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August 19th, 2014


03:52 pm - August work party already?!?!?!?

Apologies for the short notice, but the time for the August work party is already upon us.

The August work party is this Saturday, August 23, from 9 a.m. to Noon. We’ll work in an area that was cleared last winter, removing any weeds that have returned, mulching, and getting ready for the planting that will happen in November.

Please join us, the work is always fun and it’s great to see the improvements in this hidden little park.

Wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and sturdy, closed shoes. Even if it’s warm, long sleeves will help protect a little against nettles and blackberries. We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack if you need them, but there are no facilities at the park.

Parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th, and on 24th north of 90th. The #61 bus runs past the park, and the #s 48 and 40 stop a few blocks away. Check Metro for details.

Please register so we can make our plans. And, as always, if you can’t attend a work party, please consider making a donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. You’ll get a tax deduction for the donation, and all funds will be spent on restoration of the park. Click here to support North Beach Park.

Our September work party will happen on the 4th Saturday as usual (the 27th), but will be at a different time and location. We’ll be meeting at the South Plateau, at 27th Ave. and 88th St., and students from Seattle Pacific University on CityQuest will be joining us. The work party will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and have a lunch break.

Thank you, and we hope you’re enjoying your summer!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

August 3rd, 2014


12:50 pm - Art in the Garden 2014

For the third year in a row, Friends of North Beach Park have had a booth at Art in the Garden.

First Set Up
This year we had two tables instead of just one. That made for a much nicer display, I think.

This was our most successful year so far, in terms of getting people to sign up for our email list. I’ve already sent out a “welcome” email, and none of them bounced, so I guess I read all the addresses correctly and nobody spoofed me. Score!

We love Art in the Garden because we always meet people who live near the park, grew up near it, have seen it before and after restoration began. We also meet people who say “Oh, I didn’t know that was a park! I’ll have to check it out!” It’s great not to just get positive feedback, but to have the possibility of introducing people to such a great little urban escape.

The "main table"
The table we sat behind.

The second table
The other table. The book that people picked up most frequently was “Seattle Geographies.”

Our Celebrity Spokesmodel!
Our Celebrity Spokesmodel!

Julie got a bouquet of flowers for our booth. Art in the Garden is a fundraiser for the Ballard P-Patch, and this year they had a bouquet table with fresh-cut flowers from the p-patch itself. They were all very pretty!

The Seattle Santa!
The Seattle Santa

We had a surprise drop-in visit from Santa! Even he’s feeling the economic pinch, he’s had to take a summer job as a garden gnome.

After things slowed down in the mid-afternoon, I took a walk through the garden and took several photos of flowers and vegetables.

Garden Shots
Blooms!

Because of the warm weather this summer, everything was growing like gangbusters. You can see the whole set of photos on Flickr.

Will we do it again next year? Of course! Although… well, as tasty as it all was… we’ll probably do a better job of avoiding the food trucks. We love them a little too much!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

July 26th, 2014


05:26 pm - July Workparty Report

Sometimes, a small work party is just the thing.

Four volunteers from OneBrick Seattle joined three Friends of North Beach Park for a little mid-summer aftercare watering for plants that we’ve planted in the last couple years.

This might seem paradoxical, because aren’t “native” plants adapted to this weather, and able to survive the summer with no problem? That’s true of well-established plants, getting the care one gives a garden. However, giving a plant even a gallon a week of some water can help it survive the worst of the summer drought, and establish better in the following winter. A gallon might not seem like much, but pouring it directly onto the root crown means very little is wasted.

And summer work parties are generally pretty small — who wants to spend a wonderful morning in the city, even in a forested park, when you could get out and about? So that’s a good time to do some watering and after care.

After Care
NB: The person is watering the fern, not the ivy. Just to be clear.

Here is (most of) the crew:
The Crew
That’s Morry in the back, Nan in the front, and then Kegan, Jon, and Mai Lin left to right. Nan, Kegan, Jon, and Mai Lin signed up for the work party via OneBrick Seattle. (Not in the picture is Julie, who had done about as much watering on her own as the rest of the crew put together.)

Friends of North Beach Park will be at Art in the Garden, on Saturday, August 2nd — next week! Stop by and say hello and talk to us about North Beach Park. We’ll have information about North Beach Park, what we’re working on, and our plans for the future. We’ll also have information from some of our supporting organizations.

