build up your appetite for Thanksgiving! This is the last one of the year, and we have 200 plants to put in the ground. This includes some plants well-represented in the park, but also many that are being reintroduced to the park. In addition to their beauty, these plants provide food for insects and birds and other species. The different bloom times give the park a visual texture that lasts well into the summer. Register for this work party at the Green Seattle Partnership Cedar website. Please register in advance so we know how many shovels and buckets to provide.

Both events meet at the main entrance to the park, 24th Ave and 90th St. NW. Wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and sturdy shoes or mud boots. We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack as you need them but there are no facilities at the park.

Events happen rain or shine, but if it’s VERY windy, we might cancel at the last minute.

There is parking on 90th St. east of 24th Ave. The #61 bus stops across the street from the park, and the 40 and 48 stop at 85th and 24th; check Metro for details.

Can’t join us for a work party? Make a year-end donation to Seattle Parks Foundation to support restoration efforts at North Beach Park. Visit their website and click on the “Donate” button. We use these proceeds for tools, materials, and outreach.

We hope to see you in the woods!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

October and November are going to be busy months in North Beach Park, as we finish up clearing invasives and head into planting season.

October 12th (Saturday) and 23rd (Wednesday): EarthCorps will remove invasive plants in preparation for November planting. EarthCorps work parties are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the EarthCorps website to sign up.

October 26th (Saturday): The Friends of North Beach Park welcome Nordstrom employees for a day of planting Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees to start the planting season. The Nordstrom employees should fill out our roster. We look forward to seeing you in November.

November’s events feature planting, the reward for the invasive removal we’ve done the rest of the year.

November kicks off with GREEN SEATTLE DAY, November 2nd, a city-wide celebration at 17 parks, including Carkeek and Golden Gardens. To find out more and to sign up, visit the Green Seattle Day website.

On November 9th, EarthCorps returns to North Beach Park for their planting party. They’ve cleared quite a bit of area, help them meet their fall planting challenge and bring native plants back to North Beach Park. Again, EarthCorps events are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

November 23rd will be the big Friends of North Beach Park planting party. We have plants to go into different environments all over the park. This will be the time to join us if you haven’t for a while. Build up that appetite for Thanksgiving! We’ll go from 9 a.m. to Noon. To sign up, visit the Green Seattle Partnership website.

All North Beach Park work parties meet at the main entrance to the park at 90th St. and 24th Ave. NW in Ballard. They also happen rain or shine, so wear weather appropriate layers that can get dirty. And wear mud boots as the park is very muddy during the fall and winter. Bring snacks and water as appropriate, but there are no facilities at the park. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Parking is available on 90th St., east of 24th. The #61 bus stops across the street from the park, and the 40 and 48 stop at 85th and 24th; check Metro for details.

Can’t join us for a work party? Make a year-end donation to Seattle Parks Foundation to support restoration efforts at North Beach Park and click on the “Donate” button. We use these proceeds for tools, materials, and outreach.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Another busy month for North Beach Park: EarthCorps 9/14, Friends of North Beach Park 9/28, and Sustainable Ballard 9/29! We hope to see you at one of these events.

EarthCorps at North Beach Park: Saturday, September 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
EarthCorps begins four fall work parties by moving into some new territory. We’ll continue removing ivy and blackberry in a more mixed plant community than previous work parties. There is a lunch break at noon, so bring a sandwich. To sign up, visit their volunteer calendar and click on the North Beach even for Sept. 14th. (And if you’re planning ahead, future EarthCorps events are scheduled for Oct. 12 and 23 and Nov. 2)

Friends of North Beach Park: Saturday, September 28, 9 a.m. to Noon.
Join us on the 4th Saturday to help make North Beach Park a better park and Seattle a better city. We provide tools, gloves and guidance. You bring a willingness to play in the woods. For registration and further details, please visit the Green City Partnerships website.

Details for both events
Meet at the main entrance to the park, 90th St. and 24th Ave. NW. Wear sturdy shoes or mud boots and weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance; the work ranges from light gardening to pretty vigorous. All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be kept under parental/guardian supervision at all times. Bring water and snacks as you need them. EarthCorps provides a portapotty, but there are no permanent facilities in North Beach Park. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th. The #61 bus goes past the park, and routes #40 and #48 stop at 85th and 24th. Check Metro KC route planner for further information.

