January Work Party Report

The weather forecast was for warm temperatures and “decreasing rain” — we had no rain at all and perfect temperatures.

We had a great crew of fifteen people, including forest stewards and students from the Delta Tau Delta fraternity at the UW.

We planted 75 plants, spread over the South Plateau.
The South Plateau
(This is looking into the South Plateau, which is the largest flat, dry area in the park.)

We planted four Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), more than eleven Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor), and about 15 each dwarf Oregon-grape (Mahonia nervosa), sword fern (Polystichum munitum), bald-hip rose (Rosa gymnocarpa), and Nootka rose (R. nutkana). All these plants are under-represented in the South Plateau and have been reintroduced by restoration planting (although not this time). They’ll help to stabilize and buttress slopes and add more visual texture to the currently open and bare area.

Here is an “after” picture of the hearty crew:
The hearty crew

All in all, this was a pretty easy-going work party. We had plenty of time for some ivy and herb robert removal and even some attempts to help slow the water flow down.

The next work party for the Friends of North Beach Park will be February 28, at 9 a.m. We’ll be planting shrubs in the main body of the park. Please sign up here if you’d like to join us.

North Beach Park January Work Party

January is the third of FOUR planting work parties in North Beach Park. We hope to plant just over 1000 plants (total). Join us in this quest to help make North Beach Park even better.

On Saturday, January 24th we’ll be working in the South Plateau, adding diversity and density to plants already installed by earlier volunteers and the Natural Area Crew. We’ll be working in areas cleared of invasives last fall by Seattle Pacific University students and forest stewards. We should also have time to check the water flow in the South Plateau,

We’ll meet at 9 a.m. at the entrance to the South Plateau, 88th St. and 27th Ave. NW. We’ll go until 12 noon.

Directions: First, get to the intersection of 24th Ave. NW and NW 85th St. the way that’s most convenient for you. The NW corner of the intersection is Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church. Head west on 85th St. to 26th Ave. Turn right (north) onto 26th Ave and head north to 88th St. and turn left (west). Look for parking. 27th Ave. is a very short street to the north; it almost looks like an alley. The entrance to the park is about half a block north of the intersection of 27th Ave. and 88th St. and is visible from the intersection.

Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming.

Remember to wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and to bring water or a snack if you need them. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. All ages are welcome; volunteers under 18 must sign and bring a waiver (link next to the sign-up form). The #48 bus stops a few blocks south of the park; check Metro for details. This is a residential area with limited parking; please carpool if at all possible.

We’ll be installing plants provided by Green Seattle Partnership and the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation. We’ll be planting trees and shrubs appropriate to an upland coniferous forest.

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 at this URL: https://seattleparksfoundation.org/2014-pages/step-up/north-beach-park

All money donated will be used to fund the restoration efforts of North Beach Park.

If you have any questions, feel free to write lukemcguff@yahoo.com for further information.

Mondays at the Park

One of the great things that has made the restoration of North Beach Park so successful is the fact that three forest stewards (myself, Tad, and Drexie) have gotten together most Mondays for a couple hours.

We started sometime in late 2011, probably during the research for our Master Forester project. And then we just kept going. It was never an obligation, it was always a choice. Sometimes things would come up for one or another of us, sometimes we’d decide it was too cold or rainy.

But four out of five Mondays for the last three+ years would find us in the park, 10 a.m. to noon. Sometimes there would be something I’d want to do, but as often as not we’d decide on the spot what to do. We’d explore the park, put survival rings around trees, check the progress of some plants, water if necessary, and just do whatever. We did a LOT of work party planning. That meant sometimes meeting at Carkeek to label and sort the GSP plant delivery. A couple times we had coffee meetings at Tad or Drexie’s house. Whatever we did, it was a bright point in the week for me.

You’d think that after exploring a little nine acre park just about once a week for a couple years, you’d know it pretty well. But there was always some new discovery to be made — whether something as drastic as a tree fall (this happens at the rate of three or four a year), a new plant we hadn’t seen before, or just a change in perspective from different seasons or being on a hillside and looking into the park from a new angle.

I’m feeling especially aware of this because in a couple days I start a temp assignment that will keep me from being in the park on Mondays for the next several weeks. And I hope by the time that’s over I have a full time job to step into.

I was going to sprinkle this with pictures from the various Mondays… but I don’t feel like wading through Flickr in the way it would take. Here, go browse around for yourself.

Save the dates!

We’ve set up the first batch of work parties at North Beach Park — come join us for invasive removal, planting, meeting people and sharing good work.

All events start at 9 a.m. and run until about noon, rain or shine. All events are on the fourth Saturday of the month, with specific dates below. Please sign up in advance so we know you’re coming!

We welcome all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult. High-school aged people should have a Youth Waiver Form signed when they arrive. The form is on the sidebar of the event page.

Please wear weather-appropriate layers that can get dirty and closed-toe shoes that can stand up to a little mud. We provide tools, gloves, and guidance. Bring water and snacks as you need them, but there are no facilities at the park.

For events in the main body of the park, parking is available on 90th St. east of 24th Ave. Parking near the South Plateau is more limited, as the nearest public streets are residential. The #40 and #48 buses stop within a couple blocks of the park. Check Metro Trip Planner for details.

Alright! Now onto the event-specific information:

South Plateau Planting Work Party
January 24, 2015

This is the third of four planting parties in North Beach Park during this planting season. We’ll be installing upland trees and shrubs in the South Plateau area of the park. The entrance is located at 27th Ave NW and NW 88th St. If we have time or enough people, we’ll also do some invasive removal.

