New plantings at our restoration sites need to be watered for 3 summers before they are established enough to survive the dry season on their own. Getting water to the Forest has always been a challenge, and watering has been a time consuming task.
We are using a new irrigation system this summer based on a design created by UW-Bothell students as part of a Mechanical Engineering class. Their design included accessing water from a nearby hydrant and storing it in a container that was large enough to hold a week's worth of water. This design allowed us to obtain funding for the materials (it was part of our recent grant from the Rose Foundation - Puget Sound Mitigation Fund: a grantmaking fund created by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance), and now we have put the new system into practice! The new system uses two 275 gallon storage cubes and a small drip irrigation section.
An additional team of UW-Bothell students, as part of an Intro to Sustainability class, planned and built the drip irrigation system. Drip irrigation will help efficiently water sensitive, hard to reach areas within the newest restoration site, reducing erosion caused by hand watering.
The City of Bothell's Parks & Recreation, Public Works, Water and Fire Departments are supporting us by donating time and supplies to regularly fill up one cube with water this year, and will have the capacity to fill the second cube by next summer.
This allows volunteers to simply turn a valve and start watering plants, increasing the efficiency of their time and energy over prior years. Big thanks to the City of Bothell for helping make North Creek Forest healthier and for supporting the community!
Current Summer Watering volunteers will receive an email next week with training/orientation dates. Interested in becoming a watering volunteer for the rest of the summer? If so, please complete this volunteer registration form and mark your interest in Summer Watering.
This project was supported by a grant from the Rose Foundation, as well as contributions from many community members. Thanks again to everyone who has helped build the new and improved irrigation system! As with all of our work, it has been a true team effort!