Stop by to say hello, stick around for the art, the garden, the silent pie auction, and the food trucks! A very pleasant little neighborhood fair.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

July 16th, 2014


04:24 pm - July Work Party Announcement and News

We hope you and yours are keeping cool and surviving the heat as well as possible.

Saturday, July 26th, 9 a.m.: The predictions were for a hot, dry El Nino summer and so far that’s exactly what we’re getting. We’re going to focus on watering and aftercare for the upland plants again this month. That means, as for June, we’ll be (carefully) getting buckets of water from the stream and watering plants along the rim and main trail. A great way to get some exercise in! (Unless it’s raining, then we’ll do something else.) Please sign up on Cedar so we can make our plans.

We meet, rain or shine, 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. Long sleeves and long pants are recommended, even in the hot weather. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack as you need them but there are no facilities at the park. All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parking is 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.

Save the date for upcoming workparties: August 23rd, September 27th (we’ll be joined by students from Seattle Pacific University CityQuest), and October 25th – hopefully it will be cooling off by then! All workparties are 9 a.m. to 12 noon and meet at the main entrance to the park (90th and 24th).

The Groundswell NW Open Space Inventory has been extended to the end of August. We’ve added a few places around North Beach Park, but we know there are plenty of others. Find out more at Ballard Open Space Plan. Or take the open space survey.

Can’t join us for a work party? You can always support our restoration efforts by making a tax-deductible donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. All moneys donated will be used for the restoration of North Beach Park. Please visit their new and improved website at for more information. And check out their donor appreciation rewards!

Another great way to help — take a walk in the park! It’s a pretty refreshing break on these hot days.

See you in the woods!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

June 29th, 2014


09:43 pm - June Work Party Report

Eight friends of North Beach Park gathered Saturday (6/28) morning to help restore this neighborhood pocket of our urban forest. This month, we concentrated on aftercare, weeding and watering plants that had been planted in the last year or two. Generally, restoration plants are left to sink or swim on their own. But even a little water in their first year or two can be very helpful in getting them fully established to survive the summer droughts.

Weeding, watering, and after care

We concentrated on the rim of the park, along 24th Ave., and along the upland side of the first couple hundred feet of the main trail.

Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
This salal is looking pretty good. Salal takes a while to establish, but can really take off after a few years. The fact that it has flowers is a good sign.

Overall, it was a pretty easy going work party. The people who brought wheelbarrows of water up from the stream, or the people who brought the tires up from the wetlands, might disagree with me. ;> But I do know a good time was had by all.

As always, there are a few more photos on Flickr.

***

There is a lot happening in the park this summer, restoration-wise. We’ve already had a visit from SPU, a drainage specialist and a wetland scientist, to talk about our wetlands and what we can do (they were favorably impressed, and made some good suggestions).

Monday, June 30, we’re going to do a cross-gradient transect of the park, examining plant life and restoration issues in detail along a nearly 700 foot line. We’ll be working with Stewart Wechsler.

In early July, we’ll have a visit with a person from King Conservation District, who will help us plan some outreach and financing (through grants) larger projects in the park.

And in July and August, I (Luke) will be working on a restoration management plan for the park. A lot of the information provided by the site reviews and transect will be used in the management plan.

Our next work party is July 26th, 9 a.m. to noon. We’ll meet at the main entrance to the park, 90th St. and 24th Ave NW. Wear weather-appropriate layers and sturdy shoes that can get dirty, bring water or a snack if you need it. We’ll provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Join us and find out how much fun it is to help restore our forested parks.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

June 8th, 2014


09:00 am - June Workparty and Other News

This is a longer than usual post this time because there is so much to catch up on! But we start with the important bit: The work party announcement.

Saturday, June 28th, 9 a.m.: Welcome the early days of summer to North Beach Park at our June work party. Because the spring was relatively dry, we’re going to concentrate on after care for some of the newer plants in the upland areas. That means we’ll be getting buckets of water from the stream (carefully) and watering plants along the rim and main trail. A great way toget some exercise in! (Unless it’s raining, then we’ll do something else.) Please sign up on Cedar so we can make our plans.

We meet, rain or shine, 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 provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack as you need them but there are no facilities at the park. All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parking is 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.

Save the date for upcoming workparties: July 26th, August 23rd, and September 27th. All workparties are 9 a.m. to 12 noon and meet at the main entrance to the park (90th and 24th).