Directions: From the intersection of 24th Ave. and 85th St., head west to 26th Ave. Turn right onto 26th Ave. and continue north to 87th St. Turn left onto 87th St. and look for parking. The entrance to the park is a half block or so up 27th Ave., which looks like an alleyway at that point. The South Plateau is below street grade, but the work party should be easily visible.

Wetland Trees and Shrubs
February 28, 2015

Join us for the final planting work party of the planting season! We’ll be planting trees and shrubs appropriate for wetlands and streambanks. They’ll add a nice mid-canopy layer to the wetland stretches of the park. These trees and shrubs were purchased as part of a stewardship grant from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Spring is Bustin’ out all over
March 28, 2015

March is the start of the really pretty days for North Beach Park. Several herbaceous plants and many shrubs are already in bloom and all the deciduous plants are leafing out. If you visit the park sometime when no one else is there, you might be surprised at the amount of bird song you can hear. (During a work party, it might be too noisy to hear much.)

April Work Party
April 25, 2015

This is the last work party of the winter and spring series. Just about everything that can be in bloom will be at this point, and everything is fully leafed out. If the weather is gorgeous, but you can’t quite clear your schedule to get out of the city, come join us in the woods.

That’s it! We take a break in May for a couple reasons. The first is that it’s too close to Memorial Day weekend, and everybody has more fun things to do (I mean, WE think pulling ivy in the park is fun…) The second, and more important, is that it’s the height of nesting season, and we don’t want to disturb the ground and shrub nesting birds that make North Beach Park their home.

And as ever, if you can’t attend a work party, your financial support is more than welcome. Just visit the Seattle Parks Foundation’s North Beach Park page and make a tax-deductible donation. All funds will be used for purchase of materials, supplies, and plants. Thank you in advance!

Uplands and Slopes: West Slope

Description

Figure 1: The West Slope.

North is at the top of this map. The west side of the HMU is the higher side of the slope.

North is at the top of this map. The west side of the HMU is the higher side of the slope.

The West Slope is bordered by property lines above and the south loop social trail below. The northeastern and southeastern corners touch Fletcher’s Slope and the South Slope, respectively. It is 0.84 acres in size.

The northeastern corner of the West Slope has a large gap that provides an expansive view of the Central Valley. The southwestern corner of the West Slope is the west end of the 90th St. right of way. Two plots of the June belt transect were established there (see “Vegetation” below).

Other than several Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) that were planted below the 90th St. end, the West Slope has received no restoration efforts. The Natural Area Crew will work on this area after the South Slope.

The West Slope has the largest Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock) in North Beach Park, but no other coniferous cover. There is no observed regeneration of either deciduous or conifer trees. Between the large gaps, and the extent of Prunus laurocerasus (Cherry laurel) cover in the middle, the West Slope has the least amount of native tree cover of any HMU.

The target forest type for the West Slope is Tsuga heterophylla Pseudotsuga menziesii/Polystichum munitumDryopteris expansa (Western hemlock – Douglas fir/Sword fern – Spreading wood fern; TSHE-PSME/POMU-DREX). The reference ecosystem is Mesic-moist conifer and conifer-deciduous mixed forest.

Water Flow

There has been no observed water flow on the West Slope. It is too far above the floor of the Central Valley to be affected by any seeps emerging from the walls of the ravine.

Vegetation

The West Slope is currently among the most heavily invaded HMUs in North Beach Park. There is an extensive canopy of Prunus laurocerasus (laurel); Lamium galeobdolon (Yellow archangel) is spreading down from a house; and, at 90th St., there are a number of sun-tolerant grasses and ornamentals. Bindweed is rampant in the sunnier parts of the West Slope.

Two 4×4’ plots of the belt transect were established in the West Slope. These plots were smaller than the other plots in the transect due to the density of herbaceous cover in this area.

Table 1, below, shows the target forest type indicator species for the North Slope and all species found in our survey. Please see the Key, below the table, for a full explanation of the numbers.

Table 1: Target Forest Type and transect species for the West Slope.

Binomial Common Name % Cover TFT Goal
Abies grandis Grand fir 0.00 14.00
Acer circinatum Vine maple 0.00 20.00
Acer macrophyllum Big leaf maple 20.00 18.00
Agrostis spp.   2.00 0.00
Agrostis stolonifera Creeping bent grass 2.50 0.00
Alnus rubra Red alder 0.00 9.00
Athyrium filix-femina ssp. cyclsosorum Lady-fern 0.00 2.00
Blechnum spicant Deerfern 0.00 2.00
Bromus vulgaris Columbia brome 0.00 2.00
Calystegia sepium false bindweed 0.50 0.00
Carex deweyana var. deweyana Dewey’s sedge 0.00 2.00
Corylus cornuta var. californica Beaked hazelnut 0.00 3.00
Dactylis glomerata Orchard grass 1.75 0.00
Dryopteris expansa Spreading wood fern 0.00 3.00
Equisetum telmateia Giant horsetail 1.00  
Galium triflorum Sweet-scented bedstraw 0.00 2.00
Gallium aparine cleavers 7.50  
Gaultheria shallon Salal 0.00 2.00
Geranium robertianum Robert’s geranium 1.50 0.00
Hedera helix English Ivy 3.50 0.00
Holcus lanatus velvet grass 4.00 0.00
Hypochaeris radicata Hairy cat’s ear 0.25 0.00
Berberis nervosa Dward Oregon-grape 0.00 4.00
Mycelis muralis Wall lettuce 0.25 0.00
Plantago lanceolata Narrow-leaf plantain 0.25 0.00
Polystichum munitum sword fern 20.00 54.00
Pseudotsuga mensiesii var. menziesii Douglas-fir 0.00 45.00
Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens Bracken fern 0.00 3.00
Ranunculus repens Creeping buttercup 3.00 0.00
Rubus armeniacus Himalayan blackberry 5.00 0.00
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry 0.00 4.00
Rubus ursinus Trailing blackberry 0.00 3.00
Rumex obtusifolius Bitter dock 0.25 0.00
Sonchus oleraceus Common sowthistle 0.25 0.00
Tanacetum vulgare Common Tansy 35.00 0.00
Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale Common Dandelion 0.75 0.00
Thuja plicata Western red-cedar 0.00 33.00
Tiarella trifoliata va. Trifoliata Threeleaf foamflower 0.00 5.00
Trientalis broealis ssp. latifolia Western starflower 0.00 1.00
Trifolium repens White clover 0.25 0.00
Trillium ovatum ssp. ovatum Western trillium 0.00 1.00
Tsuga heterophylla Western hemlock 0.00 36.00
Urtica dioica Stinging nettle 0.25 0.00
Vaccinuium parvifolium Red huckleberry 0.00 3.00
Vancouveria hexandra Inside-out flower 0.00 7.00

