holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Join Friends of North Beach Park for the wrap up of the planting season on Saturday, January 23, 2016. We’ll meet at the main entrance to the park, 24th Ave and 90th St. NW. The work party will run from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

We’ll be planting at the main stream crossing and streamside up and down from that point. We’ll also be transporting some mulch down to the planting areas. The plants we’ll be planting have been provided by Green Seattle Partnership and the Washington Native Plant Society.

We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Please wear weather appropriate layers than can get dirty (likely very dirty) and closed-toe, waterproof shoes. Rain gear will be helpful; expect late-January weather, whatever that means these days. Even in cold weather, it’s a good idea to bring some water and a snack. Note there are no facilities at the park.

Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming.

All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (link next to the sign-up form). The #48 and #40 buses stop a few blocks south of the park; check Metro for details. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave.

As always, you can support Friends of North Beach Park by making a directed donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

If you’re looking for something on Martin Luther King Day, there are a number of special events all over the city.

If you can’t join Friends of North Beach Park in January, save the date for one of our upcoming work parties: February 27, March 26, or April 23. All work parties are 9 a.m. to noon, and will meet at the main entrance to the park, 90th St. and 24th Ave. NW.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Please DO NOT dispose of your Christmas Tree in North Beach Park or any other greenspace or natural area. The tree may have been treated with flame retardant chemicals or other additives that will decrease the quality of the greenspace. The City of Seattle will pick up Christmas Trees until January 31; here are the directions. In fact, it would take less effort to dispose of the tree correctly than to dump it. Yard waste dumping, of any type, is not helpful to greenspaces or natural areas, and contributes to or worsens the problem with invasive species.

Friends of North Beach Park had been actively restoring the North Beach Park ravine since April, 2011; this is considered one of the more successful restoration projects in Seattle. We are composed of volunteers and friends from the Ballard, Crown Hill, North Beach, and Olympic Manor neighborhoods. We have regular work parties on the fourth Saturday of the month, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. January 23 will see us planting native trees and shrubs that are under-represented in the park. All are welcome to join us, please register at the link above or write to lukemcguff [at] yahoo [dot] com for further information.

If you want to have your Christmas tree contribute to restoration projects, you can participate in Swanson’s Trees for Salmon program next year: Salmon Says: “Buy A Living Christmas Tree!.” If a living tree is a little out of your reach, there are medallions you can buy at Swanson’s that will donate restoration plants to local parks (Carkeek Park and King County Parks). (NOTE: Friends of North Beach Park has received plants from this program in the past, but is not participating this year.)

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you in the ravine!

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

The weather was crisp, with frost riming the grass and leaves in the park. Good work kept us warm, though, and the sun shone through the thinning canopy to help.

Thirteen people were Friends of North Beach Park Saturday, ranging in age from 8 to 80 and from completely new participants to those who have been to every work party (a better record than I have, in fact).

The main goal of the day was to install plants. Some areas had been cleared by volunteers, and other areas had been cleared… by trees falling. In fact, in the last week and a half, two trees have fallen in North Beach Park, an alder and a big leaf maple.

This picture shows two fallen alder trees. The more recent one is in the center of the picture.

Two fallen alder trees. The more recent one is in the center of the picture.

This picture looks along the fallen maple trunk, from the root ball towards the crown.

Looking along the fallen maple trunk, from the root ball towards the crown. In the foreground are two replacement trees, a big leaf maple and a grand fir.

A fallen tree is an important part of the forest ecosystem, and the deciduous trees in North Beach Park are at the end of their life spans. The problem is that there aren’t enough young trees to take over the canopy. North Beach Park is lucky in that we do have younger deciduous and coniferous trees (ranging from saplings up to mid-canopy), but if we hadn’t started restoring it, the forest would be in serious danger. The canopy gaps create light cones to the forest floor; in a healthy forest, this would create a great burst of energy for the next generation of trees. However, in an urban forest, the danger is that the invasive plants will really take over.

The forest floor of North Beach Park is in better shape than it was when we started. There are nearly two thousand plants installed, ranging from trees to groundcover. These will benefit from the new light from the canopy gap, and the nutrients put into the soil by the decaying wood.

Today, in fact, we planted two trees at the base of the new falls and some falls from last year: a big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) and a grand fir (Abies grandis). This combination went into at least three places. We also planted a number of shrubs, groundcover, and wetland plants, including several that are underrepresented or were nonexistent in the park before restoration.

In all, we planted nearly two hundred plants. The table below lists what we planted.

  Genus Species   Common Name
Abies grandis grand fir
Acer macrophyllum bigleaf maple
Amelanchier alnifolia serviceberry
Asarum caudatum wild ginger
Dicentra formosa Pacific bleeding heart
Gaultheria shallon salal
Juncus acuminatus tapertip rush
Mahonia nervosa low Oregon-grape
Myrica californica Pacific wax myrtle
Petasites frigidus coltsfoot
Prunus emarginata var. mollis bitter cherry
Tiarella trifoliata threeleaf foamflower
Nicole, Morry, Julie, Kirstie, and Lina (with Jesse nearby) work in the Central Valley. Can you find them all?

Nicole, Morry, Julie, Kirstie, and Lina (with Jesse nearby) work in the Central Valley. Can you find them all?

