Work Party Report

The work party at North Beach Park on the 24th was directed to planting. We had 148 plants to get into the ground, in three different locations, and in a number of microenvironments, from perennial wetland (wet all the time) to upland slopes.

Slough Sedge Plugs
25 Slough Sedge plugs ready to go into the wetlands.

Each year, Green Seattle Partnership gives every park under its auspices 200 plants. This year, we concentrated the order on wetland plants and upland shrubs. There are a lot of seeps in the park, and although the water moves slowly most of the year, it doesn’t stop. This year, which went from record drought to record rainfall, change is noticeable on a weekly basis. Over the years, the seeps have carried away quite a bit of the park.

We had 12 participants at the work party, which turned out to be just enough for the work we had. I had been worried that we wouldn’t get all the plants in the ground, but in fact, we were able to wrap up and have all the tools wiped down and back in the Jobox by noon. Getting the work done was vastly aided by a couple prep sessions with Drexie, tagging the plants at the Carkeek nursery, and then transporting them to the park and putting them in place to begin work.

We also had a few brand-new tools, courtesy of a microgrant from Groundswell NW. Here are some of them, artfully displayed on a pile of mulch:
Tools purchased with the grant money from Groundswell NW

A couple of the co-stewards mentioned that they felt like this was the first “real” planting. We know the park better than last year, we knew where diversity was needed, and we knew how to plant them. The plants are healthy and they’re going in at the perfect time of year for native plants. Their roots will establish over the winter, and when they leaf out in the spring, they’ll be much better prepared to survive the dry spell. (Many of the plants we planted last year survived the drought, but it’s still unclear whether they had enough energy to make good buds for next spring. We’ll find out.)

It was a great experience of everyone working together, the weather cooperating, plans changing in good ways, and nobody getting hurt (always a plus!)

At the Wheelbarrow
Here are a few of us late in the work party, getting mulch into a bucket. You can see I’m not shy about getting dirty. Left to right, foreground: Clint, Luke, Alan, Morrie, Julie. Left to right, background: Selena, Drexie, Sam, Genie. Photo by Tad Anderson.

Here’s a group shot:
Group Shot
Left to right: Selena, Drexie, Luke, Julie, Morrie, Sam, Tad, Clint, Alan, Genie. Not pictured: Loren and David. All the pink flagging tape in the lower left corner is attached to just-planted plants. Photo by Keelan Currin.

This is the same group of folks, but the wider angle gives a good sense of the park:
Group Shot
Photo by Keelan Currin.

Thank you to everyone who participated and helped! It was great fun and very successful.

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