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Home > Native Plant Stewardship Program > King County

2000 and 2001 Native Plant Steward Projects, F-H

A-C | D-E | F-H | I-L | M-0 | P-Z

Fern Hollow Restoration
2001 Steward and Contact: Rita Moore
Project Location: Mercer Island

Fern Hollow is a ravine containing an unnamed stream that flows into Lake Washington. Some of the project area has a fairly intact second-growth forest community of native conifers and deciduous trees and associated understory plants. Invasive species are becoming a serious problem however, including English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, poison-hemlock, reed canary grass, holly and English laurel. The English ivy is preventing the growth of tree seedlings. There is an absence of large woody debris. The steward's goals include: restoring the riparian vegetation along the stream, planting the steep hillsides with native trees to replace older trees and for slope stabilization, removing invasives, helping neighbors to improve their landscapes with native vegetation, improving wildlife habitat and providing a demonstration restoration site for Mercer Island residents. The project is divided into several sub-projects. The first is to remove invasives and revegetate one hillside that slid several years ago and was repaired with rip rap. The second is to plant the steep hillside with trees after removing ivy and other invasives. The initial planting included 125 western red cedars, Douglas-firs and western hemlock seedlings. Ivy exclusion areas will be maintained around the trees and new tree seedlings will be planted every 2 to 3 years until there is a reasonable understory established. Native groundcovers will be added as the area is cleared of ivy. The third is to maintain the riparian restoration being done in conjunction with a University of Washington class. A fourth project is an area of forest with less ivy. Here the ivy will be contained and eventually removed.

Fort Dent Park (a King County Park)
2000 Steward/Contact: Deb Snyder, King County Parks Resource Coordinator
Location: Tukwila

King County basin steward teaches volunteers how to plant trees.

This project involved designing and implementing an Earth Day planting of native trees and understory shrubs around a pond to create a buffer to enhance wildlife and native plant habitat. Trees planted include Douglas-fir, western redcedar, Sitka spruce, aspen, and big leaf maple. Understory shrubs planted were snowberry, oceanspray, elderberry, serviceberry, Indian-plum, vine maple, red-osier dogwood, salmonberry and Nootka rose. The Parks Department hopes to connect this area to other restored areas to create a wildlife corridor in the future. The project involved creating a planting plan, purchasing plants, coordinating food, equipment and plants for planting day, and supervising and training volunteers and King County Park System staff. The volunteers included youth from a group home in Auburn, youth from the Fast Track program sponsored by the University of Washington and local residents. Partners included King County Parks and the King County Department of Natural Resources. Deb Snyder acted in a dual role as a Washington Native Plant Steward and a King County Parks representative.

Fremont Troll Native Forest Planting
2000 Steward: Sheridan Hammond
Contact: Sheridan Hammond, Fremont Works Ink (neighborhood group)
Project Location: Next to Aurora Ave N (Highway 99) at N. 36th St., Seattle

The goal of this project is to create a small public native forest area in the Fremont Community of Seattle. The site is located in the public open space on the east side of Aurora Avenue N (Highway 99) near the Fremont Troll, which sits underneath the north end of Aurora Bridge at N. 36th Street. Native trees were installed this spring. Weed control and soil amendments were done over the summer and the site will be planted with additional trees and forest plants in the coming year. The goal of the native plant steward is to broaden the neighborhood support for having native trees and associated plants in the park and to revive the volunteer base that had existed in the past. In addition to the native plant steward other partners and resources for this project include Katie Moller from TREEmendous Seattle, Flora Johnson Skelly of Flower of the Heart Garden Design, Cindy Young of the King County Native Plant Salvage Program, Fremont Works Ink, Fremont Arts Council and Fremont Neighborhood Council. Issues that are also being addressed are homeless people camping in the park, vandalism, trash and other security issues. Improvement and local stewardship of the greenspace area will greatly improve the local environment of this densely populated urban area and help to mitigate the pollution and noise from Highway 99.

Frink Park Wetland and Forest Buffer Restoration
2001 Steward and Contact: Susan Rolfe
Location: Frink Park in central/southeast Seattle

The native plant steward is working with the UWREN student group on the restoration at Frink Park Wetland #5. The project consists of removing invasive exotics, replanting with native plants, providing educational materials and opportunities for Garfield and Nova High School students, as well as producing a long term maintenance and monitoring manual for Seattle Parks. With the help of Earthcorps and the Friends of Frink Park, the steward and the UW student group have cleared the wetland area and most of the 25 foot upland buffer. The steward will design a planting, maintenance and monitoring plan and with the help of the students, will be implementing the plan this spring and fall. At the end of the spring quarter, the UW students will be through with their assignment but the steward will continue to work with the Friends of Frink Park over the summer to finish clearing invasives from the buffer and in the fall to complete the upland buffer planting. This project is a smaller part of the ongoing efforts by community members to enhance the native forest communities of this central Seattle park that connects the densely populated Central District with Lake Washington.