Jesse found a bug!

Jesse found a bug!

The stalwart crew!

The stalwart crew!

Our next workparty will be January 23, 2016. We’ll be doing a lot of planting then, too, if you want to join us.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Join Friends of North Beach Park for some post-Thanksgiving green calories on Saturday, November 28, 2015. We’ll meet at the main entrance to the park, 24th Ave and 90th St. NW. The work party will run from 9 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.

We’ll be planting in different areas in the main body of the park. The plants we have range from small groundcover to giant conifers (well, they will be giant conifers in a couple decades). We will also transport mulch down to the sites using wheelbarrows and buckets.

Low Oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa), salal (Gaultheria shallon), wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), and Pacific bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa).

Low Oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa), salal (Gaultheria shallon), wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), and Pacific bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa).

Here is a complete list:

Genus Species
Common Name
Number
Abies grandis grand fir
10
Acer macrophyllum bigleaf maple
10
Amelanchier alnifolia serviceberry
9
Asarum caudatum wild ginger
20
Blechnum spicant deer fern
30
Dicentra formosa Pacific bleeding heart
20
Gaultheria shallon salal
25
Juncus acuminatus tapertip rush
25
Myrica californica Pacific wax myrtle
15
Petasites frigidus coltsfoot
10
Prunus emarginata var. mollis bitter cherry
10
Tiarella trifoliata threeleaf foamflower
20
   
204

We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Please wear weather appropriate layers that can get dirty. Rain gear will be helpful; expect late-November weather, whatever that means these days. Even in cool weather, it’s a good idea to bring some water and a snack.

Please sign up in advance at the Green Seattle Partnership Cedar website so we know you’re coming.

All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (link next to the sign-up form). The #48 and #40 buses stop a few blocks south of the park; check Metro for details. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave.

Can’t make the work party? Help out the Green Seattle Partnership by taking the 20 Year Plan Update Community Survey. In order to guide the update to the GSP 20 Year Strategic Plan, we have a NEW survey that is targeted towards regular volunteers and/or non-volunteers. This survey is looking to gather information on how GSP can support volunteerism citywide.

Here is some more on the Green Seattle 10 Year Update.

And as always, you can support Friends of North Beach Park by making a directed donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation.

All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

If you have any questions about the work party or Friends of North Beach Park, feel free to write lukemcguff@yahoo.com.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Well, it was another great work party with the Friends of North Beach Park, accompanied by a number of UW students in the ESRM 100 class (Environmental Science and Resource Management). We all did a lot of great work, accomplishing a lot in a short time (and finishing up just as the sprinkles started).

An important beginning to a successful work party: Make sure everyone is registered!

An important beginning to a successful work party: Make sure everyone is registered!

Original plans — to transplant some wetland trees and shrubs from a nearby parking strip — had to be put on hold because the plants were still too vigorous, due to the warm, dry fall. So we constructed some trailside erosion control instead, and cleaned up an area where a tree had fallen last winter.

I got so excited, in fact, that a lot of the pictures I took were blurry. Oh well.

The trailside erosion control was done near the entrance to the park, in an area called the Headwaters Bowl. There are places where the water runs off the side of the trail down the slope, and is starting to form dips in the trailside down to the slope.

We brought a lot of fallen tree branches up from a lower slope, cut them to size, and laid them alongside the trail.

The cut branches were laid along side the trail in semi-neat rows. Stakes were put in on the slope-side of the branch piles.

The cut branches were laid along side the trail in semi-neat rows. Stakes were put in on the slope-side of the branch piles.

After the branches were in place, we staked them for support and added wattles (burlap sacks filled with mulch) to help slow down the water.

Bagging mulch to make wattles.

Bagging mulch to make wattles.

The work stretched for a couple hundred feet along the trail. Notice also the raking that happened on the trail — it’s a good idea to keep organic matter off a trail if possible.

Wattles alongside the trail.

Wattles alongside the trail.

We were able to split into two work groups. The second group cleared the area where a large maple had fallen last winter, cutting the branches up into brush, and setting some aside to be used as ivy platform logs. (Unfortunately, those were some of the blurry pictures.)

Here is the group photo of all the hard workers.

All the participants at the Friends of North Beach Park work party.

All the participants at the Friends of North Beach Park work party.


Thank you everyone for your hard work!

The students were evenly split between being from China and South Korea. Their majors included biology, math, economics, and sociology.

I thought it would be interesting to think about how these various majors could find application in ecological restoration. Biology is easy, of course: one can look very specifically at, say, how different species of mycorrhizae affect the nitrogen-fixing root nodules of alder trees, or the interaction of plant communities at the landscape level. For economics, a lot of people are looking into how to quantify “ecological services” — how can we calculate the amount of stormwater a healthy urban forest absorbs, and how much does that save us in terms of water processing or pollution of our larger bodies of water? How do we calculate the value of volunteerism? Sociologists look at how and why people volunteer, how we can attract more volunteers, and so on. I don’t know of anyone doing research in mathematics applied to ecological restoration, but math is certainly a tool used throughout a restoration project, whether calculating the stresses on a slope, the flow through a stream, or how to achieve specific planting densities in particular areas.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Join Friends of North Beach Park for the start of fall planting on Saturday, October 24, 2015, from 9 a.m. to noon. We’ll meet at the main entrance to the park, 24th Ave and 90th St. NW, rain or shine.

