sheet mulching

Cheasty Greenspace- bucket brigade mulching on Beacon Hill.

This bucket brigade was our most complicated yet and the kids performed excellently with stamina and rhythm.  The sun was hot on the way to the mulch pile at the top of the hill but the mulch-dump-site at the bottom was rewardingly shady.  We furthered sheet-mulching work on a planting site from wintertime in order to smother weeds and retain moisture during the dry summer ahead.  As usual, working in the Cheasty Greenspace was a real pleasure.  (read more about the neighborhoods efforts at Cheasty in another post here)

After-play is always good fun, on the paths, around the bend and up the trees.  The fringe-cups / Tellima grandiflora are blooming.  Another lovely spring day in Seattle, spent in service of nature and community under the leaves.

Duwamish River Restoration at T-105 with EarthCorps- Bucket Brigade II

The kids cheered loudly when they heard they were going to form a bucket brigade again at T-105 Park.  We reviewed the importance of the river for salmon, and discussed challenges the restoration faces, including noxious weeds.  Noxious Populus alba / white poplar re-sprouts in full force all over the site, including from downed and decaying trunks!  (photo below)  The kids leapt into place and the buckets started flying as we continued sheet mulching the native plantings with cardboard and wood chips.  They derived a good deal of satisfaction from executing an important role in a fast operation; though I'm sure the spilled buckets, giggles and ridiculous traffic-jams had something to do with it.   Enjoyable as well, was meeting a slough (pun intended) of new EarthCorps leaders.

Hiking & Hauling in the Cheasty Greenspace, Beacon Hill


The Cheasty Greenspace is a terrific place for the Homeschool Stewardship Squad- the central location is ideal, fun, and the coordinated community efforts to restore their forest are a pleasure to participate in.

The dedicated group of neighborhood volunteers has not only worked hard, but thought strategically about how to harness municipal and volunteer resources in support of their forest.  They are excited to announce that the City of Seattle has adopted the northern acreage on which to create a pilot-project mountain bike park.  They are taking notes on the popular Duthie Hill Park, Issaquah.  Much planning is underway to discuss a wide diversity of issues such as trail standards to prevent erosion and how to separate pedestrians from bikers.

We sheet-mulched native plantings and hauled many a bucket of wood chips.  It will be a treat to keep working at this site and watch it fulfill its potential as a healthy urban forest accessible for recreation.

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Trillium ovatum   / wake-robin.  Almost spring!

Trillium ovatum / wake-robin.  Almost spring!

The  Green Seattle Partnership  is a supporter of the Cheasty Greenspace.

The Green Seattle Partnership is a supporter of the Cheasty Greenspace.

Bucket Brigade Sheet Mulching at T-105 on the Duwamish.

Brrrr….!  This was a chilly Squad, the kids were one-upping each other on the most layers worn.  It was impressive to see ice all the way up the restored slough-channel, in which the tide was quite high so we hiked around it, rather than crossing it to the restoration site.  We began with a short explanation of a watershed, in this case the Green-Duwamish Watershed.  (See your King County watershed here)  I wasn't so sure the kinds would find the coordinated discipline involved in a bucket-brigade enjoyable, but they had a blast!  Great idea Dhira.  Much mulch was dumped onto the cardboard we spread out for weed control.  A great time with EarthCops on the Duwamish River in the heart of Seattle. 

Fur ID…..?

Fur ID…..?

mossy rose gall (click pic for link)

mossy rose gall (click pic for link)


Squad on the Duwamish River. Steamy mulch.


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.