City of Tukwila

Wetland buffer maintenance at Tukwila Pond Park.

Jessa hacks the noxious  common hawthorn /  Crataegus monogyna  .

Jessa hacks the noxious common hawthorn / Crataegus monogyna.

Hidden away behind the big box stores in Tukwila is a very large pond (a lake really) surrounded by willowy wetlands.  It was improved via the mitigation process, as required in exchange for development on (poor quality) wetlands nearby.  The site used to be agricultural, and indeed the old fence posts can still be seen poking out of the water.  Due to development, creek out-flow was restricted and the area became permanently flooded.  Now it is excellent bird habitat.

Our work with the City of Tukwila was to remove invasive noxious species from the native planting buffer.  I casually mentioned to a couple of passionate children, "This tree is actually an invasive hawthorn species.  It can be harder to removed trees since they're large, sometimes you can girdle them to kill them."  Before I knew it they formed a team to start scraping it away and after an hour's hard work them eventually removed the tree entirely!  Other species we removed were holly, ivy, blackberry & nightshade.

After working, we hiked past abandoned train tracks and through the thick willows to reach the open water.  If funds could be secured, the City would like to create greater public access.  Biologist Sandra Whiting pointed out wetland species along the way and shared the cultural & restoration history of the site.

QUIZ!  What leaves are these?  cocean spray /  Holodiscus discolor,  snowberry /  Symphoricarpos albus,  noxious common hawthorn /  Crataegus monogyna.   

QUIZ!  What leaves are these?

cocean spray / Holodiscus discolor, snowberry / Symphoricarpos albus, noxious common hawthorn / Crataegus monogyna.  

Sandra Whiting teaches us about noxious reed canary grass /  Phalaris arundinacea.

Sandra Whiting teaches us about noxious reed canary grass / Phalaris arundinacea.

Genetic variation - a variegated (noxious!) blackberry seedling.

Genetic variation - a variegated (noxious!) blackberry seedling.

4 noxious sp together!  Ivy, baby blackberry, baby holly & baby bittersweet nightshade /  Solanum dulcamara  (which not the same as deadly nightshade /  Atropa belladonna).

4 noxious sp together!  Ivy, baby blackberry, baby holly & baby bittersweet nightshade / Solanum dulcamara (which not the same as deadly nightshade / Atropa belladonna).

Black cottonwood / populus trichocarpa.

Black cottonwood / populus trichocarpa.

Black cottonwood / populus trichocarpa seed capsules.

Black cottonwood / populus trichocarpa seed capsules.

Squad on the Duwamish River. Steamy mulch.

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We have worked many a task at Stewardship Squad, from wielding the weed wrench, to hauling stones and of course weeding, planting and mulching.  This time however, was our first for sheet-mulching on a large-scale.  The native plants contend with hedge bindweed (Convolvulus sepium) and poison-hemlock (Conium maculata) at the riverside restoration site- the cardboard layer underneath the woodchips helps smother existing rhizomes, plants and seeds.  This restoration project was begun by an interested employee at the adjacent BECU headquarters, who's employer supported the efforts and they grew!  Other partners and the City of Tukwila are involved now.  May we all be as inspired to better our surroundings.  The Homeschool Stewardship Squad was happy to help.  And glad for the steamy mulch piles on a chilly day.

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