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.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

holyoutlaw: (me meh)

It was rainy for the 10th annual Green Seattle Day, but this was hardly the worst weather I’ve experienced. There were about 16 events all over the city; I went to St. Mark’s Greenbelt. We had 300 plants to put in and ably met the task. There are five forest stewards at St. Mark’s, some of whom have been working there as long as ten years, some only a couple.

Low Oregon grape, sword fern, salal, and some other plants ready to be installed.

Low Oregon grape, sword fern, salal, and some other plants ready to be installed.

There was a good crowd of people, about 25 to start with.

Getting to work

Getting to work

The rain never got too hard to be soaking, but it did give all the plants a nice thorough drink as we planted them. We installed Douglas and grand fir, tall and low Oregon-grape, sword and deer fern, nootka and bald hip rose, cascara, and a few others. In preparation for the planting, invasives had been removed over the summer and the work area covered in burlap. When my coworker pulled the burlap aside once, we found two different kinds of insect eggs, I have no idea what kind.

Two kinds of insect eggs.

Two kinds of insect eggs.

Getting all the plants in took less than the allotted time. A number of people took off before we had the chance for a group photo, but here are the stalwarts.

About half the workers.

About half the workers.

The fun wasn’t over yet, though, as we set to removing ivy that had grown up into the canopy of a few nearby trees.

They could sure use it.

They could sure use it.

Attacking the problem.

Attacking the problem.

Result!

Result!

Two important clarifications: (a) The two people in the second-to-last photograph were not the only ones who worked. (b) There were several more trees worked on than in this photo.

By this time, almost everyone but the forest stewards and four or five die-hard volunteers had left. There was still the all-important “must be present to win” raffle. I even think it went to the hardest-working volunteer.

Angel, with the backpack donated by REI.

Angel, with the backpack donated by REI.

One thing I like to do when volunteering at Green Seattle Day or Duwamish Alive, or any other large planting effort, is think about all the people all over the area (the Green/Duwamish watershed or the city of Seattle) who are pitching in to help make the future a little better, and how all our work connects together.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

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