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Wetlands: Stewardship Grant - Luke McGuff

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November 3rd, 2014


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10:41 pm - Wetlands: Stewardship Grant

In June of 2014, Friends of North Beach Park received a $500 stewardship grant from the Puget Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society.

The main body of this chapter was written in summer of 2014. The “Addendum” section, following “Plant List” below, was written in November 2014, after some work had been done.

Purpose of grant

The purpose of the grant is to help rebuild the wetland basins of the park into a scrub-shrub plant community, with trees surrounding the wetlands to stabilize the upland slopes. The planting pallet will follow recommendations for the reference ecosystem, riparian forest and shrubland.

The replanting will be done in phases, using obligate wetland plants to begin holding the soil, followed by reintroducing woody plants to build deeper root structures.

Timeline (projected)

The timeline below was written in summer of 2014.

  • September: Invasive removal in the wetlands. This will be done by small groups of forest stewards. Care will be taken not to overclear an area and not to disturb the soil structure too much.
  • Early October: installation of obligate wetland plants. This is done just prior to rain return, so the ground is relatively stable. The work will be done by experienced forest stewards.
  • Late October: installation of facultative shrubs and woody plants at the wetland borders. This work can be done by volunteers during a regular Friends of North Beach Park work party.

For the timeline as the project is being executed, please see “Addendum,” below.

Plan

The work will be centered on the social trail dividing Headwaters Bowl Subarea B and Central Valley Subarea B. See Figure 1, below.

Figure 1: Area of work for the Stewardship Grant.

The projected work area for the WNPS Stewardship Grant.

The projected work area for the WNPS Stewardship Grant.

The stream will be the northern boundary. In the Central Valley, the southern boundary will be the south loop social trail. In the Headwaters Bowl, the southern boundary will be the wetland border established by Doug Gresham in 2011. This is the entire area referred to as “Central Valley Subarea B” and the western edge of the area referred to as “Headwaters Bowl Subarea B.” The actual work area will be smaller than illustrated above.

The planting is intended to increase diversity and density in three locations:

  • Mixture of shrub and herbaceous plants streamside.
  • Herbaceous plants in seeps.
  • Shrubs at the toe of the slopes, above the seeps.

Headwaters Bowl Subarea B

Streamside

The substrate of the stream in this location is mostly silt and fine sand, with occasional patches of small cobbles where the channel has narrowed.

There is a large Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar) stump in the stream, covered with moss and hosting numerous Vaccinium parvifolium (Red huckleberry). This could host some Cornus canadensis (Canadian dwarf dogwood) but would be unlikely to support Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock).

Plants already growing streamside (based on a visual survey):

  • Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)
  • Lysichiton americanum (Skunk cabbage)
  • Oenanthe sarmentosa (Water parsley)
  • Carex amplifolia (Broad-leafed sedge)
  • Polystichum munitum (Sword fern)
  • Athyrium filix femina (Lady fern)
  • Urtica dioica (Stinging nettle)
  • Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry)
  • Tolmeia menziesii (Piggyback)
  • Cardamine hirsuta (Shotweed)
  • Lonicera involucrata (Twinberry)

Above the stream

About five feet above the stream, there is a nurse log and a large amount of coarse woody debris holding the stream bank. I think the seep is eroding the soil from underneath the CWD, and it will eventually collapse. Upland of this the substrate is mostly decayed wood, which makes it a good place for Tsuga heterophylla. On either side of this substrate, the seeps reach to the wall of the ravine.

Growing in this area:

  • Polystichum munitum (Sword fern)
  • Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry)
  • Ilex aquifolium (Holly)
  • Hydrophyllum tenuipes (Pacific waterleaf)
  • Tolmeia menziesii (Piggyback)
  • Sambucus racemosa (Red elderberry)
  • Ribes bracteosum (Stink currant)
  • Spiraea douglasii (Douglas’ spirea)
  • Germanium robertianum (Herb robert)

Growing in the seep between the CWD area and the social trail:

  • Tolmeia menziesii (Piggyback)
  • Glyceria elata (Tall mannagrass)
  • Oenanthe sarmentosa (Water parsley)
  • Hydrophyllum tenuipes (Pacific waterleaf)
  • Rubus spectabilis (Salmonberry) in dryer areas
  • Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar) (planted)
  • Cardamine hursuta (shotweed)

Central Valley Subarea B

Streamside

The stream itself is similar to the stream in HWB Subarea B: The wider sections have a substrate of sand and fine silt, and with narrower sections have a substrate of small cobbles.

