Evans Creek Preserve

Rock Work on a Bridge Approach, Bear Claws and Ferns Ferns Ferns.

The children worked hard hauling rocks in formation for a bridge approach on a trail at Evans Creek Preserve with the WA Trails Association.  It is enjoyable to return to the site of our original Stewardship Squad event as we approach the Homeschool Stewardship Squad's third year in service!   The number of ferns that we have transplanted measure in the hundreds by now.  Krista, our long-time WTA crew leader, aroused the children's rapt attention when she pointed to a tree showing the scratches of a bear's claw, which to everyone's relief were not fresh.

The children's sense of pride and ownership of the wilderness is evident when their forest play includes racing along trails, climbing trees and also commenting on areas in need of stewardship.  Witnessing their sense of responsibility blossom alongside a carefree, satiating pleasure in nature is a lovely thing.

Thank you to Squad-regular Becky Johnston for her reporting & photography, as the Watters Family was forced to spend the morning at the Tukwila Costco Tire Shop.  (We did explore the store's backyard and found quantities of ivy that could really use some stewardship!)

Fern planting with the WA Trails Association at Evans Creek Preserve.

These kids worked hard on an 80 degree day in May!  They hiked in a half mile through a meadow and hauled great big sword ferns to transplant alongside a new trail.  It was very satisfying to return to the first location that Stewardship Squad ever worked on with our old pal Krista Dooley at the WA Trails Association.  At just 2yo, Evans Creek Preserve is a unique new public park hosting a charming network of trails criss-crossing a large historic property of wetlands, forest and meadow, gifted to the City of Sammamish.

We reviewed what stinging nettles / Urtica dioica look like and wondered about all the fluff floating by.  I knew it was too early for cottonwood and at the end I found the source- a willow species.  My Salix ID isn't stellar, indeed a tricky genus with 50 sp in the PNW.....my best guess is Pacific willow / Salix lucida ssp. lasiandra.

The First Homeschool Stewardship Squad! WA Trails Asscn. at Evans Creek Preserve, Issaquah

A terrific inaugural event!  We began with the WA Trails Association, led by Krista Dooley.  The children hiked through the mud to transplant sturdy native sword ferns, Polystichum munitum from the forest to the edge of the new trail.  They learned about the proper crown placement when planting, digging appropriate root balls and erosion-control techniques.  It will be exciting to return to this new park when it officially opens to visit our work!