Plucking blackberry roots and planting native vegetation has it's rewards. When you are doing it in great company it's even better. Under the guidance of seniors from the UW Restoration Ecology Network we got a jump on planting what will end up being several hundred trees and shrubs.
The morning started with blackberries. The area being restored is by far the largest of all of the UW-REN sites between Bothell and Tacoma. As tenacious as the blackberries can be, with canes up to 30' long, they don't stand a chance against the determination of this team. Newcomers to the site wonder at the magnitude of this project but it doesn't take long to see what some joyful labor can accomplish.
One of the features of the restoration design is to increase forest cover along a sunny margin. This will rob blackberries of the light they need while native plants take over.
Another design goal is to increase the density of trees and shrubs favored by birds and other wildlife. Berries and seeds maturing at different times of the year will bring an increase nesting birds.
At no time did we just dig a hole and stick a plant in it. Instead each plant has it's roots fanned out over a cone of soil and is then carefully covered first in soil then with leaves to retard evaporation.
Snowberry and huckleberry will be growing all over this forested slope along with salal and oregon grape. Indian Plumb is already found in abundance.
We gathered for the planting of two 10' alders and prepare for our days end pizza to be delivered. It took a bit of talking to convince the pizza shop that this was a legitimate place to bring the pizza.
Thank you for the great day everyone!
Friends of North Creek Forest