Sustainable Ballard Festival, Sunday, September 29, Ballard Commons Park (56th and 22nd), all day long
Green Seattle Partnership will have a table at the 10th annual Sustainable Ballard Festival, promoting Green Seattle Day (Nov. 2nd), Seattle ReLeaf, and park stewardship of Carkeek, Golden Gardens, and of course North Beach Park. There will also be many other booths and much information about solarizing your home, rain gardens, bike riding in the city, and more. To find out more about Sustainable Ballard, please visit their website.

Seattle Parks Foundation
Support the restoration at North Beach Park by making a tax-deductible donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. Visit their website and click on the “Donate” button. All proceeds donated will be used in our restoration efforts.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Saturday, August 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Art in the Garden, 8527 25th Ave. NW
We’ve mentioned this in emails before and even sent out a postcard. We’d love to see you at our table. Friends of North Beach Park will be on 25th Ave., at the southeast corner of the p-patch. We’ll have information about North Beach Park and Seattle’s forests (Courtesy Green Seattle Partnership). Art in the Garden will have a beautiful p-patch, pie auction, bake sale, food trucks, art, and more. We look forward to meeting you. For further information, visit their website.

Saturday, August 24, 9 a.m. to Noon, main entrance: Friends of North Beach Park work party.
Join us on the 4th Saturday to help make North Beach Park a better park and Seattle a better city. We provide tools, gloves and guidance. You bring a willingness to play in the woods. For registration and further details, please visit this website.

Saturday, September 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., main entrance: EarthCorps work party
Join us for the next EarthCorps work party. We’re making great headway in cleaning out some ivy and blackberry from the very front of the park. This is a great event to bring a group to – whether a couple friends, a family reunion, or a church group. To sign up, visit EarthCorps’ volunteer page and go to September 14th.

Both events meet at 90th St. and 24th Ave. NW. Bring water and a snack if you need it; the EarthCorps event has a lunch break. Wear sturdy shoes and weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty. (Long sleeves are helpful when working in stinging nettle and blackberry.) Parking is available on 90th St., east of 24th Ave.

Seattle Parks Foundation
Support the restoration at North Beach Park by making a tax-deductible donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. Visit our project and click on the “Donate” button. All proceeds donated will be used in our restoration
efforts.

We look forward to seeing you at these events!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Join Friends of North Beach Park at one of these upcoming events — we hope to see you soon.

Saturday, July 27, 9 a.m. to Noon: Friends of North Beach Park work party.
“Friends of North Beach Park” meets the 4th Saturday of the month, now through November. We provide tools, gloves and guidance. You bring a willingness to play in the woods helping make North Beach Park a better park and Seattle a better city. Wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and sturdy shoes or mud boots. Bring water or snacks as you need them, but there are no facilities in the park. All ages welcome, but children must be kept under supervision of their parent or guardian. Parking is available on 90th street, east of 24th. Metro route #61 goes directly past the park, and routes #48 and #40 stop at 85th St. and 24th Ave. For registration and further details, please visit the Green Seattle Partnership website.

Saturday, August 10, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Art in the Garden, 8527 25th Ave. NW
Friends of North Beach Park will be at Art in the Garden, a neighborhood party sponsored by the Ballard P Patch. There are a beer garden, artists booths, food trucks, and a lovely p-patch in full bloom. Stop by to say hello, meet your forest stewards and talk about North Beach Park. Stay to enjoy the Art in the Garden, pie auction, food, and fun. We look forward to meeting you. For further information, visit the Art in the Garden website.

Saturday, August 24, 9 a.m. to Noon: Friends of North Beach Park work party.
Here’s a reminder for the 4th Saturday work party in August. Many of the details for the July work party are the same. Exactly what we’ll be working on hasn’t been set yet, but it’s sure to be challenging fun. For registration and further details, please visit the Green Seattle Partnership website.