Saturday, June 14th, 10 a.m.: Join Groundswell NW next week for the Ballard Open Space Discovery Day in Ballard Commons Park (57th and 22nd). Groundswell did an open space inventory for Ballard in 1996 and used that information to create many parks. The needs of Ballard have changed, and what we consider open space has changed as well. Friends of North Beach Park will be working with Groundswell NW in the area between 24th and 32nd Ave., and from 85th St. north to 100th St. We know there is a lot of open space that could be brought forward into better public use. Find out more Or take the open space survey.

North Beach Park News: Friends of North Beach Park was recently awarded a $500 stewardship grant from the Washington Native Plant Society. We’ll use this money to improve our wetland plantings. We’d like to thank the members of the Washington Native Plant Society – Central Puget Sound Chapter for their role in making this grant possible. The plants will be installed starting in early fall.

We’d like to say thank you to all the donors who made “GiveBIG” on May 6th so successful for North Beach Park. We raised more than $800, and the donors ranged from neighbors of the park to as far away as Wisconsin and Georgia. All this money will go to our restoration efforts. If you would like to donate, please see below.

A video crew from the Seattle Channel joined our April work party to document how burlap sacks are used in Seattle Parks. Most of the burlap used is donated by Distant Lands Coffee, and we’re grateful to have a good supply of free burlap to use on our hillsides. Watch the video.

Also in April, FoNBP was awarded one of the Groundswell NW 2014 “Local Hero” awards for our work in the park. We got the chance to meet the Mayor and babbled like an idiot when it came time to say thank you. But great fun was had by all.

Can’t join us for a work party? You can always support our restoration efforts by making a tax-deductible donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. All moneys donated will be used for the restoration of North Beach Park. Please visit their website for more information.

Thank you for participating and helping in the restoration of North Beach Park.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

June 1st, 2014


09:00 am - Ballard Open Space Survey

Groundswell NW, one of the supporting organizations for the Friends of North Beach Park, is undertaking an open space inventory in Ballard, starting June 14th.

Groundswell NW did a survey in 1996, and used the information to help create traffic circles, many neighborhood corner parks, and such places as the Salmon Bay Natural Area and Crown Hill Glen. Since the 1990s, the idea of “open space” has changed. It now includes areas for farmers markets, p-patches, greenways, and street right-of-way landscaping. The open spaces that Groundswell has helped to create have improved the nature and character of living in Ballard.

Ballard has changed in the mean time as well. Downtown (or Central) Ballard is going through an unprecedented growth spurt, with many apartment buildings, in-fill town homes, and condominiums transforming the landscape. A detailed inventory and survey of open space possibilities will allow us to not only preserve but enhance the open space available to all residents.

Friends of North Beach Park will be helping Groundswell with this survey. As you might guess, we’ll be walking through the North Beach [pdf] area. There are a number of other ravines near North Beach Park, which could be restored to functioning urban forest, and provide important wildlife connectivity between Carkeek Park and Golden Gardens. There are also some undeveloped lots that could be used to improve street grid connections, or just provide a place to sit.

And last but not least, we look forward to walking through the North Beach neighborhood and getting to know our neighbors a little better.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

May 30th, 2014


09:53 am - North Beach Park in the News!

As you may remember from the April work party report, a video crew joined us to see how we used burlap sacks in our restoration.

And here it is! (About three minutes.)

I’m on camera once or twice and used a little bit in a voice over. The best parts for me, though, is the videography — some of the close ups of the park, and the long shots of the forest.

So, thank you to all: Distant Lands Coffee, for the years of burlap sacks to all parks; to Nicole Sanchez and Seattle Channel for reporting, and to Vital Content PR for setting this up.

And a reminder: Our next work party is coming up — June 28th. See you then! Help us give our new plants the after care they need for a good start.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

May 7th, 2014


10:40 am - THANK YOU!

Thank you to everyone for a very successful GiveBIG for Friends of North Beach Park. We raised more than $800, with donations coming from as far as Atlanta, GA and as nearby as the rim of the park itself.

This generosity is flattering, humbling, and challenging. Flattering, because it means the work of Friends of North Beach Park is being recognized. Humbling, because it causes us to reflect on how much work there is to be done. And challenging, because it gives us a tool to do that work.

Thank you, for all you’ve done for North Beach Park. And we look forward to working together in the future.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

May 5th, 2014


09:00 am - Recognition of our Work

There are some important ways in which the work of Friends of North Beach Park has been recognized.

