A bulleted list! So you know it’s precise! Considering each HMU where we did some work in 2014, starting with the South Plateau:
- Had been neglected since project dropped by previous forest steward.
- Neighbor complaints caused us to return to working on it.
- Water flow appears to be under control. One forest steward has examined it in the rain and observed that most of the water was flowing into a wood chip pile.
- Personal contact was made with two neighbors of the South Plateau, and a homeowner engaged in a gutting and refurbishing of a house. All contacts were positive.
- There was one work party in 2014, clearing and planting prep with SPU students.
- Ivy, holly, blackberry, yellow archangel resurgence.
- Nipplewort, wall lettuce, other annual weeds.
- Water flow seems to be under control, but still needs to be inspected regularly during heavy rain.
- Establishment and after care for already established plants.
- Maintain neighbor relations.
- January: Planting work party, 128 plants.
- September: Clearing and prep for planting with SPU students.
- Forest stewards will continue to work approximately one Monday a month, to maintain cleared areas and prevent reinfestation. We will also attempt to spread seeds of native plants as appropriate, particularly Dicentra Formosa (Pacific bleeding heart).
- Began 2014 with clearing about 800 square feet, down the trail from Knotweed Hill. The clearing happened on both sides of the trail, so it was in both the Central Valley and on the base of the 91st St. Slope.
- The area was neglected during the summer months in favor of after care for plants in drier areas of the park – along the North Slope side of the main trail and along the 24th Ave. rim.
- A three person crew worked on the area during the August work party.
- This area will be planted in the November work party. There will be enough people there to do some clean up first.
- Extensive planting happened in the seeps at the eastern edge of the Central Valley during the October work party.
- 2015 plans: Forest stewards and work parties will monitor cleared areas to prevent invasive resurgence and provide after care as/if necessary.
91st St. Slope:
- In addition to the clearing mentioned above, a thicket of laurel was limbed by forest stewards early in the summer.
- This thicket was given both E-Z-Ject and cut and paint treatments to kill the laurel.
- Forest stewards will monitor this laurel thicket.
Knotweed Hill (Knotweed Hill is located at the border of the North Slope and the 91st St. Slope HMUs.)
- Knotweed Hill was treated for knotweed in the summer of 2014.
- There was some watering of the upland plants in the summer, but it has received no other attention.
- It needs to be monitored for invasive resurgence and any after care.
Headwaters Bowl (“HWB”):
- The narrow, western section of the HWB received about half the plants from the October work party. Some plants were put into bowl section as well.
- The area between the north side of the streambank and the main trail received a lot of clearing in 2013 from EarthCorps and Parks Dept. contract crew. These cleared areas need to be regularly inspected to prevent resurgence and to provide after care for plants installed in 2013.
- An area of the HWB that has received little attention so far was transected by two forest stewards (Luke and Drexie) in October. We started at the Two Cedars area (about 150 feet down the main trail) and crossed the HWB just west of a line of old Alnus rubra (red alder).
- North of the stream, we saw a large number of small Vaccinium parvifolium (red huckleberry). It was unclear whether they were planted or volunteers.
- Immediately south of the stream crossing the soil was very wet and marshy. There were many large Lysichiton americanum (skunk cabbage) leaves dying back. There was also evidence of Equisetum arvense (horsetail) from earlier in the season.
- Further south of the stream crossing, the ground rose slightly and was dryer. At that point, the Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry) became very thick.
- There was some Polystichum munitum (sword fern) and Athyrium filix femina (lady fern), but ground cover in general was relatively sparse.
- There was a thicket of Ribes bracteosum (stink currant) at the border of the wet and dry areas.
- At the base of the south slope we stopped to write down what we’d seen so far. In addition to the already mentioned plants, there were:
- Emergent (that is, taller than the shrub layer) Acer macrophyllum (big leaf maple) and Alnus rubra (red alder).
- Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens (red elderberry) thicket.
- Sorbus aucuparia, European ash.
- An apparently dead Populus balsamifera (cottonwood) stake from 2012.
- Going up the south slope to the houses, we saw:
- Sword fern as dominant groundcover.
- Occasional salmonberry, but fairly isolated and lower on the slope. Otherwise, no shrub layer to speak of.
- Big leaf maple trees dominant towards the middle of the slope, with conifers along the rim (we weren’t able to identify the conifers from that distance).
- We continued east along the base of the south slope towards the 24th Ave. Slope.
- Outside of the tree cover, the ivy was very dense, bushy, and had many many seed pods.
- There were a couple small Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar) that Tad and Luke had liberated from salmonberry in 2012; Luke and Drexie liberated them again.
- The base of the 24th Ave. rim was dominated by Hedera helix (English ivy), with Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) growing up between it. There was no shrub layer and no regenerating trees.
- The culvert that empties into the park from the corner of the 24th Ave. slope and the south slope has gouged a deep channel. There is a lot of construction rubble in the channel, but also some large garbage (garbage cans, tires, etc.) that should be removed. This is on private property, but if at all possible it should get treated with some rip rap. The channel is still carved farther down, and at the base of the slope and in the flat area it can receive fascines or woody debris.
- For 2015, we will work with the Parks Department to determine what can be the scope of volunteer work in the private property areas of the HWB, and then contact the neighbors to get permission for that work.