If you can’t make the July or August work parties, dates for the rest of the year are September 28, October 26, and November 23. The October and November work parties are likely to involve planting.

EarthCorps at North Beach Park
EarthCorps returns to North Beach Park September 14th. EarthCorps events run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please visit the EarthCorps website to sign up.

Donate to North Beach Park
If you can’t make it to a work party but would like to support our efforts, please visit the Seattle Parks Foundation website at http://seattleparksfoundation.org/current-projects-north-beach-park/ and click on the “Donate” button. All proceeds from your tax-deductible donation will be spent on improving the park.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Last Saturday (7/13) was another EarthCorps event at North Beach Park. This one featured ivy removal on a slope at the Headwaters Bowl. The previous work party had about 50 people signed up, but the summer work parties have much smaller attendance. This time, we had about 16 people altogether. This was exactly enough people for the spaces we were working in and the work we had to do.

Tools ready for use
Tools
When EarthCorps arrives on site, they set up a couple shade structures and tables, and they set out the tools expected for the day. (They also provide a porta potty and bring a big bag of energy bars. All helpful!)

Now we have a few “before” pictures:

Holly Thicket
Holly thicket Before
About five people (altogether) worked throughout the day on pulling up this holly thicket.

Ivy Platform
Ivy slope: Before
Friends of North Beach Park built this ivy platform in June; we thought that it would last a couple work parties. Not only did one EarthCorps work party completely fill it, but they had to build two more platforms, one for the holly and one for more ivy.

Headwaters Bowl Slope
Ivy slope: Before
This is a partial view of the ivy removal work area. The slope was pretty much an ivy monoculture.

Morning Plan
Planning the morning
Ethan (from EarthCorps) explains the morning plan.

Platform filled in
Platform almost filled
After about an hour of work, the platform was almost filled. Masha (from EarthCorps) in foreground.

Gigantic Holly Root
Holly root.
Tad holds up a holly root. It’s that large brown mass in front of him.

Slope Crew
Slope workers
The morning slope crew poses for a quick snapshot. You can begin to see how much they’ve cleared already, about about 90 minutes of work.

Slope at Lunch Break
Slope at lunch break
The bare slope in this picture was covered in ivy just a short while before. The ivy still visible is just scraps.

For the afternoon, we basically split into three crews. One worked on putting burlap down on the exposed slope, another worked on more ivy removal, and the third returned to the holly thicket.

Afternoon Removal
Afternoon removal
The afternoon removal crew worked in an area that had ivy and sword fern mixed.

Mulching the Slope
Afternoon Slope workers
Even though it’s burlap, it’s still considered mulch. We used up the burlap that was on site, and for the next work party (in September) we will finish covering the slope with burlap and then add some wood chips on top. This will both suppress ivy resurgence and keep the soil moist.

And now a few “after” pictures, taken after the work party was over.

The slope with burlap
After burlap
Since we only had a little burlap, we only did one layer. On other slopes, we’ve done two layers. Even so, there’s enough overlap that there are some areas with two or three layers of burlap. The stakes hold the burlap in place and provide footing as you work up the slope. Starting at the bottom allows you to overlay the burlap like roof shingles. Overall, this will slow down (if not stop) the water to allow it to soak in, rather than just run off.

Holly Thicket After
Holly thicket after
This is the holly thicket, much reduced. Although there is still a lot to do, and we’ll have to keep an eye on this site for a while. Holly can resprout from even tiny root fragments. But they’ll be easy to pull.

Afternoon Debriefing
Debriefing
Masha leads the afternoon debriefing, a quick survey and general feedback.

Trash Haul
Trash pile
And last but not least, the trash haul this time: Three tires, a couple coolers, torn-up mattress, and three contractor bags of bottles’n'cans. Not spectacular, but about average.

Also in the park that day was a film crew for the 48 Hour Film Project, Team Bad Elephant. I didn’t get to see what they were doing, but it was fun to have another group in the park doing something completely unrelated to what we were.

The remaining EarthCorps work parties are on these days. All events meet at the main entrance to the park, 90th St. and 24th Ave NW., and all events are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go here to sign up. As of this writing, they’re not posted yet.

