Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stream-side Planting - Done!

We had a beautiful day for phase two of the planting of the section of Little Swamp Creek that passes through our yard. This planting event took place in the area all along the west side of the creek.

The majority of the plants for the project were dropped of early in the morning on planting day. The plants are all Northwest natives that came from Bush's Nursery outside of Arlington. Adopt-A-Stream provided some plants from their own supply, too. The plants from Bush's Nursery and the mulch for this project were purchased with money from a 2-year grant awarded by the Washington Department of Ecology and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to improve the quality of Swamp Creek. The boxes and burlap bags used as weed barrier under the mulch were donated by Cascade Coffee. I can tell you from our experience with the planting done on the east side of the stream last spring that this combination of cardboard, burlap bags and several inches of wood chips does an excellent job of covering up/getting rid of the lawn.

I don't know how this job could have happened without the amazing work of the students from the L.E.A.F. School at Edmonds Community College. We are very grateful that they were willing and able to spend the day on this project! (See a link to their program on the side bar) Here they are at the beginning of the day doing a little plant identification before getting started with the planting -

THE PLANT LIST - West side of the stream

Western Red Cedar
Vine Maple
Bigleaf Maple
Douglas Fir
Grand Fir
Sitka Spruce
Pacific Crabapple
Black Hawthorn
Pacific Willow
Scouler Willow
Red Osier Dogwood
Pacific Ninebark
Nootka and other roses
Indian Plum

Everyone helped carry over and arrange the plants in the planting area, and then the hard work began.

Unfortunately, at one point I put the camera down and didn't pick it up again until all of the planting was done and the mulch was spread and the work was done. I did not get pictures this time of the cardboard or burlap bag layers, darn it! (If you want to see what that looks like, you can look back to my April 10, 2009 post of the planting event on the east side of the stream.)

And although we could see small fish swimming in the stream, and a bunch of the group saw a little frog or two at the end of the day, the three catch-and-release traps that the the Adopt-A-Stream guys put in the stream the day prior to the event did not have a thing in them. That was disappointing. It is the time of the year when we can see caddisfly lavaea and "water skeeters", so at least we are seeing the things that we normally see in the stream. Otherwise I would have been really alarmed by the empty traps, considering the critters that were in them last summer...

Here is a picture of some of the L.E.A.F. School group during the wrap-up discussion at the end of the day -

And the finished project -

This is looking north towards the street

This is looking to the south/downstream

All of this new planting blends into what we called "the wetland" area of our yard previously, a small section of our yard that we had planted several years ago with some cedars and other smaller native plants -

Thank you sooo much to everyone who worked on this project! It is was an amazing thing to be involved in, and we are so lucky to have been able to take part in this kind of restoration in our very own yard. I'm happy that we will be able to share the growth and evolution of the restored area on this blog.

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