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September 15th, 2014


09:00 am - Volunteer Network

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

Friends of North Beach Park has been as successful as it has been because of the people who live near (but not on) the park and frequently come to work parties. Our work parties are usually five to seven people, a good number for the spaces we work in. We have a semi-regular crew of people who attend eight out of ten work parties a year. This greatly improves the consistency and amount of work we’re able to do.

FoNBP has tried many avenues to get volunteers for our work parties. We feel the best approach is to consider it like sowing seed: try a lot of things, and some of them will take.

Email

Everyone who signs in to a volunteer event is added to the email list for the park. We send out one large email announcing the work party, generally two weeks in advance. It usually includes some other information about the park or about other organizations. Shortly after a work party, an email is sent to the attendees with a little report.
This email list is maintained by hand, so to speak, using the contacts in Yahoo! mail. FoNBP will be switching to a contact manager program soon.

Tabling

First Set Up

FoNBP has tabled at two different community events, three times at “Art in the Garden” and twice at “Sustainable Ballard.”

Art in the Garden is our most successful outreach event. It is located in the Ballard p-patch, at 25th Ave. and 86th St. This is very close to North Beach Park, and many of the people who stop at our table have been there. Success at this event is getting names for our email list. Most important in 2014 was making contact with a neighbor of the South Plateau and meeting someone who had lived near the park and illicitly maintained the social trails (he’s since moved away). We consider this very worthwhile, but also very pleasant.

Sustainable Ballard is held on a Sunday in late September at Ballard Commons Park. FoNBP has tabled at this event twice with Green Seattle Partnership, to promote Green Seattle Day (first Saturday in November). The first time was very successful, as the weather was beautiful and the festival was jammed with people all day long. The GSP liaison at the table was very satisfied with the number of names we were getting for their mailing list. The second time was much less successful due to bad weather.

Print

Up until recently in 2014, Ballard had its own newspaper, the Ballard News-Tribune. In 2008, there were two articles about North Beach Park. In 2013, they printed another article about the restoration.

Print (as in newspapers) is not a viable option for promoting work parties. The surviving newspapers (both weekly and daily) only print parks-related news items when it fits their agenda.

Blog posts

In 2011 the Ballard blog, MyBallard.com, was very active and posted a couple stories a day. It had an avid readership, and got many comments, both on its own site and on Facebook. MyBallard posted a few articles about Friends of North Beach Park (most notably this one). In 2012, the editors were forced by economic circumstances to make the blog part time, which decayed it considerably.

Service Groups

There are many service groups in the Seattle area that are potential sources of volunteers.

OneBrick Seattle

OneBrick Seattle is the local group of a nationwide organization. The focus of OneBrick is to get people in their 20s and 30s to volunteer. They use social media extensively, and have a large online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and the web.

Four volunteers from OneBrick participated in a work party with Friends of North Beach Park. Considering the time of year (July) this was a good turn-out. And it was appropriate for the amount of work we had to do.
We might work with OneBrick again in the future.

YMCA Earth Service Corps (YESC)

YESC is a city-wide program to attract environmentally interested high school students into service programs. Most of the programs focus on on-campus projects, but some groups work with forest stewards on restoration projects.

FoNBP spoke to the Ballard HS YESC chapter in 2011, and three members attended a work party, but follow-up attempts at contact have not been successful.

High School Community Service

All high school students in Seattle are required to do some community service. Only Ballard HS has a community service coordinator, however. FoNBP has work parties listed in the Ballard HS community service newsletter.
Private high schools also frequently have a community service requirement. We need to contact these high schools individually.

College service groups

FoNBP is working with Seattle Pacific University to participate in their annual City Quest program.

ESRM 100 students

Removing Ivy.

Our experience with ESRM 100 students appears to be better than most. We get a few students and they usually work well. It might be because they have to travel across the city to get to NBP work parties, as opposed to walking down from the dorm.

Other UW groups

We plant to start working with other UW groups, particularly the fraternity and sorority umbrella organizations, and ENVIR 100 students, in the fall.

