The blog is taking a mini-break to accommodate some travel, but do enjoy a few photos courtesy of generous guest-photographers who captured Squad's latest stewardship at one of our regular sites, White Center Heights Park, hosted by King County Parks. The weather was extremely soggy but rain is good transplanting weather. We love this park and look forward to coming back, you can read more about it in posts tagged for this park. .
White Center Heights Park
White Center Heights Park was a pretty place to spend the afternoon planting. The damp forest edge has nicely growing native plantings which we added to with a smattering of native understory species.
Many muddy boots enjoyed the little creek network and some planting holes became quickly flooded with winter wetness, which salmonberries / Rubus spectabilis enjoys.
King County Parks maintains it, as White Center is still unincorporated. It has a charming assortment of features including a covered area, grass expanse with hill, edible beds, paving, paths and sculpture, plus a handsome bridge and pond.
We will keep this park in regular rotation, as it's always a pleasure to work here. You can peruse our past events there by clicking here.
Squad was thrilled to participate hands-on with King County Executive Dow Constantine in planting the inaugural tree for the One Million Tree Initiative which is part of the County's response to climate change. We are proud of having already planted hundreds of trees in our five-year history and we are committed to helping the County plant the remainder in the next five years in support of their Climate Change Action Plan. We all know trees are an important part of our landscape from mental health benefits and property values, to carbon sequestration and habitat.
This carousel has some Squad highlights from the County's Flikr stream:
We enjoyed hearing from many local stewardship leaders as well as planting alongside local school kids at White Center Heights Park. After the speeches, we removed noxious blackberry and bindweed from the native plantings in the riparian zone. It didn't take much time before the kids were hauling in lengthy brambles dug from their tenacious root balls, the pile built up fast. After a stroll across the bridge and viewing of ducks and the harmful invasive American bullfrog (do nature a favor and eat or dissect it!) we visited our winter planting site which was thriving.
Squad planted and planted from mucky stream side to scenic pond side. White Center Heights Park delighted us once again. Despite the drizzle, the covered tables were hospitable for lunch and the tree cover kept us comfortable. The creek was flowing even more than last time and truly delighted everyone. Every kiddo should have a creek to both play in and take care of. The pond work site greeted us with subtle frog croaks, though we never found it.
King County Parks led our work party again and we even enjoyed a scavenger hunt during the second half. We planted 65 plants in an area previously blanketed in ivy- a big improvement for forest health!
Extra note on rain gear: For the first time I have seen (more) affordable PVC-free European rain bibs sets!... Abeko is on Amazon up to 9yo sizes. You can also buy PVC-free Grundens Zenith (larger sizes available) locally at Bootyland, Wallingford or on Amazon for twice as much. It is a tough call between supporting small shops, affordability and also supporting healthier materials. Now there are more choices, hopefully we can look forward to a greater PVC-free future as more folks join in.
What a wonderful park hidden in White Center behind a wooded riparian strip. King County Parks led our work party, planting natives in the soggy forest. It was particularly wet from heavy recent rains, but we lucked out with a sparkler of a winter day.
White Center Heights Park was revamped around 2007 with help from multiple community sources, including a sizable Starbucks Parks Grant and the Design/Build studio at the UW's Landscape Architecture program (my alma mater!). From the gorgeous bridge on the pond, to the running mounds, wetlands and the light capturing sculpture, not to mention the Pacific Islander pig roasting pit.... An excellent park, especially at 5.5 acres.
A diversity of bat and bird boxes cultivated curiosity about the winged species frequenting the park. I saw mention of coyote. One source I read cited this site as one of the area's first sawmills, adjacent to the pond. We look forward to making this spot a regular!