Key: “0.00” in “Pct. Cover” column indicates a target forest type indicator species not found during the survey. No value in the “TFT Goal” column indicates a native species not listed in the target forest type. “0.00” in the “TFT Goal” column indicates an invasive species to be removed.

Of the 26 TFT indicator species, only two were found in this survey. Only five of the 22 species found in the survey were native. No native species was found in more than one plot, and four of them were in the plot further from the street end.

The restoration plantings of Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir) were close to, but not in, the first plot. They are planted more densely than recommended and a little too high on the slope. The dense planting is to allow for infant mortality. The intention is that they will shade out the sun-requiring invasive species.

Heavy pulling of the weeds on this steep, dry slope would disturb the soil too much and possibly lead to a slope collapse. After the Douglas fir establishes, we will look into cardboard sheet mulching. We have also discussed with the homeowner adjacent to the street end the possibility of a native hedgerow, both to shade the slope and to prevent illicit access to the park.

Having said all that, this is an atypical section of the West Slope. But given the variety of aspects to the slope and the number of escaped ornamentals, there is no “typical” section of this HMU.

Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan

No part of the West Slope is accessible to volunteers. Some parts, bordering the social trail, are accessible to forest stewards.

In general, the West Slope is very low priority. The large, spreading cover of Lamium galeobdolon (Yellow archangel) has been reported to Green Seattle Partnership.

Uplands and Slopes: South Slope

Description

Figure 1: The South Slope

North is to the top. (Source: Green Seattle Partnership Reference Map on ArcGIS.com.)

North is to the top. (Source: Green Seattle Partnership Reference Map on ArcGIS.com.)

The South Slope is the slope just north of the South Plateau. It connects the main body of the park with the South Plateau. The northern border of the South Slope is the south loop social trail to the west and the Headwaters Bowl to the east. The southern border is a mixture property lines and the South Plateau.

Some trees in the South Slope have received ivy survival rings. There has been some planting at the lower reaches of the east section of the South Slope, along the border to the Headwaters Bowl. Other than that, the South Slope has received little or no attention.

The South Slope is split by a very steep social trail that connects the South Plateau to the rest of the park. During the dry months, this trail is very fragile and breaks into powder. During the rainy months, it is more stable but also more slick. The two sides of the trail also have different water regimes and different levels of invasive species. Because of this, the trail splits the South Slope into two subareas. This is the only HMU subdivision not based on who can do the work.

The lower reaches of Subarea A (Figure 2, below) are accessible to forest stewards. The trailside reaches of Subarea B are accessible to all volunteers. These are very small sections in the South Slope. Because the South Slope has the steepest slopes in the park, the vast majority of it is accessible only to Natural Area Crew.

The South Slope has less than 1% conifer cover and no observed regeneration of any trees. The canopy is mostly Acer macrophyllum, with 75% percent cover.

The target forest type for the South Slope is Tsuga heterophylla – Pseudotsuga menziesii/Polystichum munitum – Dryopteris expansa (Western hemlock – Douglas fir/Sword fern – Spreading wood fern; TSHE-PSME/POMU-DREX). The reference ecosystem is Mesic-moist conifer and conifer-deciduous mixed forest.

Water Flow

Subarea A (Figure 2, below) is above a number of seeps in the Headwaters Bowl that feed into the stream. These seeps flow over gleyed soils. Water and soil movement has been observed in these seeps even in high summer. The slopes above the seeps might receive some attention from the Stewardship Grant, but most attention will focus on the Headwaters Bowl and the Central Valley (as discussed in Stewardship Grant).

Subarea B receives the run off from the South Plateau. It is critical that we explore this area during a heavy rain. There is evidence that the run off from the South Plateau is eroding a section of the south loop social trail and affecting the immediately adjacent section of the Central Valley. How the runoff is affecting the slope, underneath the ivy, needs to be examined. Please see Uplands and Slopes: South Plateau and Water Flow: South Plateau Street Runoff for further discussions of water flow issues affecting the South Slope.

Vegetation

To the west side of the trail (left in the figure below), the South Slope is heavily invaded, with mature Alnus Rubra (Red alder) and Acer Macrophyllum (Big leaf maple) standing above a near-monoculture of Hedera helix (ivy). There is some remnant Polystichum munitum (Sword fern) and a stand of Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry).

On the east side of the trail, the section bordering the Headwaters Bowl and the Olympic Terrace properties is less invaded. The canopy mixture is the same, with more sword fern. This area has received some planting during restoration work. There is still a low diversity of native plants.

There has been no systematic plant survey in the South Slope HMU. Table 1, below, lists those plants that have been observed growing there through casual observation or have been planted during restoration activities. It also includes plants listed in the target forest type description but not observed or planted.