In 2012, we received a Groundswell NW microgrant of $500 that we used for the purchase of tools and some outreach supplies.

Tools purchased with the grant money from Groundswell NW
Some of the tools we purchased.

In 2014, Groundswell NW again recognized Friends of North Beach Park by awarding Luke its “Local Hero” award. This award is shared among all the people who have worked to restore North Beach Park, particularly the other forest stewards who are there week in and week out, or who come to every work party.

And, although details still need to be ironed out, Friends of North Beach Park was just awarded a Washington Native Plant Society Stewardship Grant. This grant is another recognition of the growing success of our work in restoring North Beach Park, and will add to that success. We will use it to purchase a suite of wetland plants to plant into the bottoms of the park. Our native wetland plants have much deeper and more complicated root systems than the invasive ivy and blackberry they’re replacing.

There is, of course, still years of work to be done. You can help us with this work by donating to Friends of North Beach Park, tomorrow, May 6th, any time between midnight and midnight.

Donating during GiveBIG is a great way to support our restoration efforts. Your tax-deductible donation will be matched by the Seattle Foundation, and all moneys received will be used for the restoration of North Beach Park. We’re entirely volunteer run, with no paid staff or office costs, so even $25 will have a large impact.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

May 3rd, 2014


09:15 am - GiveBIG for North Beach Park

Tuesday, May 6th, GiveBIG for North Beach Park!

Go to the Friends of North Beach Park page on the Seattle Foundation website, on Tuesday, May 6th, and your tax-deductible donation to support the restoration of North Beach Park will be stretched by the Seattle Foundation.

All moneys raised will go toward the restoration of North Beach Park, whether it’s to buy new plants, reserve crew time, help fund community outreach, or provide educational resources. Friends of North Beach Park is entirely volunteer-driven, with no staff and no offices, so even $25 will be a tremendous help.

If you can’t join us for a 4th Saturday work party, this is a great way to show your support. In three years of restoration, we’ve made tremendous progress so far, and as we begin our 4th year of restoration, even greater progress lies ahead. We’ve removed trash and invasive plants, and reintroduced many native plants to the park, from trees down to flowers and grasses. Help us continue this work with your GiveBig donation on May 6th!

Thank you for your continued support.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

April 27th, 2014


01:09 pm - April Work Party Report

A sudden opportunity provided itself a few weeks ago: The Seattle Channel was interested in doing a piece on Distant Lands Coffee, and how the burlap sacks they donate are being used in Seattle Parks for restoration. Always eager to get my face out in front, I leapt at the chance.

It became a Thing, with representatives of the coffee company, the Parks Department, people from Vital Content PR (who set the whole thing up) and several volunteers willing to put up with the disruptions. Still, we got some good work done. Well, the people who actually did the work.

What we did was build wattles to place against the ravine wall. The main path into the park is probably a logging road cut straight into the ravine side, leaving some places where it’s sheer. Wattles, made of burlap sacks half-filled with wood chips, can help support the wall while plants in front of it establish. As the wattles decay over time, they provide more planting surface and gradually (we hope) build enough structure in front of the wall to stabilize and buttress it.


Here are some volunteers starting to work on the wall.


And here is a completed wall. Some of the sticks in front of the wattles are Pacific nine-bark (Physocarpus capitatus) live stakes. They’re pretty burly, so even if they don’t establish, they’ll provide support. And we can keep putting in woody shrubs (and eventually trees) to buttress the wall.

But I was taken up with the video.


Mark Mead (left; from the parks department) being interviewed by Nicole Sanchez (right; from the Seattle Channel) about Green Seattle Partnership. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a good shot of the representative from Distant Lands being interviewed.

I also didn’t get a shot of the demonstration mulching project in-progress, but here it is finished:


That’s new wood chip mulch laid down on empty burlap sacks. This will help hold the trail in place for a while.

Finally, they talked to me about restoration in general and the use of burlap sacks.


Ms. Sanchez and her camera operator are amused that I pulled out a camera and took a picture of them (and I’m amused by the smart phone reaching up in the background).

This was at the foot of a slope we worked on in 2012. It was an ivy monoculture, and when we removed the ivy it turned out to be much steeper than it had appeared. So we had to cover it with burlap sacks, plant into it, and then cover all that with mulch. The last planting was in the fall of 2013. So far, it has a very good establishment rate. In fact, I stood right next to a big leaf maple sapling that was happily putting out leaves (another thing I forgot to get a picture of).