We’ll be planting in two areas in the main body of the park, near the headwaters and further along the stream. Both areas will require some clean up. We will also transport mulch down to the sites using wheelbarrows and buckets.

We love the smell of fresh mulch in the morning.

We love the smell of fresh mulch in the morning.

We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Please wear weather appropriate layers than can get dirty. Rain gear will be helpful; expect late-October weather, whatever that means these days. Even in cool weather, it’s a good idea to bring some water and a snack.

Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming.

All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (link next to the sign-up form). The #48 and #40 buses stop a few blocks south of the park; check Metro for details. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave.

If you can’t join us in October, save the date for November 28th. Bring (or escape!) the family and work off some of those Thanksgiving calories. And give thanks that this little ravine graces our corner of Seattle.

As always, you can support Friends of North Beach Park by making a directed donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation.

All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

It’s coming up soon! Here are the details:

The June work party of Friends of North Beach Park will happen on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The location will be the South Plateau, at 88th St. and 27th Ave NW. The work party will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Your host will be Drexie Malone.

We’ll be providing after care to the native plants reintroduced to the South Plateau in the last couple years. This will include removing competing plants that can hinder their growth or completely choke them out.

We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Please wear weather appropriate layers than can get dirty. The temperature is currently forecast to be in the upper 80s, so please be sure to bring plenty of cold water and take frequent rest breaks. It would help to drink some extra water before heading to the park, as well as bringing extra with you. Because of the presence of stinging nettle, long-sleeved t-shirts and long pants are recommended. Having said all that, the South Plateau is very shady and the work planned is not very strenuous.

To get to the South Plateau: From the intersection of 24th Ave NW and NW 85th St., head west on 85th St (Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church will be on your right). At the intersection of 26th Ave and 85th St., turn right (North). Drive north on 26th Ave. for a long block until the intersection with 88th St., which will be on your left. Turn left onto 88th St. and look for parking. The entrance to the South Plateau is about half a block north on 27th Ave. The #48 bus line stops at 85th and 26th; the #40 bus line stops at 85th and 24th. Check http://metro.kingcounty.gov/#plan-a-trip for exact details.

If you have any questions about the work party or Friends of North Beach Park, feel free to write lukemcguff@yahoo.com for further information.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

When we began working on North Beach Park, there were numerous places where ivy formed a monoculture on the ground. Looking back, we think about 40% of the trees had ivy up into their crown.

Today, the only places with ivy monocultures are areas that are too steep for anyone but professional crews to work. And Less than 5% of the trees have ivy up into their crowns. In many places of the park, a new generation of trees and shrubs are establishing and in a few years they will become luxurious groves of saplings, shrubs, and groundcover. We’ve seen native plants spring back after invasive removal.

However, there is still plenty of work to be done to restore North Beach Park. There is ivy, blackberry, holly, laurel and bindweed to remove. The alder and big leaf maple trees are at the end of their normal lifespan, and falling at about the rate of three to five a year. This makes it imperative that we keep working to establish a healthy, mixed conifer-deciduous urban forest.

Your donation today, as part of Give BIG, will help us continue this important restoration work. Your generous donation would help us buy more plants and replace tools that are falling apart. Even if you’ve already contributed to another organization, $10 or $15 for Friends of North Beach Park will be a tremendous help for us.

Please donate at this link: The Seattle Foundation | Friends of North Beach Park today. The Seattle Foundation will stretch a portion of your donation. Your generosity will be greatly appreciated and put to good use.

I and all the Friends of North Beach Park thank you.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Whew — the planting is all done! We’d like to give a big shout-out once again to the Washington Native Plant Society for the Stewardship Grant that made all this planting possible, to Doug Gresham for all his technical advice, and to ALL the people who helped on site with the planting. Friends of North Beach Park thanks you, the birds thank you, and future generations, if we’re lucky, will think everything looks untouched by human hands.

Now it’s time to move on… to preparing for next fall’s planting!

On Saturday, March 28th, we’ll start the invasive removal that’s an important part of restoration. Maybe not as much fun as planting, but you have to make room, right?

We will meet at 9 a.m. at the main entrance to the park at 24th Ave. NW and NW 90th St. The work party will last until noon. We will likely need to transport some mulch into the park.

Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming.

Remember to wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and to bring water or a snack if you need them. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (link next to the sign-up form). The #48 bus stops a few blocks south of the park; check Metro for details. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave.

If you can’t join us in March, save the date for April 25th. Sign up here.

As always, you can support Friends of North Beach Park by making a directed donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

And if you’re interested in sustainable cities, and some of the transportation issues facing Seattle, please take a few minutes to take this SDOT survey. It relates to the Move Seattle levy coming up this fall, and has some questions relating to the urban forest.

If you have any questions about the work party or Friends of North Beach Park, feel free to write lukemcguff@yahoo.com for further information.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Another great work party today at North Beach Park! We were able to plant 150 wetland trees and shrubs with time to spare. The plants we installed were:

Scientific Name Common Name
Fraxinus latifolia Oregon ash
Malus fusca Pacific crab apple
Physocarpus capitatus Pacific ninebark
Salix lucida Pacific willow
Salix sitchensis Sitka willow

Five buckets of fun!
Five buckets of fun!