Table 1: Vegetation in the South Slope

Scientific Name Common Name Inv TFT So. Slope
Abies grandis Grand Fir   1  
Acer circinatum Vine maple   1  
Acer macrophyllum Big Leaf Maple   1 G
Alnus rubra Red Alder   1 G
Athyrium filix-femina Lady Fern   1  
Blechnum spicant Deer Fern   1  
Bromus vulgaris Columbia brome   1  
Carex deweyana Dewey’s sedge   1  
Cicerbita muralis Wall lettuce 1   G
Corylus cornuta Beaked Hazelnut   1  
Daphne laureola Spurge Laurel 1   G
Dryopteris expansa Spiny Wood Fern   1  
Galium triflorum Sweet-scented bedstraw   1  
Gaultheria shallon Salal   1  
Geranium robertianum Herb robert 1   G
Hedera helix English Ivy 1   G
Ilex aquifolium English Holly 1   G
Lapsana communis Nipplewort 1   G
Mahonia nervosa Dull Oregon-grape   1 G
Polystichum munitum Sword Fern   1 G
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas-fir   1  
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Fern   1  
Rubus armeniacus Himalayan Blackberry 1   G
Rubus parviflorus Thimbleberry     G
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry   1  
Rubus ursinus Trailing blackberry   1 G
Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens Red Elderberry   1  
Thuja plicata Western red-cedar   1  
Tiarella trifoliata Threeleaf foamflower   1  
Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia Western starflower   1  
Trillium ovatum Western Trillium   1  
Tsuga heterophylla Western Hemlock   1  
Urtica dioica Stinging Nettle     G
Vaccinium parvifolium Red Huckleberry   1  
Vancouveria hexandra Inside-out Flower   1

Key: “1” in Inv column indicates the plant is considered invasive. “1” in TFT column indicates the plant is listed in the Target Forest Type description for the 91st St. Slope. “G” or “R” in the So. Slope column indicates the plant has been observed growing or has been planted as part of restoration activities.

14 plant species have been observed growing in the South Slope HMU. Of these, seven (50%) are invasive. Of the 26 plants listed in the target forest type, five (19%) have been observed growing in the South Slope HMU.

Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan

Figure 2: The South Slope

Subarea A is to the east; Subarea B is to the west.

Subarea A is to the east; Subarea B is to the west.

Subarea A

Subarea A lies between the property lines of Olympic Terrace and the Headwaters Bowl. This means it will be affected by the work done in Subarea D of the Headwaters Bowl. It also lies above the seeps in the HWB that will receive some of the attention of the Stewardship Grant. Work here will have to be coordinated with these other projects.

The northern reaches of Subarea A have received numerous tree and shrub plantings in the last two years. These appear to have established well. Unfortunately, we did not keep accurate records, so we do not have accurate mortality rates.

In the parts of Subarea A that have been explored, there are few invasive plants. The efforts here will be to control what invasiveness is there and add to diversity, particularly at the shrub and groundcover layers.

Suggested Tasks for Subarea A:

  • Continue exploration and control of existing invasives. This can be done by forest stewards.
  • Monitor plantings for survival and growth. Replenish as necessary. Plant trees for buttressing in the lower sections; above that, plant shrubs for diversity and to maintain view corridors into the park from Olympic Terrace.
  • Coordinate work in Subarea A with the Stewardship Grant from the Washington Native Plant Society (HWB Subarea B) and with the homeowners of Olympic Terrace (HWB Subarea D) as necessary.

Subarea B

Trailside reaches of Subarea B are accessible to forest stewards and volunteers. There is a stand of Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) along the trailside that can be spread through berry spreading and live staking.

Suggested Tasks for Subarea B:

  • Spread the Rubus parviflorus (Thimbleberry) with a mixture of berries and live stakes.
  • Attend to the trailside weeds such as Lapsana communis (nipplewort) and Cicerbita muralis (wall lettuce).
  • Subarea B cannot receive crew attention until water control efforts on the South Plateau have improved.

Uplands and Slopes: 91st St. Slope

Description

The 91st St. Slope is a long, narrow strip that runs between the main social trail at the lower end and property lines at the upper. It is 23,313 square feet. Because of its steepness, it’s relatively unexplored.

The southeast corner is known as “Knotweed Hill” because it had a thicket of Reynoutria japonica (Japanese knotweed) that was treated in 2012. There is some knotweed resurgence that has been reported and is being monitored. For the full story of Knotweed Hill, please see “Park and Restoration History.”

The majority of the 91st St. Slope has no conifer canopy and less than 1% conifer regeneration. However, at the north end, where the 91st St. Slope abuts the 92nd St. wetlands, there is close to 10% Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock).

The target forest type for the 91st St. Slope is Tsuga heterophylla – Pseudotsuga menziesii/Polystichum munitum – Dryopteris expansa (Western hemlock – Douglas fir/Sword fern – Spreading wood fern; TSHE-PSME/POMU-DREX). The reference ecosystem is Mesic-moist conifer and conifer-deciduous mixed forest.

Water Flow

One section of the trail bordering the 91st St. Slope dips below the water table. No other water flow has been observed from the 91st St. Slope.

Vegetation

Trailside, there are canopy gaps along this HMU that encourage the growth of blackberry and even grasses. There are dense laurel thickets, which were treated in the summer of 2014 with stem injection. Most of the rest of the trailside vegetation is Rubus armeniacus (blackberry) with Hedera helix (ivy) and some Rubus ursinus (trailing blackberry).

In October, 2012, three Alnus rubra (Red alder) trees fell from the 91st St. Slope across the main social trail and into a laurel thicket. This enlarged a canopy gap and blocked the trail until February, 2013, when it was cleared by the Natural Area Crew.