After that, we wrapped up with some b-roll and then the camera crew and publicists and all associated personnel departed. The people who were actually doing the work that day had finished by then as well, so we wrapped things up with a tour through the park. Among other things we saw:


Slough Sedge flowers! There is a large stand of slough sedge in the park, but it’s growing in the shade. This slough sedge, which we planted last fall, is getting enough sunlight to flower. The flowers aren’t pretty, but I was sure happy to see them.


Tufted hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia) that looks to be establishing well.

And finally just a great view of the park in full-on spring:

All the big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) in the background had ivy covering the trunk and reaching into their crowns. They now breathe a little easier.

Our next work party isn’t until June 28, but there is plenty to keep you entertained until then, not to mention work parties at Golden Gardens (May 10th), Carkeek Park (May 17th), and Llandover Woods (May 11th).

And don’t forget Give Big Seattle, coming up on May 6th, which Friends of North Beach Park will be participating in. More information to come!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

April 17th, 2014


01:22 pm - Letter to the City Council

I am a forest steward with Green Seattle Partnership since 2011. I am also a regular voter, and have voted for everyone on the City Council.

English ivy is a serious problem in Seattle. It’s taking over our forests, preventing regeneration of seedlings and shortening the lives of our mature trees. It’s epidemic throughout our park system. With no action taken, it will seriously degrade our parks and make them not only unusable for people, but destroy their ability to provide many of the ecological services parks provide.
Unfortunately, the most effective way to remove ivy is by hand. This makes it prohibitively expensive to control – unless you have a large pool of dedicated volunteers, and a large organization that can provide city-wide logistical and material support.

Green Seattle Partnership forest stewards are that pool of volunteers. They provide hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of volunteer labor annually. The Green Seattle Partnership is that organization. It provides tools, training, resources, outreach assistance, and coordination of logistics. It helps avoid duplication of effort, and makes sure we’re all working towards the same goal with the same tools and techniques.

My work is concentrated in North Beach Park, a 9-acre ravine park in Northwest Seattle. Green Seattle Partnership was there from the start. We’re now entering our fourth year of restoration. More than 20% of the park has been cleared of invasive plants, and a couple thousand trees, shrubs, and groundcover plants have been planted. North Beach Park has become an education resource for everyone from elementary students in the school across the street to UW students in the Master of Environmental Horticulture program. It has become a source of community and friendship to the regular volunteers and those who drop in just once or twice. These work parties provide an important contact to local nature, and help to instill and improve our sense of place.

Multiply this across the city, from the largest to the smallest natural area, and you can see the tremendous impact that the Green Seattle Partnership has on Seattle.

As we remove invasive monocultures and restore native diversity, we’re doing more than making the parks prettier for the human users. We’re providing resources for all wild life, from larvae through adult insects and the birds that eat them. We’re improving the ecological services that the urban forest provides: the stormwater retention, the erosion control, and the water purification. We’re bringing back iconic plants, such as the Western Red Cedar, the Douglas-fir (and the more humble but no less iconic low Oregon-grape and Western skunk cabbage) – plants that say “this is the Pacific Northwest.”

To pay for all this work directly would cost many times the request of Green Seattle Partnership in the proposed Parks budget. This is why I say that the Green Seattle Partnership is not a luxury but a necessity, not a liability but a valid and rewarding investment.

Please restore the Green Seattle Partnership funding to the proposed parks budget.

Thank you for your time. I’m more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

April 12th, 2014


06:53 pm - April Work Party at North Beach Park

Saturday, April 26th, 9 a.m.: Spring is in full glory in North Beach Park. All the leaves are fresh and bright green, more things are blooming every day. The birds are singing their hearts out and it’s just a joy to be there. Join us as we begin our 4th year (!) of restoration and clear new areas of invasive plants and work to restore this park to native diversity. Please sign up so we can make our plans.

We meet, rain or shine, 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 provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack as you need them but there are no facilities at the park. All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parking is 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.

Save the date for upcoming workparties: June 28th, July 26th , and August 23rd. They’re also 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and meet at the main entrance to the park.