These are all “facultative wetland” plants, which means that 2/3ds of the time they are found growing in wetlands, and about 1/3 or so in slightly dryer areas. They were purchased from 4th Corner Nuseries as partial fulfillment of the Washington Native Plant Society Stewardship Grant that Friends of North Beach Park received last June. It’s been a very successful grant for us, and we look forward to seeing the results in the summer and the coming years.

We had eleven volunteers ranging in age from senior in high school on up to well retired. Here is a picture of two of them:

Spot the volunteers!
Spot the volunteers!

We installed the plants between the stream and the trail, in areas that were primarily salmonberry and red alder. They greatly increase the diversity of plant life in those areas; in a few years, they’ll be taller than the salmonberry and quite striking. Also, when they’re at their full height, they will increase the structural diversity (that’s good for birds as well visual aesthetics). We worked in two sections of the park, the Headwaters Bowl and the Central Valley.

I didn’t take very many pictures this time, but there are a few more on Flickr.

Our next two work parties are scheduled for March 28th and April 25th. We usually skip May, because of Memorial Day weekend, but we’re working on something special that should be a lot of fun. We’ll update with details as they become solidified.

Join us in the woods some time! It’s fun and a great way to meet your neighbors.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

February is the last planting work party of the 2014-2015 planting season in North Beach Park. This month we plant trees and shrubs purchased from Fourth Corner Nurseries as part of the Washington Native Plant Society stewardship grant. These are deciduous trees and shrubs that go well in wetlands and are under-represented or being reintroduced to North Beach Park. Specifically, we’ll be planting Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), Pacific crab apple (Malus fusca), Pacific willow (Salix lucida), and Sitka willow (S. sitchensis)

On Saturday, February 28th we’ll be working in the main body of the park. We’ll be planting on the stream banks and just up the slopes from the bottom of the wetlands.

We will meet at the main entrance to the park at 24th Ave. NW and NW 90th St. and will head into the park shortly after 9. The work party will last until noon. Some areas will need some preparation before being planted. And we’ll mulch as much as we can.

Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming.

Remember to wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and to bring water or a snack if you need them. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (link next to the sign-up form). The #48 bus stops a few blocks south of the park; check Metro for details. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave.

This is the second planting work party installing plants purchased with the WNPS grant. The first was in October, at which we planted wetland-obligate grasses.

As always, if you don’t have the time to join us for a work party, you can support Friends of North Beach Park by making a directed donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation.

All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

If you have any questions, feel free to write lukemcguff@yahoo.com for further information.

Thanks! We look forward to seeing you there.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

The weather forecast was for warm temperatures and “decreasing rain” — we had no rain at all and perfect temperatures.

We had a great crew of fifteen people, including forest stewards and students from the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at the UW.

We planted 75 plants, spread over the South Plateau.
The South Plateau
(This is looking into the South Plateau, which is the largest flat, dry area in the park.)

We planted four Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), more than eleven Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor), and about 15 each dwarf Oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa), sword fern (Polystichum munitum), bald-hip rose (Rosa gymnocarpa), and Nootka rose (R. nutkana). All these plants are under-represented in the South Plateau and have been reintroduced by restoration planting (although not this time). They’ll help to stabilize and buttress slopes and add more visual texture to the currently open and bare area.

Here is an “after” picture of the hearty crew:
The hearty crew

All in all, this was a pretty easy-going work party. We had plenty of time for some ivy and herb robert removal and even some attempts to help slow the water flow down.

The next work party for the Friends of North Beach Park will be February 28, at 9 a.m. We’ll be planting shrubs in the main body of the park. Please sign up here if you’d like to join us.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

One of the great things that has made the restoration of North Beach Park so successful is the fact that three forest stewards (myself, Tad, and Drexie) have gotten together most Mondays for a couple hours.

We started sometime in late 2011, probably during the research for our Master Forester project. And then we just kept going. It was never an obligation, it was always a choice. Sometimes things would come up for one or another of us, sometimes we’d decide it was too cold or rainy.

But four out of five Mondays for the last three+ years would find us in the park, 10 a.m. to noon. Sometimes there would be something I’d want to do, but as often as not we’d decide on the spot what to do. We’d explore the park, put survival rings around trees, check the progress of some plants, water if necessary, and just do whatever. We did a LOT of work party planning. That meant sometimes meeting at Carkeek to label and sort the GSP plant delivery. A couple times we had coffee meetings at Tad or Drexie’s house. Whatever we did, it was a bright point in the week for me.

You’d think that after exploring a little nine acre park just about once a week for a couple years, you’d know it pretty well. But there was always some new discovery to be made — whether something as drastic as a tree fall (this happens at the rate of three or four a year), a new plant we hadn’t seen before, or just a change in perspective from different seasons or being on a hillside and looking into the park from a new angle.

I’m feeling especially aware of this because in a couple days I start a temp assignment that will keep me from being in the park on Mondays for the next several weeks. And I hope by the time that’s over I have a full time job to step into.

