I will be hard-pressed to keep this post from running on and on….. we just had such a wonderful time with the Nature Consortium and the other volunteers that joined us at their public work party at Pigeon Point Park in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. It was a delight to meet participants from the Service Board, a local non-profit that "mentors teens to conquer personal and cultural challenges through public service and outdoor adventure." (read: civics and snowboarding) I overheard engrossing conversations between 7yo's and 17yo's, heads industriusly downward like the nodding onions being planted; they covered everything from their favorite authors to "What is the scientific name of plant this plant again?" (Allium cernuum). Also planted in the meadow and forested wetland was thimbleberry / Rubus parviflorus to the cheery tunes of the Mighty Tiny Band. Always a pleasure.
It is always a treat to hear live music at Nature Consortium work parties! The klezmer-esque band of percussion/tuba/clarinet was both lively and moody, perfect for the misty weather. The ample crowd of Squad-regulars did a stellar job with the usual blackberry weeding, including a brush-up on Rubus armeniacus (syn. Rubus discolor) vs. the native trailing blackberry Rubus ursinus (note this link includes a few comparison pics and also includes the noxious Rubus laciniata / cut-leaf evergreen blackberry).
Planting native wetland in the muddy parts of the lovely West Duwamish Greenbelt was good fun. After a brief intro on species and spacing, the kids especially enjoyed eyeing the mucky expanse to choose a suitable planting spot for their sedge (Carex sp.) and soft rush (Juncus effusus). Shovels in!