Genesee Park Project
2000 Steward: Sean Phelan
Project Location: Southeast Seattle, Genesee neighborhood

The native plant steward is working with community members, the Parks Department and Starflower Foundation on plans to increase the number of native trees in a predominantly turf-covered south Seattle park and to extend the mixed conifer/madrone/maple forest community bordering one side of the park with additional plantings. Part of the park has been set aside for a wildlife-friendly native habitat area. It contains a variety of wet depression areas and hillocks or raised areas that are no longer being mowed and are being planted with native species. New mounds have also been created and will be planted with trees and understory vegetation. The native plant steward on this project is also working on outreach to the varied neighborhoods around the park with the goal of developing local stewardship of the park and the native habitat area. Currently the non-profit group Starflower Foundation is doing most of the work on this project and there is a need for someone to increase the involvement and sense of "ownership" of the neighborhood in the native habitat area and to use the area as an educational resource for the community.

Hilltop Neighborhood Urban Wildlife Sanctuary and Native Plant Garden
2000 Steward and Contact: Sharon Moore
Project Location: Hilltop neighborhood of Tacoma

This project is a cooperative effort between an alternative high school, El Centro Latino High School, and Garden Circles, a neighborhood group and garden in the Hilltop area of Tacoma. Garden Circles provides an educational/ecological component to Hilltop neighbors. The objectives of the group include:

The garden area now contains more than thirty native plant species planted among ornamentals to enhance wildlife habitat and to benefit from the low-maintenance qualities of native plants. There is a native plant circle that will be rejuvenated and enhanced. A fenceline will be planted as a demonstration fencerow with low-maintenance plants including snowberry, honeysuckle, wild roses and ground covers.

In addition to volunteering in the garden, neighbors benefit in other ways. There is an area along the road for "give-away" plants for neighbors to use in their own gardens. Also, a neighbor-artist built a structure with broken concrete that the students filled with wood-chips, leaves, grass, compost and soil. It is seeded with food and flowers as a "share the bounty" project for people in the neighborhood. This is both a work area and a classroom for the students.

The native plant project will start up again in the fall with the new class of students and volunteers will help with fund-raising for the project this summer. The project consists of four parts:

  1. Rejuvenate the shady native plant circle and register it with the WA State Fish and Wildlife Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program. To dissuade people from mistaking the native plants for weeds and pulling them, a youth volunteer will make a sign promoting the shady garden as a special place for earth, air, and critters.
  2. Clear and plant several traffic circles, initially with annuals and then mature perennials in the fall: penstemon, lupine, beach strawberry and kinnikinnik.
  3. The fencerow will be mulched and planted with legumes to prepare the soil. In the fall native shrubs will be planted.
  4. The work area, greenhouses and alley gardening beds will be used to teach conservation techniques as students use compost bins, worm boxes and rain barrels. Sharon presents a short, focused message each session about the benefit of diversity, companion planting, and nature's provisions through plants, insects, birds, climate and geology.
  5. An informal adjunct to this project is the neighborhood kids organization "Green Club" with the same focus but geared to the younger age group. Plants to put in with the kids include ferns, native iris, oxalis, gallium and fairy bells.
  6. Garden Circles will have tables at three community fairs this summer. Sharon will include native plants that the garden has grown and possibly other native plants from local nurseries or growers.

Hitts Hill Greenspace Restoration
2001 Steward and Contact: Leina Johansson
Location: Columbia City neighborhood of southeast Seattle

Hitt's Hill greenspace is about 22 city lots on a wooded slope recently purchased by the City of Seattle to preserve as a greenspace/park. The native plant steward will be working with the neighborhood group that arranged for the purchase. Although it is mostly wooded, the site is heavily infested with a variety of noxious weeds and invasive species. The first step of this project will be to complete an inventory of the existing plants, natives and non-natives and note any significant trash dumping. Secondly the steward will prioritize the restoration by focusing on areas that are either in the most danger from invasives and dumping or hold the most immediate promise for an interpretive area and trail. One interesting challenge at this site is how to develop interpretive educational resources for the many different languages spoken by the neighboring community. This wooded remnant is rare in this low-income and densely populated part of the city and its preservation is very important to the local environment.

Homewood Park Habitat Restoration
2001 Steward and Contact: Deborah Ferber
Location: Lake City neighborhood of Seattle, Thornton Creek Watershed

The native plant steward is working with Earth Corps to restore salmon habitat along this branch of Thornton Creek. This includes planting trees, installing native plants and removing invasives. Homewood Park is a pocket of greenspace next to the heavily used Lake City Way and surrounded primarily by commercial and high-density residential properties. This project is part of a watershed-wide effort to improve the native habitat along the Thornton Creek corridor.

For more information, call The Washington Native Plant Society at 206-527-3210 (or toll free 888-288-8022).