I was going to sprinkle this with pictures from the various Mondays… but I don’t feel like wading through Flickr in the way it would take. Here, go browse around for yourself.

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

We’ve set up the first batch of work parties at North Beach Park — come join us for invasive removal, planting, meeting people and sharing good work.

All events start at 9 a.m. and run until about noon, rain or shine. All events are on the fourth Saturday of the month, with specific dates below. Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming!

We welcome all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. High-school aged people should have a Youth Waiver Form signed when they arrive. The form is on the sidebar of the event page.

Please wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and closed-toe shoes that can stand up to a little mud. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and snacks as you need them, but there are no facilities at the park.

For events in the main body of the park, parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave. Parking near the South Plateau is more limited, as the nearest public streets are residential. The #40 and #48 buses stop within a couple blocks of the park. Check Metro Trip Planner for details.

Alright! Now onto the event-specific information:

South Plateau Planting Work Party
January 24, 2015

This is the third of four planting parties in North Beach Park during this planting season. We’ll be installing upland trees and shrubs in the South Plateau area of the park. The entrance is located at 27th Ave NW and NW 88th St. If we have time or enough people, we’ll also do some invasive removal.

Directions: From the intersection of 24th Ave. and 85th St., head west to 26th Ave. Turn right onto 26th Ave. and continue north to 87th St. Turn left onto 87th St. and look for parking. The entrance to the park is a half block or so up 27th Ave., which looks like an alleyway at that point. The South Plateau is below street grade, but the work party should be easily visible.

Wetland Trees and Shrubs
February 28, 2015

Join us for the final planting work party of the planting season! We’ll be planting trees and shrubs appropriate for wetlands and streambanks. They’ll add a nice mid-canopy layer to the wetland stretches of the park. These trees and shrubs were purchased as part of a stewardship grant from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Spring is Bustin’ out all over
March 28, 2015

March is the start of the really pretty days for North Beach Park. Several herbaceous plants and many shrubs are already in bloom and all the deciduous plants are leafing out. If you visit the park sometime when no one else is there, you might be surprised at the amount of bird song you can hear. (During a work party, it might be too noisy to hear much.)

April Work Party
April 25, 2015

This is the last work party of the winter and spring series. Just about everything that can be in bloom will be at this point, and everything is fully leafed out. If the weather is gorgeous, but you can’t quite clear your schedule to get out of the city, come join us in the woods.

That’s it! We take a break in May for a couple reasons. The first is that it’s too close to Memorial Day weekend, and everybody has more fun things to do (I mean, WE think pulling ivy in the park is fun…) The second, and more important, is that it’s the height of nesting season, and we don’t want to disturb the ground and shrub nesting birds that make North Beach Park their home.

And as ever, if you can’t attend a work party, your financial support is more than welcome. Just visit the Seattle Parks Foundation’s North Beach Park page and make a tax-deductible donation. All funds will be used for purchase of materials, supplies, and plants. Thank you in advance!

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holyoutlaw: (me meh)

It’s been a busy week at North Beach Park!

It started last Sunday (16th), when Friends of North Beach Park forest steward Morry (who also works at Llandover Woods) arranged for the forest steward from Llandover, Glenn, to bring some equipment to North Beach Park so we could shoot a video.

Drone
Here is a picture of one of the drones being stabilized before takeoff.

And here is the resultant video:

NorthBeachNovember1080 from Glenn Austin on Vimeo.

I recommend full screen, of course. And turn off any other music so you can hear the wonderful guitar piece Glenn selected for the video.

Making the video was fun, and the results certainly can’t be beat. Now I want to do one every season — easy for me to say, of course, I don’t have to do any of the work. ;> (There are more photos on Flickr.)

Here is a video Glenn made of Llandover Woods.

On Monday, Drexie, Tad, and Luke prepared the plants for the work party. This involved sorting, revising the planting plan, figuring out which was which and what was what, and tagging everything.

Here are Tad (left) and Drexie (center background) tagging the plants:
Tad (left) and Drexie (center background) tagging plants

We took the plants to North Beach and left them in a staging area down the trail. We also saw, much to our dismay, that someone — between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning — dumped at least 43 cans of paint in North Beach Park. The ones I picked up were all full. The Ballard blog posted an article about it. It’s nice to see that most of the comments are upset about the dumping.

The paint cans were pretty quickly picked up, probably Tuesday (thank you, Seattle Parks Department!). But still, considering where they were, someone went to more trouble to dump them in the park than it would have taken to get rid of them legitimately. (Guess what — more photos on Flickr.)

And Saturday was our planting party. In addition to the plants from the Green Seattle Partnership, we had eight Sitka Spruce and one Western Red Cedar provided by a neighbor.

We had help from the iCARE students from North Seattle College again:
iCARE

And we were also joined by students from Circle K International from the UW:
Circle K International

We planted more than 100 plants, and this included a fair amount of prep work for some of the areas. It was a very successful work party.
Plants ready for installation

Our next work party won’t be until January. But there are still work parties at Golden Gardens, Carkeek Park, and Llandover Woods.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

November is the second of FOUR planting work parties in North Beach Park. We hope to plant just over 1000 plants (total). Join us for this quest and help make North Beach Park even better.