Corporate community service

After

FoNBP did have one large, fun work party with Nordstrom employees. However, the size of the spaces available to all volunteers precludes corporate events.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

September 11th, 2014


06:58 pm - September Work Party

Welcome fall to North Beach Park! Some of the leaves are already turning and dropping. Now is the time we prepare for the planting parties in October and November.

Saturday, September 27: Work party at the South Plateau. Please note the time and location!

This work party will happen from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (different time!) at the South Plateau, located at NW 88th St. and 27th Ave. NW (different location!).

Directions: To get to the South Plateau from the intersection of NW 85th St. and 24th Ave. NW:

  • Head west on NW 85th St. two blocks.
  • Turn north (right) onto 26th Ave.
  • Drive north on 26th Ave. to where it ends at 88th St.
  • Turn right (west) onto 88th St. and look for parking. PARKING MIGHT BE LIMITED.
  • The entrance to the park is about half a block north.

This is a special work party where we’ll be joined by students from Seattle Pacific University and their CityQuest Program. There will be about twenty students, so we should get a lot done.

We will weed, mulch, and prepare the site for January planting. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. We recommend you wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and closed shoes. Bring water or a snack if you need them. We’ll take a lunch break which will provide some socializing time.

Please register here so we know you’re coming.

Save the date for these upcoming work parties: October 25 and November 22 (in the main body of the park) and January 24, 2015, once again in the South Plateau (for planting). All work parties are on the 4th Saturday, and will run from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Blog posts. Every Monday, Nature Intrudes features another excerpt from the Restoration Management Plan for North Beach Park. The first two posts look at the history of the park, and show more than you might have thought was there.

History of North Beach Park.

History of the restoration efforts.

(Feel free to look at other posts on Nature Intrudes, of course!)

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.

That’s all for now, but we hope to see you in the woods soon!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

September 8th, 2014


09:00 am - Stakeholders

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

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

Supporting Organizations

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

Friends of North Beach Park

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

EarthCorps

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

Fellow Stewardship Groups

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

Green Seattle Partnership

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

Groundswell NW

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

Seattle Parks Foundation

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

Washington Native Plant Society

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

Other Stakeholders

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

Neighbors of the Park

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

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

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

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

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

Users of the Park

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

North Beach Elementary

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

Dog Walkers and Joggers

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

Adolescents

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

Next week: Volunteer network.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

September 1st, 2014


09:00 am - North Beach Park: Restoration History

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

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

State of the Park at the Beginning of Restoration

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

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

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

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

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

2011

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

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

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

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

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

First Workparty Group Portrait

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012

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

Rite of Passage students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013

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

EarthCorps

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

EarthCorps volunteers mulch Knotweed Hill.

EarthCorps volunteers mulch Knotweed Hill.

EarthCorps volunteers mulch Knotweed Hill.

Contract Crew

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

Friends of North Beach Park

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

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

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

2014 (to date)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

August 25th, 2014


09:00 am - North Beach Park: History

One thing I found about the history of North Beach Park is that it has always attracted a lot of interest from its neighbors — sometimes good, sometimes bad.

King County regraded and paved 24th Ave. NW from 85th to 105th in 1931. The figure below shows a section of the plan for this regrade. The top half is a plan view, showing the street and parcels on both sides. The bottom half is a cross section, showing the altitude changes. The thicker line shows the planned regrade and the thinner line shows the pre-paving contours. Note the sharp dip where the lines cross at 260 feet, and the sharp rise where they cross again at 230 feet. The vertical written notes contain directions for installing pipes across the roadway, and guard rails on the right and left sides (King County Resolution No. 3924, 1930).

King County Regrade Map for 24th Ave. NW.

King County Engineer’s Office, 1930. “24 Ave NW Grading and Graveling.” Engineering map. Seattle: Map number 16-56. King County Road Services Map Vault. http://www.kingcounty.gov/mapvault (accessed June 26, 2014)

King County Engineer’s Office, 1930. “24 Ave NW Grading and Graveling.” Engineering map. Seattle: Map number 16-56. King County Road Services Map Vault. http://www.kingcounty.gov/mapvault (accessed June 26, 2014)

At that time, the ravine provided drainage for Olympic Golf Course and Country Club, which was open from 1924 until 1953, when it became Olympic Manor.

