|some new additions|
|new planting area|
several groups came through, we had a good turnout from United Way day of service volunteers, several follow up events culminating with a Martin Luther King day final effort.
| moving chips by hand up the slope|
|High Bush Cranberry|
Steep slopes present a special challenge to foresters as they are difficult to work on, new plantings require more care as water will run away from where it's needed, mulch will slide off, erosion is constantly a problem.
To that end we have had the help from Earthcorps, a private contractor hired by the Green Seattle Partnership and the South 34th Ave Homeowners Association. A crew of Americorp volunteers lead by seasoned forest professionals cleared much of the area beside the Dose Walkway, treated invasive shrubs in the bluff areas along the upper border of the Historic Community View Clearing.
To accommodate the concern over view obstruction in the upper area, we have planted Malus Fusca, a native crabapple, and Cascara trees to provide a tree canopy that will shade out the invasive plants that have recolonized the areas we have cleared. We hope to have more serviceberry trees available next fall to fill in the areas where hawthorn and Laurel have been killed. We have also planted Coltsfoot, a medicinal herb, as a ground cover in the many 'seeps', places where surface water has emerged between strata of earth forming a seasonal wetland environment.
It must be acknowledged there are other issues to urban forestry besides good ecology, and native plant conservation. These include surface water and view management. The name of this parcel of land is called the 'community view clearing' because it has been traditionally managed by the adjacent homeowners to see the lake, mountains and environs surrounding this place. To that end several 'agreements' have been made with Parks and Recreation to manage vegetation, evidence of those efforts have been noted by volunteer stewards as the heavy growth of Beaked Hazelnut, Indian Plum, Vine Maple substory undergrowth and the cutting of mature Broadleaf Maple and Oregon Ash.
When this site was placed under active stewardship in 2013 a target forest of Hemlock\Cedar was designated by GSP ecologists, changing the priorities away from view management to current understanding of a healthy urban forest as defined by SMC 18.30 resolution 29475.
Cass Turnbull founder of Plant Amnesty, has a few things to say about this subject;
As you can see, there are two sides to this story, This Blog being one, the Homeowners Association have their own, with historical precedent and real property values on the line. This issue is being discussed by Park and Rec staff to manage expectations of current stakeholders of this site. We will update as events unfold. Comment is encouraged.