Because of the steepness of the rise from the trail, it’s difficult to see what is on the slope. The 91st St. Slope still has some trees that need ivy survival rings, but they are on nearly vertical sections of the slope.

No systematic monitoring has been done for the 91st St. Slope. However, what we have observed growing is listed in Table 1, below. Please see the key below the table for an explanation.

Table 1: Plants observed growing on the 91st St. Slope.

Scientific Name Common Name Inv TFT 91st Slope
Abies grandis Grand Fir   1 R
Acer circinatum Vine maple   1  
Acer macrophyllum Big Leaf Maple   1 G
Alnus rubra Red Alder   1 G
Asarum caudatum Wild ginger     R
Athyrium filix-femina Lady Fern   1  
Blechnum spicant Deer Fern   1  
Bromus vulgaris Columbia brome   1  
Carex deweyana Dewey’s sedge   1  
Claytonia sibirica var. sibirica Siberian spring beauty     G
Corylus cornuta Beaked Hazelnut   1  
Daphne laureola Spurge Laurel 1   G
Dryopteris expansa Spiny Wood Fern   1  
Galium aparine Bedstraw     G
Galium triflorum Sweet-scented bedstraw   1  
Gaultheria shallon Salal   1  
Hedera helix English Ivy 1   G
Hydrophyllum tenuipes Pacific Waterleaf     G
Ilex aquifolium English Holly 1   G
Impatiens glandulifera Policeman’s helmet 1   G
Lonicera involucrata Twinberry     R
Mahonia nervosa Dull Oregon-grape   1 G
Malus fusca Pacific Crab Apple     R
Oemleria cerasiformis Osoberry (Indian plum)     G
Osmorhiza berteroi Sweet Cicely     G
Polystichum munitum Sword Fern   1 G
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas-fir   1  
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken Fern   1  
Ranunculus repens Creeping buttercup 1   G
Reynoutria japonica Japanese Knotweed 1   G
Rosa gymnocarpa Baldhip rose     R
Rosa nutkana Nootka rose     R
Rubus armeniacus Himalayan Blackberry 1   G
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry   1 G
Rubus ursinus Trailing blackberry   1 G
Rumex occidentalis Western dock     G
Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens Red Elderberry   1 G
Taxus brevifolia Pacific Yew     G
Thuja plicata Western red-cedar   1 G
Tiarella trifoliata Threeleaf foamflower   1  
Tolmiea menziesii Piggyback Plant     G
Trientalis borealis ssp latifolia Western starflower   1  
Trillium ovatum Western Trillium   1  
Tsuga heterophylla Western Hemlock   1  
Urtica dioica Stinging Nettle     G
Vaccinium parvifolium Red Huckleberry   1  
Vancouveria hexandra Inside-out Flower   1

Key: Bold plant names indicate plants listed in a target forest type but not observed growing in any HMU. “1” in Inv column indicates the plant is considered invasive. “1” in TFT column indicates the plant is listed in the Target Forest Type description for the 91st St. Slope. “G” or “R” in the 91st St. Slope column indicates the plant has been observed growing or has been planted as part of restoration activities.

Of the 30 plant species observed growing in the 91st St. Slope HMU, seven (23%) are invasive. Of the 26 plants listed in the target forest type for the 91st St. Slope, nine (34.6%) are found growing in the HMU. These numbers would probably change with systematic observation.

Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan

Figure 1: 91st St. Slope

A: Accessible to volunteers. B: Contract Crew.

A: Accessible to volunteers. B: Contract Crew.

Subarea A

Subarea A measures 9,400 square feet and is accessible to all volunteers. It is separated from a similar volunteer-accessible area in the Central Valley HMU by a narrow social trail.

EarthCorps, in the fall of 2013, did some invasive removal in the Central Valley adjacent to the 91st St. Slope, reaching to about the dogleg in Figure 1, above.

In the winter of 2014, Friends of North Beach Park leap-frogged this restored area and cleared about 800 square feet on both sides of the trail of blackberry brambles.

Our intention was to continue clearing back towards the EarthCorps-cleared area over the summer months. However, in May and June we instead worked on aftercare for plants installed in dryer areas of the park, particularly near the entrance. In August, we did some re-clearing because the area had had a resurgence of invasives, particularly Ranunculus repens (creeping buttercup).

In August, a contract crew from the Parks Department injected a laurel stand with herbicide.

In November, Friends of North Beach Park cleared and planted in the area. Most of the plants were installed on the Central Valley side of the trail.

Suggested tasks for Subarea A:

  • Survey the area to be cleared between where the Friends of North Beach Park worked in January 2014 and EarthCorps worked in Fall of 2013.
  • Plan a series of public and forest steward workparties to bring the two areas together.
  • Work closer to the trail during wet weather, move to the streambank in the summer.
  • Use burlap and mulch to cover bare areas.
  • Use GSP provided plants to fill in in the fall.

The tasks above were written in the summer of 2014. As of the fall of 2014, work on the 91st St. Slope has been demoted in favor of concentrating on the Headwaters Bowl.

Subarea B

Subarea B is unexplored as of fall 2014. It is lower priority than the South or West Slopes, which have a much higher extent of invasion; consequently, there is no crew time scheduled or predicted for this subarea.

Suggested tasks for Subarea B:

  • Explore as much as possible.
  • Put survival rings on any trees that need them.

References

Green Seattle Partnership, 2014. GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com. http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=9be9415001144aa383e5b86e481d2c45&extent=-122.5312,47.374,-121.7945,47.7577 Dates of accession various.