North Beach ravine in 1936.

King County Engineer's Office. “1937 Aerial Survey” Seattle: Map number 260335. King County Road Services Map Vault. http://www.kingcounty.gov/mapvault (accessed June 26, 2014)

King County Engineer’s Office. “1937 Aerial Survey” Seattle: Map number 260335. King County Road Services Map Vault. http://www.kingcounty.gov/mapvault (accessed June 26, 2014)

The aerial photo from 1937, above, shows the area that will become North Beach Park. North Beach Ravine is in the center of this picture. Fletcher’s Orchard, now Fletcher’s Village, is at the top left of the picture. Note gap, center of picture, in what is now the Central Valley, and gappiness in what is now the Headwaters Bowl. The gap in the center today has large, old Alnus Rubra (Red alder) and a dense Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry) cover. This is an indication of logging or other disturbance (Apostol, 2006). Evidence of disturbance also exists in the number of large cedar stumps that are now nurse logs in the stream.

Up until 1954, this area was unincorporated King County. In 1954, Seattle annexed all the areas between 85th St. and 145th St.

In 1968, King County voters approved a number of bond issues that included $118 million for new parks in Seattle. The Planning Division undertook a survey of ravines in the city, and in the “Summary and Recommendations from the Survey of Vacant and Undeveloped Natural Ravine and Creek Sites within the City of Seattle” (Planning Division 1969), North Beach Park is ranked second of the 23 properties surveyed. The property is described as:

This ravine having a small creek fed by several springs has a wide variation of foliage and hence offers one of the best internal environments of all the ravines studied. This site also indicates a high potential for a pathway and local park of 12 acres adjacent to the North Beach Elementary school.

A sketch of the original project dimensions.

This is considerably larger than what resulted, and would have reached from 24th to 28th Ave.

This is considerably larger than what resulted, and would have reached from 24th to 28th Ave. Source: Planning Division, 1969.

At a public meeting in February, 1970, neighbors expressed concerns about “hippies and undesirable type people” and the possibility of a “road into the park” (Alley 1970). However, the neighborhood was so in support of the project that someone unable to attend circulated a petition that eventually garnered nearly 500 signatures and “created a great deal of community interest” (Whitman 1970).

Purchase of the park property stopped in the 1970s. A 1980 letter from the then-presidents of the Olympic Manor Community Club and the North Beach Club expressed concern that the “five acre park” was receiving no attention from the city, and requested a meeting with a representative of the Parks Department to discuss the park (Malone 1988). Purchase of the property was completed with Green Space Levies in the 1990s and early 2000s.

In 2003, North Beach Park and North Beach Ravines (between 28th and 30th Avenues) was a heron rookery.

North Beach Ravine today.

The ravine and surrounding fully-developed neighborhood. Source: GSP Reference map on Arcgis.com

The ravine and surrounding fully-developed neighborhood. Source: GSP Reference map on Archgis.com

In 2008, serious neighbor problems lead to a contentious neighborhood meeting. There were accusations of illegal trail building, dumping, tree-topping and cutting, and worries about homeless encampments (Wong 2008). There was brief interest in a “Friends of…” group but nothing came of it (Wong 2008a).

Restoration began in 2011 and continues to this day. Restoration history will be posted next Monday.

References
NOTE: References for graphics will be in the caption of the graphic. Online references will be in the text as links. The references below are to printed materials.

Alley, J. 1970. “North Beach Community Meeting.” (Internal memo to Hans A. Thompson). February, 1970, Box 40, Folder 27, Record Series 5804-05, Seattle Municipal Archives

Apostol, D. and D.R. Berg. 2006. “Riparian Woodlands.” In Restoring the Pacific Northwest: The Art and Science of Ecological Restoration in Cascadia. Island Press, Washington, D.C.

Malone, T. 1988. “Letter to Ms. H. Miller.” Active files of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Property and Acquisitions Services.