Saturday, November 22: We’ll be working in an area that was cleared last winter. Now it needs some extra attention before being planted, so this will be a mixture of a work party. We’ll clear the area first and then plant – 72 plants. It all should go rather quickly.

We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at the main entrance to the park, 90th St. and 24th Ave. NW. We’ll go until 12 noon.

At this work party, Friends of North Beach Park will be joined again by students from North Seattle’s iCARE program for international students, and students from the University of Washington Circle K International.

Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming.

Remember to wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and bring water or a snack if you need them. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (available online). The #40 and #48 buses stop within a few blocks of the park, check Metro for details. Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th.

November 22 will be the first of two planting work parties installing plants provided by Green Seattle Partnership and Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. On January 24, we return to the South Plateau for more GSP plant installation. The last planting work party will happen on February 28, when we install shrubs and small trees in the wetlands provided by the Washington Native Plant Society stewardship grant.

As always, if you don’t have the time to join us for a work party, you can support Friends of North Beach Park by making a directed donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation.

All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

If you have any questions, feel free to write lukemcguff[at]yahoo.com for further information.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

A bulleted list! So you know it’s precise! Considering each HMU where we did some work in 2014, starting with the South Plateau:

South Plateau

  1. Had been neglected since project dropped by previous forest steward.
  2. Neighbor complaints caused us to return to working on it.
  3. Water flow appears to be under control. One forest steward has examined it in the rain and observed that most of the water was flowing into a wood chip pile.
  4. Personal contact was made with two neighbors of the South Plateau, and a homeowner engaged in a gutting and refurbishing of a house. All contacts were positive.
  5. There was one work party in 2014, clearing and planting prep with SPU students.
  6. Issues:
    • Ivy, holly, blackberry, yellow archangel resurgence.
    • Nipplewort, wall lettuce, other annual weeds.
    • Water flow seems to be under control, but still needs to be inspected regularly during heavy rain.
    • Establishment and after care for already established plants.
    • Maintain neighbor relations.
  7. 2015 Plans:
    • January: Planting work party, 128 plants.
    • September: Clearing and prep for planting with SPU students.
    • Forest stewards will continue to work approximately one Monday a month, to maintain cleared areas and prevent reinfestation. We will also attempt to spread seeds of native plants as appropriate, particularly Dicentra Formosa (Pacific bleeding heart).

Central Valley:

  1. Began 2014 with clearing about 800 square feet, down the trail from Knotweed Hill. The clearing happened on both sides of the trail, so it was in both the Central Valley and on the base of the 91st St. Slope.
  2. The area was neglected during the summer months in favor of after care for plants in drier areas of the park – along the North Slope side of the main trail and along the 24th Ave. rim.
  3. A three person crew worked on the area during the August work party.
  4. This area will be planted in the November work party. There will be enough people there to do some clean up first.
  5. Extensive planting happened in the seeps at the eastern edge of the Central Valley during the October work party.
  6. 2015 plans: Forest stewards and work parties will monitor cleared areas to prevent invasive resurgence and provide after care as/if necessary.

91st St. Slope:

  1. In addition to the clearing mentioned above, a thicket of laurel was limbed by forest stewards early in the summer.
  2. This thicket was given both E-Z-Ject and cut and paint treatments to kill the laurel.
  3. Forest stewards will monitor this laurel thicket.

Knotweed Hill (Knotweed Hill is located at the border of the North Slope and the 91st St. Slope HMUs.)

  1. Knotweed Hill was treated for knotweed in the summer of 2014.
  2. There was some watering of the upland plants in the summer, but it has received no other attention.
  3. It needs to be monitored for invasive resurgence and any after care.

Headwaters Bowl (“HWB”):

  1. The narrow, western section of the HWB received about half the plants from the October work party. Some plants were put into bowl section as well.
  2. The area between the north side of the streambank and the main trail received a lot of clearing in 2013 from EarthCorps and Parks Dept. contract crew. These cleared areas need to be regularly inspected to prevent resurgence and to provide after care for plants installed in 2013.
  3. An area of the HWB that has received little attention so far was transected by two forest stewards (Luke and Drexie) in October. We started at the Two Cedars area (about 150 feet down the main trail) and crossed the HWB just west of a line of old Alnus rubra (red alder).
    • North of the stream, we saw a large number of small Vaccinium parvifolium (red huckleberry). It was unclear whether they were planted or volunteers.
    • Immediately south of the stream crossing the soil was very wet and marshy. There were many large Lysichiton americanum (skunk cabbage) leaves dying back. There was also evidence of Equisetum arvense (horsetail) from earlier in the season.
    • Further south of the stream crossing, the ground rose slightly and was dryer. At that point, the Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry) became very thick.
    • There was some Polystichum munitum (sword fern) and Athyrium filix femina (lady fern), but ground cover in general was relatively sparse.
    • There was a thicket of Ribes bracteosum (stink currant) at the border of the wet and dry areas.
    • At the base of the south slope we stopped to write down what we’d seen so far. In addition to the already mentioned plants, there were:
      • Emergent (that is, taller than the shrub layer) Acer macrophyllum (big leaf maple) and Alnus rubra (red alder).
      • Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens (red elderberry) thicket.
      • Sorbus aucuparia, European ash.
      • An apparently dead Populus balsamifera (cottonwood) stake from 2012.
    • Going up the south slope to the houses, we saw:
      • Sword fern as dominant groundcover.
      • Occasional salmonberry, but fairly isolated and lower on the slope. Otherwise, no shrub layer to speak of.
      • Big leaf maple trees dominant towards the middle of the slope, with conifers along the rim (we weren’t able to identify the conifers from that distance).
    • We continued east along the base of the south slope towards the 24th Ave. Slope.
      • Outside of the tree cover, the ivy was very dense, bushy, and had many many seed pods.
      • There were a couple small Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar) that Tad and Luke had liberated from salmonberry in 2012; Luke and Drexie liberated them again.
      • The base of the 24th Ave. rim was dominated by Hedera helix (English ivy), with Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) growing up between it. There was no shrub layer and no regenerating trees.
      • The culvert that empties into the park from the corner of the 24th Ave. slope and the south slope has gouged a deep channel. There is a lot of construction rubble in the channel, but also some large garbage (garbage cans, tires, etc.) that should be removed. This is on private property, but if at all possible it should get treated with some rip rap. The channel is still carved farther down, and at the base of the slope and in the flat area it can receive fascines or woody debris.
  4. For 2015, we will work with the Parks Department to determine what can be the scope of volunteer work in the private property areas of the HWB, and then contact the neighbors to get permission for that work.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