#GivingTuesday for North Beach Park

#GivingTuesday is a chance to recognize volunteers and change makers at every level, from people working nationally to people working in your neighborhood. Today we ask you to recognize Friends of North Beach Park by making a tax-deductible donation to the Seattle Parks Foundation. Every dollar donated is a strong gesture of support for our efforts. All the money goes directly to the restoration of North Beach Park.

Why should you support Friends of North Beach Park? Here are a few reasons:

By the end of the planting season we’ll have planted well over a thousand plants. We’ve logged hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours, and moved into new areas of restoration while maintaining previously-restored areas. We started working in the South Plateau again, and will do planting there in January. We’ve worked closely with Parks Department, Forterra, Seattle Public Utilities, and other agencies. We’ve had students from Seattle Pacific University, North Seattle College, Edmonds Community College, and the University of Washington volunteer and study in the park. We’ve had ten work parties, large and small — from more than 20 people to just three. In addition, three lead forest stewards work in the park four Mondays out of five.

We tabled at “Art in the Garden” again and, as ever, enjoyed the weather, food, and the great chance to meet neighbors of the park.

The work of Friends of North Beach Park was recognized by Groundswell NW in bestowing Luke McGuff one of two “Local Hero” awards, for work in sustaining and improving NW Seattle open space. We were also recognized by the Washington Native Plant Society in awarding us a Stewardship Grant of $500, which we have used for purchase of bare-root plants. Last but not least, Luke completed his Master of Environmental Horticulture program at the University of Washington, which resulted in a Restoration Management Plan being posted here chapter by chapter.

All of this work is accomplished by volunteer labor — hundreds, if not thousands, of hours a year. But even so, this work needs money — for purchase of plants, tools, and materials. We’re a small organization, so even a small donation will have a large impact.

Uplands and Slopes: North Slope

Description

The North Slope starts at the main entrance to the park and runs between the main trail and NW 90th St., as it rises up to 25th Ave. from 24th Ave. At 1.14 acres, it is the third largest HMU in North Beach Park.

The trail side has vertical stretches, with bare dirt and roots exposed. These stretches occasionally have heavy trees on top of them. These have been protected with wattles (burlap sacks half-filled with woodchips) held in place with ninebark stakes.
Further into the park, some of the trailside reaches of the slope widen out and become more volunteer accessible. There is still a lot of slope above the accessible areas, however.

The percent tree cover is about 85% deciduous, almost exclusively Acer macrophyllum (Big leaf maple); 5-10% is Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar), and the remaining 5-10% is gaps. The regenerating tree cover is less than 5% deciduous and less than 1% conifer.

The target forest type for the North Slope is Tsuga heterophylla – Pseudotsuga menziesii/Polystichum munitum – Dryopteris expansa (Western hemlock – Douglas fir/Sword fern – Spreading wood fern; TSHE-PSME/POMU-DREX). The reference ecosystem is Mesic-moist conifer and conifer-deciduous mixed forest.

Water Flow

The coniferous tree canopy over most of the North Slope is dense enough that it intercepts most of the water that would fall onto the slope. However, there are places where water flows from the North Slope onto the main trail during heavy rains. The main trail could use some water bars to help deal with this situation.

Furthermore, there are bare places in the groundcover that should get some attention. See “Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan” below.

In the summer of 2013, the Parks Department Natural Area Crew put coir logs underneath the intersection of 90th St. and 25th Ave.

Figure 1: Coir logs on the North Slope.

Side view of erosion control. A narrow trench was dug at the top of the slope, the netting was laid in and staked with 2x2 stakes, and then the trench was reburied.

Side view of erosion control. A narrow trench was dug at the top of the slope, the netting was laid in and staked with 2×2 stakes, and then the trench was reburied.

Vegetation

No invasive plants had established an area of monoculture on the North Slope. What is visible from the trail is a canopy of Acer macrophyllum (Big leaf maple) and a shrub layer of Polystichum munitum (Sword fern) and Mahonia nervosa (Low Oregon-grape). This association is encouraged through occasional spreading of Mahonia berries.

Observed during the belt transect (see below) was a stand of Holodiscus discolor (Ocean spray), the first observed in the main body of the park, and the only known instance of Stellaria crispa (Crisp sandwort) that we know of in the park. (Neither of these were in a transect plot.) The upper reaches of the North Slope have many daffodils, bluebells and other garden plants and escaped ornamentals.

The June, 2014 belt transect laterally crossed the North Slope; eight plots were established from the trailside up to the street end. See “Monitoring” for a full discussion of the belt transect protocol. Most of the area crossed by the transect had received some restoration, by volunteers at the lower end and Natural Area Crew at the upper end.

Table 1, below, shows the target forest type indicator species for the North Slope and all species found in our survey. Please see the Key, below the table, for a full explanation of the numbers.

