Students enter the forest through access points previously "excavated" for them.
UW RESTORATION ECOLOGY NETWORK(UW-REN) students from Seattle, Tacoma and Bothell Campuses toured North Creek Forest, one of several sites selected for restoration work for the academic year 2011-12. Access was through an area Friends cleared so students could see the land through the blackberries. This site along 112th NE is one of the most heavily invaded in the entire forest.
Among things students will need to address: retaining native vegetation like Salmonberries, Alders and Willows engulfed by Blackberries; a collapsed garage and foundation discovered under Blackberries; and lots of nettles and (did we mention?) Blackberries.
Where to begin? It's a huge undertaking.
We gathered toward the top of the restoration area to discuss parameters. Students will have maximum control over their restoration design. They can start anywhere and work in any direction. Their design will determine if "weeds" are composted on or off site; may suggest trail or path design and location; if the old garage foundation is to be a feature in the restored area ( to hold benches?); drip irrigation and a water supply must be considered to give new trees their best chance of survival; how to plan for reusing elements like the drip system? This is a big project.
UW-REN plans all aspects, including overall design of the restored area, material acquisition, keeping all partners informed, logistics, irrigation, long range maintenance and possibilities for future phases. Friends will have an opportunity to respond to the student proposal later this fall. Our goal is to give students maximum opportunity for creativity and support them with tools and material and additional volunteers wherever possible.
In time restored land will look like this part of the forest.
OCTOBER 4th VOTE
The Bothell City Council voted to enable the use of three grants and to have staff create the purchase and sales agreement for the BSA 35 acre purchase. Our guess is the closing date will be on or about mid November. A key document must be completed prior to closing to be effective. It is called a "Waiver of Retro-activity" and it enables the city to use the 35 acres as a match for other grants, something that might be a 1/2 million $ values someday.
The City Council also voted to have staff draw up Transfer of Development Rights language that might enable the conservation of the rest of the forest. If approved owners could donate land and "send" development rights to one or more other properties, called Receiving Properties. This is a very good process if the "receiving" property(s) design is acceptable to everyone.
Readers might want to view Cascade Land Conservancy's web site to see the kind of work they have accomplished. They have succeeded in conserving a lot of land. TDRs can be a good conservation tool and CLC has used them successfully many times.
Friends of North Creek Forest