Planning Division, Department of Community Development. 1969. “Summary and Recommendations from the Survey of Vacant and Undeveloped Natural Ravine and Creek Sites within the City of Seattle.” September, 1969. Box 40, Folder 27, Record Series 5804-05, Seattle Municipal Archives

Whitman, J. E. 1970. Letter to Hans A. Thomspon. February, 1970, Box 40, Folder 27, Record Series 5804-05, Seattle Municipal Archives.

Wong, D. 2008. “Neighbors upset over illegal trails.” Ballard News-Tribune, Vol. 116 No. 21.

— 2008a. “North Beach gets help to stay green.” Ballard News-Tribune, Vol. 116 No. 27.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

August 23rd, 2014


05:03 pm - Monday and Saturday

Two reports this week! Forgot to download the Monday pictures so here they are now.

On Monday we explored two habitat management units that are at the far northern end of the park, and consequently not very well explored. We also got a good estimate of canopy cover and of that what was conifer and what deciduous.

On the way there, though, we saw that someone had made a tasty snack of a tree planted last spring:
Herbivory

It’s the clean, angular cut that is a sign of mountain beaver (which don’t live on mountains and aren’t beavers). The other trees planted at the same time were doing well, so maybe it wasn’t that tasty after all.

The areas we were exploring were the 92nd St. Wetlands and Fletcher’s Slope, which you can see on the map below:

Source: Green Seattle Partnership Reference map on ArcGIS.com

Source: Green Seattle Partnership Reference map on ArcGIS.com


(Okay, that’s a little big, but the other size the software offered was too small.)

The green lines are the park boundaries, and the red lines are the HMU boundaries. The short, horizontal red line just below the center of the picture is a stream crossing. The social trail ends just north of there, but the park continues on for another couple hundred feet. That’s what we were exploring Monday.

Fletcher's Slope platform
We saw this platform — what is it? Sleeping platform? Somebody’s home? Camping spot for kid’s sleep out? Whoever built it did a good job.

The reason for the exploration was to get some missing information for the MEH project and restoration management plan. We found out what we needed to know. But let’s skip ahead to Saturday because –

Coyote!
Coyote!

You can see it above, in the middle of the image, but quite a ways from me. Looking very intently into the park — “I just want to go home after a night of stealing cat food.” It very patiently waited while I took a couple pictures. Here’s the other one.

Coyote!
(I just realized I got so excited to post the coyote pictures I never processed them. Oh well.)

I was hoping to get one more, but looked down at the camera for a couple seconds and when I looked up, the coyote had vanished.

Really happy about that, I hope it eats some of the mountain beaver.

The work party today was just three people — “The few, the proud… or at least the few,” as Morry said. August work parties are usually our least-attended. If it’s good weather, everybody wants to get out of town because OMG SUMMER’S ALMOST OVER. If it’s bad weather, they want to sit inside and sulk because a possible good weekend is wasted.

In any case, we got some good work done. We revisited an area that had been cleared of a blackberry monoculture in the winter. Well, really clearing the blackberry monoculture and then letter everything sit for a couple months sharply increased the diversity. Unfortunately, it was all invasives or undesired native plants. But we worked among the weeds and brought down four wheelbarrows of mulch, so we did some good.

Here is an “after” picture:
"After" Picture

The next work party will by Saturday, September 27. It’s at a different location, the South Plateau, and a different time, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We’ll be joined by students from Seattle Pacific University on their CityQuest program. Hope you can join us!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

August 21st, 2014


05:09 pm - Hello Again

I’ve just finished my MEH degree at the University of Washington, and hope to be able to start blogging here more frequently.

This began as a school project for Antioch, and paradoxically, school has interrupted it frequently.

We’re going to start with a series of posts on Mondays based on the final product of my time at the UW, a “Restoration Management Plan for North Beach Park.” I probably won’t post the whole thing here, but will post large chunks of it.

I also hope and plan to start reading books about restoration and stewardship, greening and wilding cities, and posting reviews here. Also, shorter responses to papers about these subjects.

And of course, news and announcements about North Beach Park as they happen.

Thank you to all who read this!

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 

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.

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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.


 

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