Table 1: Target forest type and transect species for the North Slope

Binomial Common Name % Cover TFT Goal
Abies grandis Grand fir 0.06 14.00
Acer circinatum Vine maple 0.00 20.00
Acer macrophyllum Big leaf maple 83.88 18.00
Aesculus hippocastanum Horse chestnut 0.06 0.00
Alnus rubra red alder 11.25 9.00
Athyrium filix-femina Lady fern 2.00 2.00
Mahonia nervosa Dull Oregon-grape 11.38 4.00
Blechnum spicant Deer fern 0.00 2.00
Bromus vulgaris Columbia brome 0.00 2.00
Calystegia sepium false bindweed 0.13 0.00
Carex deweyana Dewey’s Sedge 0.00 2.00
Claytonia sibirica Siberian miner’s lettuce 0.38  
Corylus cornuta Beaked hazelnut 0.38 3.00
Cymbalaria muralis Kenilworth ivy 0.06 0.00
Dryopteris expansa Spiny wood fern 0.00 3.00
Eurhynchium oreganum Oregon beaked moss 0.13  
Galium aparine cleavers 0.44  
Galium triflorum Sweet-scented bedstraw 0.00 2.00
Gaultheria shallon Salal 0.00 2.00
Geranium robertianum Robert’s geranium 0.81 0.00
Geum macrophyllum Large-leaved avens 0.06  
Hedera helix English Ivy 1.63 0.00
Holcus lanatus velvet grass 0.06 0.00
Hyacinthoides hispanica Bluebells 0.13 0.00
Hydrophyllum tenuipes Pacific waterleaf 7.19  
Lapsana communis Nipplewort 0.75 0.00
Lunaria annua Silver dollar 0.13 0.00
Moss   1.63  
Mycelis muralis Wall lettuce 0.81 0.00
Oemlaria cerasiformis Indian plum 0.06  
Oenanthe sarmentosa Water parsley 0.13  
Osmorhiza berteroi Sweet cicely 0.31  
Polystichum munitum sword fern 12.88 54.00
Prunus avium Bird cherry 0.63 0.00
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas-fir 0.00 45.00
Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens Bracken fern 0.00 3.00
Ranunculus repens Creeping buttercup 0.06 0.00
Ribes sanguineum Red flowering currant 0.19  
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry 0.06 4.00
Rubus ursinus Trailing blackberry 0.19 3.00
Sambucus racemosa Red elderberry 0.06 2.00
Symphoricarpus albus Snowberry 0.13  
Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale Common Dandelion 0.06 0.00
Tellima grandiflora Fringecup 0.19  
Thuja plicata Western red-cedar 0.00 33.00
Tiarella trifoliata var. trifoliata Threeleaf foamflower 0.00 5.00
Tolmiea menziesii Piggyback 0.75  
Trientalis borealis ssp. latifolia Western starflower 0.00 1.00
Trillium ovatum Western trillium 0.06 1.00
Tsuga heterophylla Hemlock 0.06 36.00
Urtica dioica Stinging nettle 12.00  
Vaccinium parvifolium Red huckleberry 0.00 3.00
Vancouveria hexandra Inside out flower 0.00 7.00

Key: “0.00” in Pct. Cover column indicates a target forest type indicator species not found during the survey. No value in the TFT Goal column indicates a native species not listed in the target forest type. “0.00” in the TFT Goal column indicates an invasive species to be removed.

Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan

Figure 2: North Slope

A: Trailside, less-steep area accessible to volunteers. B: Slope area to be worked on by Natural Area crew.

A: Trailside, less-steep area accessible to volunteers. B: Slope area to be worked on by Natural Area crew.

Subarea A

Subarea A measures approximately 13,200 feet. Volunteers can work in the trailside sections and along some of the more gradual slopes at the western edge. Of particular interest are gullies and washes that form from the steeper parts of the slope. These could be controlled with dikes and careful live staking and planting at the lower sections, and coir logs or other erosion control methods above. The soil in these washes is uncompacted, and likely to slip if too heavily stepped on.

Trailside sections of Subarea A have received plantings every year, by both Natural Area Crew and volunteers. The western edge of Subarea A has received plantings of Abies grandis (Grand fir) and Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock).

Suggested tasks for Subarea A:

  • Continue spreading Mahonia grapes, as possible.
  • Add dikes and wattles to areas experiencing erosion. Live stake above the wattles.
  • Plant trees along the lower reaches of the slopes to provide buttressing.

Subarea B

Subarea B measures nearly 36,400 square feet. The rim along 90th St. has received some plants and mulch from volunteers. Below the rim, the Parks Department Natural Area Crew did invasive removal (by hand), erosion control, and planting in 2013.

Forest stewards can visually monitor this area from the street rim and the trail, but further work in this area will have to be done by the Natural Area Crew.

References

Green Seattle Partnership, 2014. GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com. http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=9be9415001144aa383e5b86e481d2c45&extent=-122.5312,47.374,-121.7945,47.7577 Dates of accession various.

Uplands and Slopes: South Plateau

Description

The South Plateau is an isolated upland with a separate, unofficial entrance. From the main body of the park, it is only accessible via a steep social trail that is slippery in the winter and friable in the summer. If you think of North Beach Park as a boot, the South Plateau is the heel. The floor of the plateau is surrounded by steep, short walls.

The South Plateau, at 25,000 square feet, is also the largest flat area in the park. As explained in “Park and Restoration History,” the South Plateau was intensively cleared in the summer of 2012 by an independent forest steward.

For more than a year, the only work done in the South Plateau was by Parks Department Natural Area Crew. In the summer of 2014, forest stewards watered and did some after care for the plants in June and July, and there was a work party in September.

The South Plateau has less than 1% conifer cover, but at least 75% deciduous cover.

The target forest type for the South Plateau is Tsuga heterophyllaPseudotsuga menziesii/Polystichum munitumDryopteris expansa (Western hemlock – Douglas fir/Sword fern – Spreading wood fern; TSHE-PSME/POMU-DREX). The reference ecosystem is Mesic-moist conifer and conifer-deciduous mixed forest.

Water Flow

During the rainy season, water accumulates from NW 85th St. and 26th Ave NW (310 feet) (all elevations from Seattle DPD GIS map). It runs to the north uninterrupted by any green scape or drainage system the length of 26th Ave. to 88th St., where it turns to the west. Once at 27th Ave., it turns again to the north and enters the park. The floor of the South Plateau is at 250 feet, giving this run about a 5% grade.

Figure 1: Path of water flow into the South Plateau.

The blue line indicates path of water, which flows toward the top of the map, from 85th St. to the South Plateau. (Source: Seattle Department of Public Development DPDGIS map.)