Saturday, September 14 (more removal, mulching of cleared areas)
Wednesday, October 23 (planting!)
Saturday, November 9 (planting!)

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (picture icon iv)

Welcome summer to North Beach Park Saturday, June 22. We’ll concentrate on building ivy platforms to prepare for the EarthCorps work party in July. If enough people show up, we’ll send an expeditionary force into the park to do a survival ring or two. But come see the park in its summer splendor. It’s like a jungle!

Here are the usual details:

Saturday, June 22, 9 a.m. to noon
Meet at the main entrance to the park, NW 90th St. and 24th Ave. N. Parking is available east of 24th on 90th. Wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and mud boots. We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring snacks and water if you need them. North Beach Park has no facilities. All ages welcome, but children must be kept under supervision of their parent or guardian.

And to help your plans, here are the known dates we’ll be working in the ravine for the rest of the summer:

Saturday, July 13 — EarthCorps returns for the 2nd of four big work parties. They bring coffee, snacks, a port-a-potty, and lots of great enthusiasm. They’ll be doing the major ivy pulling this year. The 3rd work party will also concentrate on ivy removal, but the 4th work party will be a planting spectacular in the fall.

Saturday, July 27 — the regular Friends of North Beach Park 4th Saturday work party. We’ll be concentrating on survival rings for trees deep in the park. This could be adventurous! The hours are slightly different, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Saturday, August 24 — Friends of North Beach Park 4th Saturday work party.

We hope to see you one of these days! As an added enticement, it’s several degrees cooler in the ravine. ;>

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (picture icon iv)

Last Saturday (April 13), EarthCorps joined Friends of North Beach Park for what was the first of four work parties that will happen in 2013. It was a great start to our third year of restoration.

EarthCorps brings in a crew, supplies, tools, and experience. Lots of groups looking to do community service go to their website, so their events usually have good turnout. We had about 50 volunteers, making this twice as big as the next-largest work party that North Beach Park has ever hosted.

The crew!
Here’s the crew (left to right): Jessa (Philippines), Masha (Russia), Alex, Ethan, and me (USA).

(Note: The time stamps on the photos are wrong — didn’t notice until looking at these I’d forgotten to change to PDT. Onward!)

The official start of the work party is 10 a.m., but for the EarthCorps crew it’s a lot earlier. Their day starts about 7, loading the trucks and vans at EarthCorps headquarters. (For an event in rural King County, they’d probably start even earlier.) They were on site at North Beach Park and had done a good bit of unloading by the time I showed up at 8:45.

Pitchforks and Wheelbarrows
The plan for the morning was that one group would transport mulch down into the park, staging it for a bucket brigade in the afternoon. The other crew would do some planting on the slope we would be mulching. Then crews would switch, and transport crew would do some invasive removal and the planting crew would do transport.

Planning
Here are the EarthCorps folks inspecting a possible worksite that turned out to be relatively invasive free. Also, as you can see, it would have been crowded working in there. We found another spot.

People started arriving a little before 10, so we were able to get going pretty promptly.

Explaining the Day
Masha explaining the plans for the day.

The Group
The attentive group. It was cold in the morning, but soon enough everyone warmed up.

Planting Demonstration
Jessa gives a planting demonstration. The planting crew planted quite a lot: sword fern and red flowering currant on the hill, sitka spruce and oregon ash in the wetlands.

Cleaning the mulch area
Ethan leads a group cleaning up the mulch staging site.

The mulch starts arriving
And here comes the mulch! Some of it came by bucket, some by wheelbarrow. It was about 450 feet down the trail. Getting it down there was easy, the walk back up the trail was the hard part.

Task switch
Once all the planting was done, the planting and mulch transport crews switched tasks.

Some trash
Here’s a sign of success: All those people all over the park, and only a small bucket of trash came out. And one tire. As an example, everything to the right of the blue tarps is a trash pile from two work parties a year ago. That’s what we used to find every time we worked in the park.

Invasive Removal Crew
Invasive removal crew, at the base of the slope in the Headwaters Bowl. Note: The man in the t-shirt is probably working harder than the people in hoodies and jackets. But we’re not here to judge.