Can’t join us for a work party? Save the date for GIVE BIG SEATTLE (May 6) and GIVE BIG FOR NORTH BEACH PARK. Give Big Seattle is a special one day online citywide fundraising event coordinated by the Seattle Foundation. A certain percentage of all donations will be stretched by the Seattle Foundation. There will be more information coming soon via postcard and email. All moneys received will go to restoration efforts for North Beach Park. Donating is an important and appreciated show of community support.

News: We would like to thank Groundswell NW for awarding one of their 2014 “Local Hero” awards to Luke McGuff for his work in the role of the restoration efforts at North Beach Park. The award is both flattering and inspiring. Thank you!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

March 30th, 2014


02:13 pm - Outreach Resources

Here are the links that were on the handout for the forest steward refresher training on March 29, 2014. At the end I’ve added links and information received from comments during the presentation.

Green Seattle Partnership Forest Steward Outreach Toolkit
First place to go for public outreach resources. There is a PDF listing neighborhood events, with the general dates of the events and links to the sponsoring organization when known. </p>

GSP provides a great kit of outreach materials, including numerous brochures, a small banner, and a table skirt. You can also get a pop-up canopy. Contact Andrea Mojzak at least four weeks in advance to reserve the materials. You have to transport to and from the Forterra offices (or storage locker).

ESRM 100 (UW)
All UW students are required to take this class. One of the assignments is to attend a three-hour restoration work party. The attendance can vary widely from the advance sign up, but we’ve found that the students who do show up work. The assignment is due about week six, so you’re more likely to get students early in the quarter.

Write to the TAs at eschelp[at]uw[dot]edu. Provide all the helpful details: the date and time of the work party, address of meeting location, the work you’ll be doing, what you’ll provide (there was a suggestion of “food” which makes sense)bus routes that stop near the park, and parking availability. I always offer a tour of the park or a Q&A about restoration and about half the time it happens. You have to provide a follow-up email to the TA’s saying who participated.

Facebook
There are a number of “Friends of…” Facebook pages that might be of interest to forest stewards. These include Friends of Cheasty Greenspace/Mt. View, Friends of Lewis Park, Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest, Friends of the Atlantic City Nursery/Rainier Beach Urban Farm, Friends of the Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt, Friends of Green Lake, and Friends of the Jungle. If you know of others, please mention them in a comment.

And let’s not forget, of course, Green Seattle Partnership Forest Stewards, which I hardly need mention because of course you’re already subscribed to that page. ;>

YMCA Earth Service Corps
There are numerous clubs in high schools throughout Seattle. They tend to be focused on on-campus projects, but they might be interested in joining a work parghety or visiting a restoration site. There was a large group from the Ballard HS club that worked in Golden Gardens recently. If a school near your park is not listed on the website above, write to Geoff Eseltine at geseltine [at] seattleymca [dot] org and he’ll let you know if there’s a club in your school. Not every school has a club.

Other Possibilities

This list includes ideas from the workshop and some things I just started looking into. In most cases, the only thing that’s happened so far is I’ve sent a query/contact email.

ENVIR 100
Introductory class for Program on the Environment students. This includes a component for a project in a local park. I’ve written to the advisor.
Seattle One Brick
From their website: “One Brick provides support to local non-profit and community organizations by creating a unique, social and flexible volunteer environment for those interested in making a concrete difference in the community. We enable people to get involved, have an impact and have fun, without the requirements of individual long-term commitments.”

I filled out their “Request Help” form Friday evening. Here is more information.

Intrafraternity Council
Panehellenic Association
The fraternities and sororities often have a service component. In both cases, I’ve sent a query email to their general contact address.

If you have any information on ways for forest stewards to do outreach, please feel free to leave it in the comments. I’ll make a new post if something works out really well.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

March 25th, 2014


09:42 pm - March Work Party Report

March work party crew
The valiant crew: Loren, Drexie, Morrie, Ryan, and Tasha (left to right).

The day was cloudy, but dry; the temperature cool enough to get us moving, but not warm enough to make us uncomfortable. The ground was wet from the March rains and we were all eager to get some work in. All in all, this made for a very productive work party.

TIdying the mulch pile
Loren tidies the mulch pile.

We started by tidying up the mulch pile. We’d ordered it last summer for a big project that cooler heads decided should be done by people experienced with steep slope work but have been nibbling at it ever since. This has allowed us to do some low-priority but still important mulching — such as along the 90th St. edge.

90th St.
Drexie, Ryan, and Tasha spread the mulch.