The blue line indicates path of water, which flows toward the top of the map, from 85th St. to the South Plateau. (Source: Seattle Department of Public Development DPDGIS map.)

Before clearing, the dense ivy and blackberry cover dissipated a lot of the energy of this water flow, spreading it out over the surface of the plateau. However, invasive removal caused a serious erosion problem was caused.

The Parks Department has installed rip rap and forced meanders into the water flow using plantings and fascines (water barriers made of bundles of salmonberry live stakes).

Figure 2: Water flow in May, 2014

Looking up towards the entrance of the park (the gray rocks in the upper right.) This is from about the middle of the fascines.

Looking up towards the entrance of the park (the gray rocks in the upper right.) This is from about the middle of the fascines.

There is still some water flow control to be done on the South Plateau, and it will have to be studied during rain events of different sizes during the fall and winter.

Water control can be improved in this area by adding meanders to the downstream end of the storm runoff, maintaining the existing meanders and fascines, and working with the stream to slow it down and let the water percolate through the plateau.

During the summer drought, the South Plateau has no water source. This leads the soil to dry and harden, becoming very compact. Plant establishment is very slow, but improving.

For more recent observations on South Plateau water issues, please see Water Flow: South Plateau Street Runoff.

Vegetation

At the start of restoration, the South Plateau was a mix of Acer macrophyllum (Big leaf maple) and Alnus rubra (red alder), with a shrub layer almost exclusively of Hedera helix (English ivy) and Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan blackberry). Other notable invasives included Lamium galeobdolon (Yellow archangel) and Clematis vitalba (Wild clematis).

There is still a fair amount of remnant and resurgent Hedera helix (ivy). Calystegia sepium (bindweed), Lapsana communis (nipplewort), and Geranium robertianum (herb robert) have also made inroads.

A forest monitoring plot following the Green City protocol was established in the South Plateau in July, 2012, and revisited in August, 2013. Note the difference, in Figures 3 and 4 below, in regenerative invasive trees. This is what happens with overclearing followed by neglect.

Figure 3: Invasive regenerative trees, South Plateau, 2012.

This was the extent of invasive trees in 2012, when the South Plateau was just starting to be cleared. (Source: EarthCorps, 2012)

This was the extent of invasive trees in 2012, when the South Plateau was just starting to be cleared. (Source: EarthCorps, 2012)

Figure 4: Invasive regenerative trees, South Plateau, 2013.

The South Plateau was cleared aggressively in 2012 and early 2013, and then neglected.

The South Plateau was cleared aggressively in 2012 and early 2013, and then neglected.

Invasive Removal and Restoration Plan

Figure 5: South Plateau.

A: Accessible to volunteers. B: Contract or Natural Area Crew. (Source: GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com)

A: Accessible to volunteers. B: Contract or Natural Area Crew. (Source: GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com)

Subarea A

Subarea A (outlined in blue in Figure 5, above), at 13,000 square feet, is the largest and driest flat area of the park and the most volunteer friendly. Even though it’s surrounded by Subarea B, it can be accessed by walking carefully down some rip rap. This was the area the independent forest steward and her crew worked in.

The over-clearing followed by neglect has left the South Plateau with a plant community that is still very much out of balance. It’s in better shape than when the ivy and blackberry dominated, but it’s still at risk of an invasive-only plant community.

There is still a lot of invasive removal in Subarea A, including annuals such as Lapsana communis (nipplewort). Subarea A could use a lot of wood mulch, both around the establishing plants, and in large areas of relatively bare ground. In the long term, this would ease the compaction of the soil and aid in plant establishment.

Suggested tasks for Subarea A:

  • Mulch around existing plants, and spread mulch to a depth of at least 4” in bare areas of South Plateau.
  • Monitor water flow during rain events. Adjust and repair fascines as necessary.
  • Add meanders to further reaches of South Plateau. The goal is to slow and spread the water, so it stays on the South Plateau and percolates into the soil.
  • Investigate mycelium inoculation as a means of improving soil conditions.
  • Forest stewards continue working in South Plateau one day a month for after care and weeding.
  • Have two work parties a year (one for planting, one for invasive removal and/or after care).

Subarea B

Subarea B is the walls surrounding the plateau part of the South Plateau. It measures approximately 12,000 square feet. The walls are nearly vertical, making it only available for work by the Parks Department Natural Area Crew. There is a rim of the plateau accessible from 27th Ave NW, but it is so narrow that the best approach is to have the Natural Area Crew work on the rim, and the forest stewards or volunteers do aftercare.

Either the Parks Department Natural Area Crew or the volunteers in the summer of 2012 (or both) have done some work on the western slope. On the eastern and southern slopes of the wall, property lines might be an issue.

Further work on Subarea B will be done by the Parks Department Natural Area Crew. Some of the work could be done at the same time as working on the South or West Slopes (see below).

Suggested tasks for Subarea B:

  • Remove resurgent invasives and increase density in cleared areas.
  • Remove ivy and put survival rings on trees on the northern edges of the South Plateau.
  • Coordinate work on the northern edges of the South Plateau with work done on the South Slope.

References

Department of Planning and Development. 2007. City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development GIS map. http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/maps/dpdgis.aspx (Dates of accession various.)

EarthCorps. 2012. North Beach Park South Plateau Baseline Report. (unpublished document). EarthCorps, Seattle.

EarthCorps. 2013. North Beach Park South Plateau Monitoring Report. (unpublished document). EarthCorps, Seattle.

Green Seattle Partnership, 2014. GSP Reference Map on ArcGIS.com. http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=9be9415001144aa383e5b86e481d2c45&extent=-122.5312,47.374,-121.7945,47.7577 (Dates of accession various.)