Setting up the bucket brigade
In the afternoon, EVERYONE participated in the bucket brigade. This is exactly what I wanted a large work party for: the slope needed to be mulched, and the best way to do it was with a bucket brigade.

The end of the line
This picture is taken from very near the start of the bucket brigade. The people in the background are at the end, about 200 feet further down the trail.

Sending the mulch up the hill
The slope has been covered in two layers of burlap, and now receives a finishing touch of 6-12″ of wood chip mulch. This will help suppress ivy resurgence and prevent soil erosion.

The day is done!
High fives at the end of the day!

What it looked like
Here’s what the mulched area looks like. Nice! There are about ten trees and several shrubs in there.

I want to thank EarthCorps and everyone who attended the work party for all the great work done. It was truly a pleasure.

Friends of North Beach Park will have our regular 4th Saturday work party on April 27. The next EarthCorps event will be in June or July, but don’t worry, we’ll give you plenty of fore-warning.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (picture icon iv)

April is turning out to be a special month in North Beach Park. As well as starting our third year of restoration, there are some interesting events happening. Here is a listing of the events so far.

On Sunday, April 7, join us for the Groundswell NW Annual Meeting at Sunset Hill Community Center, 3003 NW 66th St. The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m., and feature guest speakers such as Pomegranate Center Founder Milenko Matanovic. Also speaking is Groundswell NW board member Dawn Hemminger on “How to Grow a Park.” Representatives of Groundswell NW-sponsored projects (such as North Beach Park!) will be there. Bring treats to share for the potluck.

On Saturday, April 13, join EarthCorps for the first of four sponsored work parties that will happen throughout the year. We’ll be doing a little late-season planting, but also transporting mulch from the entrance down into the park to make it more accessible. EarthCorps events happen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EarthCorps provides tools, gloves, guidance, a lot of information, snacks, and great fun. We’ll see you there! To sign up, go to the EarthCorps website and select the North Beach Park event for April 13.

Last but not least, of course, is our regular work party on Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to noon. We’re still cooking up details, but it’s sure to be something special.

Spring is a great time to visit the park, with all the leaves budding out and some of the early bloomers showing off their colors. Lots of bird song and bright emerald green.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (picture icon iv)

For the presentation at Antioch, I made up a resource list of organizations working to clean up Seattle’s parks and forests and a “further reading” list. Then I forgot to hand them out. So you get them now, with the added benefit that the various links are live. (Also, explanatory verbiage.) Tomorrow will be the further reading list.

Organizations working to restore Seattle’s forested parks.

Green Seattle Partnership
GSP provides training for forest stewards, coordinates logistics on a city-wide basis, and has a great calendar of events. The Green Seattle Partnership model is being developed in other cities — Green Kirkland Partnership, Green Tacoma Partnership, and Green Everett Partnership among them.
EarthCorps
Earthcorp’s motto is “Local Restoration, Global Leadership.” The sponsor events around the city and the Sound. They have a summer program that brings youth from around the world to work in this area, who then go home to share their knowledge.
ForTerra
ForTerra used to be called the Cascade Land Conservancy, but as the importance of the work they do with Green Seattle Partnership has risen, they changed their name. ForTerra provides the manpower for much of the GSP work.
Seattle Parks Foundation
Among other things, the Seattle Parks Foundation provides fiscal sponsorship for parks seeking grants or donations. Go here, fill out the form, and select “Friends of North Beach” from the Designation drop-down list.

More information about native plants.

Washington Native Plant Society
They have chapters all around the state — Seattle’s chapter is the “Central Sound” chapter. They’ve done much research into what is and isn’t a “native” plant, where they live and so on.

King County Native Plant Guide
Photos, planting and landscaping guides, common and scientific name listings — just about everything you can use to find out about growing native plants.

More information about weeds and invasive plants.

IvyOut
A handy little website produced by the WNPS. There is a page listing ivy-free nurseries.

King County Noxious Weeds
If you’re feeling down in the dumps, browsing this page will cheer you right up.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

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