The October work party for Friends of North Beach Park was, once again, a tremendous success. The weather cooperated: it was raining in the morning, but during the work party itself, there were even occasional sunbreaks. It didn’t start raining again until we were safely back home.

We were joined this time by about eleven volunteers from the North Seattle College iCARE program. The students worked hard and well and with the guidance of the forest stewards, we got 450 plants into the ground, which were:

The list

Those are all wetland obligate (they have to live in a wetland) or facultative wetland plants (they prefer wetland environments, but about a third of the time they can be found in drier spots). The Carex amplifolia and Glyceria elata have been seen growing in isolated patches in North Beach Park, but the C. stipata has not been seen in the park at all. The other three have been planted during restoration in small quantities. None of the plants have been seen growing or have been planted near where they were planted Saturday, which will make monitoring of the project in the spring and summer easy.

Julie sorted them into five buckets, 10 or 20 per bucket.

Sorting

The five buckets were to correspond with five areas for receiving the plants. All the plants got put in where they were intended, and we had some extras to spread around.

Working in a seep

Above, we see Loren (bareheaded, in black jacket to the left) and Drexie (kneeling in purple jacket to the right) leading a group of the North Seattle students in planting. They’re working in a seep that wasn’t in the original planting plan, but I was really glad to see get something put into it.

Duckboards

The photo above shows Doug leading other students in planting. They’re standing on “duckboards,” a technical term for sheets of plywood (in this case, just particle board) that you can pick up and move around to avoid churning up the soil of a wetland and breaking the structure. The leaf-fall makes it a little less obvious, but the area they’re about to work in is bare soil, the result of a new shift in the water flow.

Everything went smoothly enough that we were actually done early. Here’s the group picture:

The victorioous crew!

Doug had gone back into the park to plant one straggler. In the back we see Morry on the left, with Drexie, Loren, and Tad in the back center. Julie is kneeling in the front. Everyone else is from North Seattle.

These plants were purchased as partial fulfillment of a stewardship grant from the Central Puget Sound chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. As I said above, these are all plants that are under-represented in North Beach Park or have not yet been observed growing there. Planting them in such great quantities will greatly increase the ecological diversity of North Beach Park at the herbaceous level, and will help stabilize the seeps against erosion.

As usual, there are a few more pictures on Flickr. And there are even some pictures on Facebook, posted by the iCare coordinator.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Planting season has hit the Pacific Northwest, and restoration projects all over the place are getting their shovels dirty. No less is happening in North Beach Park — we have planting parties planned for the next FOUR work parties, October, November, January, and February!

October
The October work party happens Saturday, October 25, from 9 a.m. to noon. Please sign up here. The Friends of North Beach Park will be joined by international students from North Seattle College, volunteering with their I-CARE program.

October features wetland graminoids (grasses) and one forb. These plants will come from 4th Corner Nursery in Bellingham, and are purchased with monies from a stewardship grant from the Central Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society. We also appreciate the support of our fiscal sponsor, Seattle Parks Foundation, for processing the money.

These will be planted in the Headwaters Bowl and Central Valley habitat management units of North Beach Park.

Scientific Name Common name Size Form Number
Carex amplifolia Broad-leaved sedge br Gr 50
Carex stipata Sawbeak sedge br Gr 100
Deschampsia caespitosa Tufted hair-grass br Gr 50
Glyceria elata Tall mannagrass br Gr 100
Juncus ensifolius Daggerleaf rush br Gr 50
Scirpus microcarpus Panicled bulrush br Gr 100
Veronica americana American brooklime br Fo 100

Although this is 550 plants, they’re all pretty small.

November
The November work party will happen on Saturday, the 22nd. Build up that appetite and enjoy your Thanksgiving feast that little bit more, because you’ve done some good for Seattle parks! Sign up here. Friends of North Beach Park will be joined again by international students from the North Seattle College I-CARE program.