The red cedar stump in this section has a wider variety of plants than the one in the HWB section. In addition to the red huckleberry and mosses, there are also salmonberry and a Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock) seedling that is naturally regenerating.

Above the Stream

There is also a nurse log holding the bank, but there is not the woody debris substrate above it as with the HWB.

Salmonberry and red elderberry form a thicker canopy than on the HWB side. There is also much more Hedera helix (English ivy) that comes down from the South Slope and lies across the seeps.

In the stream, but closer to the right bank, is a red alder root ball, with the tree itself lying across the width of the seep. The root ball has red huckleberry, ivy, and a couple Acer macrophyllum (Big leaf maple) seedlings growing in it. There is holly in the stream and around the root ball that will need to be removed.

Integrating into Work Flow

Between Sept. 15 and Nov. 27, there are nine possible Monday sessions and the October work party. The September work party will be on the South Plateau, and the November work party will be dedicated to planting GSP-provided plants. It is possible that some work on the stewardship grant could take place at the November work party.

Plant list

Table 1, below, is the plant list submitted to the WNPS for the grant. The actual planting list will vary considerably from this list, but that variance is within the scope of the grant. The wetland status, size, and number were obtained from the Fourth Corner Nurseries Catalog.

Table 1: Plant list and estimated planting time.

Early October
Genus Common Name Wetland Size # plants
Carex deweyana Dewey’s sedge FAC bareroot 100
Carex obnupta Slough sedge OBL bareroot 100
Fraxinus latifolia Oregon ash FACW 6-12″ 50
Glyceria elata Tall mannagrass FACW bareroot 100
Viburnum opulus v. americanum Highbush cranberry FACW 3-6″ 50
Late October
Genus Common Name Wetland Size # plants
Holodiscus discolor Ocean spray FACU 6-12″ 50
Lonicera involucrata Black twinberry FAC 6-12″ 50
Berberis nervosa Low oregon-grape FACU 3-6″ 100
Sambucus racemosa Red elderberry FACU crown 50
Vaccinium parvifolium Red huckleberry FACU 2″ pots 50

OBL = obligate, plant has to grow in a wetland; FACW = facultative wetland, plant grows in a wetland most of the time but can occasionally be found in drier areas; FAC = facultative, plant grows equally well in wetlands and drier areas; FACU = facultative upland, plants grows mostly in drier areas, but can occasionally be found in wetlands.

For the purchased plant list and the actual planting times, please see “Addendum,” below.

Addendum

This is the revised timeline, written after some work had already been done.

  • Plants were ordered in October for October and February delivery.
  • The October plants were wetland obligate graminoids.
  • The February plants were facultative wetland shrubs and trees.
  • The plants will be installed during regular public work parties.

In October 2014, the following orders were placed with Fourth Corner Nursery, for delivery in October and February.

Table 2: October order of Obligate plants.

Scientific Name Common Name Wetland Quantity
Carex amplifolia (1) Broad-leaved sedge OBL 50
Carex stipata (2) Sawbeak sedge OBL 100
Deschampsia caespitosa (3) Tufted hair-grass FACW 50
Glyceria elata (1) Tall mannagrass FACW 100
Juncus ensifolius (2) Daggerleaf rush FACW 50
Scirpus microcarpus (3) Panicled bulrush OBL 100

1 = observed growing with limited distribution; 2 = introduced to North Beach Park with this planting; 3 = previously introduced by restoration planting.

Table 3: February order of Facultative Wetland Shrubs and Trees.

Scientific Name Common Name Wetland Quantity
Physocarpus capitatus (3) Pacific ninebark FACW 50
Fraxinus latifolia (1) Oregon ash FACW 50
Malus fusca (2) Pacific Crab Apple FACW 50
Salix lucida (2) Pacific willow FACW 50
Salix sitchensis (2) Sitka willow FACW 50

1 = observed growing with limited distribution; 2 = introduced to North Beach Park with this planting; 3 = previously introduced by restoration planting.

The October order is the actual quantities delivered and planted during the October work party. As discussed above, the work occurred in the Central Valley Subarea B and Headwaters Bowl Subarea B.

The planting was done by volunteers led by forest stewards. Duckboards were used to minimize disruption to the wetlands wherever possible.

The work area actually became larger than illustrated in Figure 1, above. Planting was done further east in Headwaters Bowl.

The second order will be delivered in time for the February work party (February 28, 2015). Approximately ten of each shrub will be held back for a year or so, to test is survival rates are increased with an extra year of nursery care.

The second planting will also happen further east than the original prospect in Figure 1.

Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.


 


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