This doesn’t get much run off, but it’s a visible little slice of the park — not only the people who live up on 25th Ave. drive past it, but the moms’n'dads picking up their children from North Beach Elementary park along the other side of the street.

The mulching didn’t take long at all, which allowed us to go to the newly cleared area at 850 feet. We started working in this area in February, and we’ll work our way upstream until we meet where EarthCorps left off last year. In the fall and winter, we’ll plant it up.

We picked this area because it’s fairly dry and stable, and so overgrown with blackberry it’s a monoculture.

Cleared area
Everything at Loren’s feet is blackberry cane; rising up behind him are the brambles.

One nice side effect of the clearing was that it made more of the park that’s across the stream visible, such as this grove of skunk cabbage.

Skunk cabbage grove

Before we cleared the blackberry, it was completely obscured. The area we’re working in is also a big gap in the canopy, so it will be a good place to prioritize conifer reintroduction.

In April, we’ll continue working here. We have to balance where we work against a couple logistics: Don’t want to work too close to the stream bank until the summer, when it’s dryer; and don’t want to work in areas with a lot of piggyback or Pacific waterleaf until those have bloomed and died back. One lesson (among many) I’ve learned repeatedly is that a gradual approach is best, to take some time and learn the lay of the land and get to know the processes of the forest better.

Our next work party is April 26th, 9 a.m. to noon. As ever, we’ll meet at the main entrance to the park, at 90th St. and 24th Ave. All ages and skill sets are welcome.

If you can’t join us for a work party, you can support our work by making a donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation and earmarking it for North Beach Park. All proceeds donated will go to support the Friends of North Beach Park in our restoration efforts.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

March 9th, 2014


08:21 pm - March at North Beach Park

Saturday, March 22, 9 a.m.: Spring is busting out all over in North Beach Park. Skunk Cabbage is coming up in the wetlands, Pacific water leaf up in the trailsides, red flowering currant and Indian plum are blooming on the slopes, and everything is leafing and budding and getting ready to pop. Please sign up in advance on Cedar so we can make our plans.

We meet, rain or shine, 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 provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack as you need them but there are no facilities at the park. All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parking is 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.

After the workparty, starting about 12:30, join us for a Washington Native Plant Society field trip and restoration seminar. Here are the details:

Restoration Seminar of North Beach Natural Area, Saturday, March 22, 12:30 – 2:30
North Beach Park is a 9 acre ravine park in NW Seattle that has been under restoration since 2011. The bottomland is a permanently saturated wetland, yet there are also dry upland slopes, providing a variety of microenvironments in a small area. We’ll talk about some of the issues and opportunities facing restoration in small urban forests. We’ll also talk about the different forest types and what they mean to restoration efforts. We’d like this to be a seminar on restoration, and welcome any and all input.

Trail description: The trail has some moderate elevation changes, and is occasionally narrow and slippery. There are two log stream crossings.

Contact: Luke McGuff, 206-715-9135, lukemcguff@yahoo.com (email preferred).

Save the date for upcoming workparties: April 26th, June 28th, and July 26th. They’re also 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and meet at the main entrance to the park.

Can’t join us for a work party? Donate to the Seattle Parks Foundation to support restoration efforts at North Beach Park. Visit their website and click on the “Donate” button. Your donation is tax-deductible. Money will be used for tools, materials, and supplies. Donating is an important and appreciated expression of community support.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

February 16th, 2014


06:02 pm - February Work Party at North Beach Park

Saturday, February 22, 9 a.m.: Show some LOVE to our favorite ravine with the Friends of North Beach Park. Join us to remove some of the bluebells that come up every spring. There are already plenty of other signs of spring: skunk cabbage is coming up, osoberry and other shrubs are starting to bud. Sign up in advance so we can make our plans.

We meet, rain or shine, 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 provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and a snack as you need them but there are no facilities at the park. All ages and skill levels are welcome, but children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Parking is 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.

Save the date for upcoming work parties: March 22nd, April 26th, and June 28th. They’re also 9 a.m. to 12 noon, and meet at the main entrance to the park.

Can’t join us for a work party? Donate to the Seattle Parks Foundation to support restoration efforts at North Beach Park. Visit their website and click on the “Donate” button. Your donation is tax-deductible.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

January 26th, 2014


01:35 pm - January Work Party Report

The day started out cool and foggy, as a couple early arrivals helped us unload some late-season wetland plants.