November will see more plants installed in the main body of North Beach Park. These plants are provided by Green Seattle Partnership. There will be one tree, one shrub, and two grasses and two forbs.

Scientific Name Common name Size Form Number
Acer macrophyllum bigleaf maple 1 gal Tr 6
Asarum caudatum wild ginger 1 gal Fo 20
Oplopanax horridus Devil’s club 1 gal Sh 10
Petasites frigidus coltsfoot 1 gal Fo 20
Scirpus acutus hardstem bulrush 1 gal Gr 8
Scirpus microcarpus panicled bulrush 1 gal Gr 8

For the first three years of restoration, we planted hundreds of conifer trees in North Beach Park. Now we’re going to switch gears for a while: Let the new conifers establish and get well-situated for the next three to five years, and do some replacement of the deciduous canopy.

We skip December, because the 4th Saturday falls between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We hope you have a good holiday.

January
In January, we return to the South Plateau to plant the last of the plants provided by Green Seattle Partnership. The entrance to the South Plateau is at NW 88th St. and 27th Ave. NW. The January work party will happen on Saturday, the 24th. The event is not posted to Cedar yet, but it will have full directions and information. We DO know what we will be planting, though.

Scientific Name Common name Size Form Number
Holodiscus discolor oceanspray 1 gal Sh 11
Lonicera involucrata twinberry 1 gal Sh 7
Mahonia nervosa dwarf Oregon grape 1 gal Sh 25
Malus fusca Pacific crabapple 1 gal Tr 5
Polystichum munitum sword fern 1 gal Fe 25
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas fir 1 gal Tr 5
Rosa gymnocarpa bald-hip rose 1 gal Sh 25
Rosa nutkana Nootka rose 1 gal Sh 25

February
This will be our last planting work party for the 2014-2015 planting season. Well, that we’re planning on as we write (four months in advance). Who knows what the future portends?

This work party will feature shrubs and small trees, the second half of the stewardship grant purchase from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Scientific Name Common name Size Form Number
Fraxinus latifolia Oregon ash 6-12″ br Tr 50
Malus fusca Pacific Crab Apple 3-6″ br Tr 50
Physocarpus capitatus Pacific ninebark 6-12″ br Sh 50
Salix lucida Pacific willow 6-12″ br Tr 50
Salix sitchensis Sitka Willow 6-12″ br Tr 100

The February work party will be back in the main body of the park, and will happen on the 28th. As soon as the information gets posted to Cedar, we’ll link to it on Nature Intrudes.

We also plan to do a little experiment: Hold back some of the plants of each species, and keep them in a well-tended nursery for a year or two. The question is: Will the plants that get the extra attention have a better survival rate than the plants installed immediately?

That’s a little over a thousand plants altogether. Most of them are going into wetter areas of the park, which means they should make it through the summer drought fairly well.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

Saturday, September 27th was a beautiful day for a work party — and a good time was had by all!

Friends of North Beach park welcomed 16 students from Seattle Pacific University as part of their Cityquest program: Incoming freshman students are sent to locations all over Seattle for a little community service.

Two forest stewards had made elaborate plans for the group, and we were able to keep them busy for all four hours of the work party (FoNBP events are usually three hours). We worked on the South Plateau, which is a great place for a larger work party and needs a lot of attention.

Our plan was to remove as much of the nipplewort (Lapsana communis) and herb robert (Geranium robertianum) as possible. It really got out of hand this year, and unfortunately, the nipplewort had already set seed. It’s normally very easy to remove — it’s a shallow-rooted annual, so just grasp at the base, lift, knock off the dirt, and drop it. But the seed set meant we had to remove it. I’m sure a lot of seeds got knocked off in the process, but it was still better than leaving it there. The herb robert is also easy to remove, but it needs constant attention. It can flower any time of the year, greatly outcompetes native groundcover, and even poisons the soil against other plants. It’s other common name is “stinky bob,” and it has a pungent smell when uprooted.

Our plan was to put down lots of burlap and mulch once the herb robert and nipplewort had been removed. To which end, we had a truck full of burlap.
Tools and burlap

And a big pile of burlap and a lotta buckets!
Assemblage

In fact, about lunchtime we went back and got more burlap. And we had a group of students moving mulch from another location, adding it to the pile above pretty much all day (okay, we fell a little short on the wheelbarrows).

Speaking of lunchtime, it gave us all a chance to sit down and for the students to get acquainted with each other a bit.
Lunch

After lunch, it was back to the work: removing nipplewort and herb robert, putting mulch around already-installed plants, and building some ivy platforms.

Here is a group of volunteers in the basin of the South Plateau. When residents of Labateyah began working in the South Plateau in 2012, this was an impenetrable mass of blackberry and ivy that one forest steward thought it would take years to clear.
The South Plateau

By the end of the day, we were definitely dragging. But we had enough energy to smile for a group photograph.
The valiant crew!
Morry (in the back left), Tad (on the right, in a white hat) and Wenny (first row right, in the fuschia hoodie) were from Friends of North Beach Park. Everyone else is form SPU!

Thank you, SPU and Cityquest! We look forward to hosting you again next year.

(As usual, there are some more photos on Flickr.)

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

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