Unloading the plants.
Drexie, Julie, Damore’ea, and Keishawn finish up unloading.

The Plants
The plants came to us in early December, and had been stored through the cold snap in the Carkeek nursery. Hopefully they’ve survived our benign neglect.

Sometimes we get ESRM 100 students at a work party. This is a class on the environment that everyone at the UW has to take. One of the assignments is to attend a 3 hour restoration work party and write a brief paper. I knew Damore’ea and Keishawn were from the UW from their address on the sign-up form, but I had no idea they were stars of the football team. Tad did, though, and was very impressed.

Football stars
John, Keishawn, Tad, Damore’ea.

Once we got all that sorted out, we set to work. First the ESRM students transported a few cubic yards of mulch into the forest, then Tad worked with them to clear some ivy and plant. As frequently happens, I didn’t get a picture of everyone working.

But here are three volunteers.
Headwaters Bowl
That’s Julie, Wenny, and Drexie (left to right) planting wetland plants into the bottom of the Headwaters Bowl. This is a permanently saturated area and everything we plant does well. So we’ll keep planting away as long as we’re able.

There were also some signs of spring in the park:

Siberian miner’s lettuce (Claytonia sibirica) is starting to sprout.
Sign of Spring
This is a very tasty little plant that goes well in salad mixes.

SIgn of Spring
The Pacific Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum tenuipes) is also starting to come back. This sprouts in the spring (I think this is a little early, because we’ve had such a relatively warm winter), blooms in early summer, and then dies back completely by August. The blooms are nothing to write home about, but the pollinators love them. I remember one summer the Waterleaf patches were humming with bees.

In addition to the planting that other people were doing, a high school student and I did some mulching.

Before
Before the mulching.

After mulching
After mulching — much better. This strip along 90th St. gets some street run off, so the mulch there will help slow it down and infiltrate the soil, rather than just run off onto the slope.

After that, it was mostly wrapping up. The last few plants were planted, Tad took the ESRM 100 students on a tour of the park, and we had time for a last group shot:

"After" group picture
Back row: John (left), Damore’ea (right). Middle, left to right: Morry, Tad, Julie. Front, left to right: Keishawn, Drexie, Wenny.

Our next work party will be February 22nd. All the usual details apply. We hope you can join us, the park should be much greener then!

There are a few more pictures on flickr.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

January 19th, 2014


06:09 pm - Heron Habitat Helpers Open House

On Saturday (18th) Friends of North Beach Park tabled at the Heron Habitat Helpers open house. We shared a table with Groundswell NW, who had made the connection for us to be there.

Shared Table
Shared table.

Friends display
Our side of the table.

Looking at this, I’d do a couple things differently. The laptop had a slideshow of photos from the park running on it, but nobody really noticed them. More prints of photos would be good. I like the idea of photos just tossed onto the table, that people can sort through and pick up. Another thing would be a nice poster behind our display. We used to have a trifold that we took to events, but in the course of carting it around, it got a little banged up.

There were some pelts (beaver and raccoon) and stuffed birds (great horned owl and great blue heron) on display. My favorite was the heron skeleton.

Heron skull
The skull felt so delicate I barely dared to touch it (and there was a sign saying “touch carefully” so it was okay to touch).

Heron wing and bones
I was also very impressed with how large the wing structure is, and how small the bones that support it. There are some fingerbones missing, but the main arm bones are there.

At noon, there was a presentation about herons by Chris Anderson, from the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife. He explained a lot about the life and behavior of herons, including what risks they face from predators — or even their nest-mates. In some birds, the eggs hatch at the same time, and the nestlings are roughly the same size. In herons, the eggs hatch over the space of a week or so, with the result that the last born is significantly smaller than the first born. And sometimes the smallest bird gets kicked out of the nest. (I didn’t get any photos of the presentation.)

After the presentation
After the presentation, the event wound down a bit. It was relaxed enough for some chatting and schmoozing. We had a couple “small world” experiences: The DFW speaker knew one of North Beach’s best volunteers, and the husband of the event organizer is the boss of one of my fellow students at the UW.

All in all it was a very nice time. The speaker was informative, the refreshments table well-stocked, and the chance to meet other people interested in urban restoration and wildlife is always appreciated. We even got a couple new names for our mailing list!

There are a few more photos on Flickr.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

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