Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Saturday Learn About Yesler Swamp At Earth Day Event

On Sunday from12-2, several UW Environmental Science student are hosting a free Earth Day event at Yesler Swamp, located near the Center for Urban Horticulture and bordered by NE 41st Street and Surber Drive.

There will be stewardship activities and games tailored towards adults, college and high school students, as well as food.

One of the UW students told the Laurelhurst Blog:
The UW Environmental Science students' senior capstone project focuses on restoring the well-being of two sites within Yesler Swamp. This event serves to celebrate the students and volunteers' work as well as educate the community on ways to help restore local ecosystems. Participants will have the opportunity to the students any questions about the projects and local ecology. 
The event will start with an overview of the capstone projects, followed by an activity at the Yesler South Site for  an activity about tree diameter in regards to carbon sequestration and ecological benefits. Next, participants will proceed to the Yesler North Site to learn about identifying native plants and after a planting demo, have the opportunity to plant something.  
At the end food and coffee will be available.  There may also be trivia, ice breaker games, or board games during this time.  Friends of Yesler Swamp members, who helped with the restoration projects, will also be at the event.
Before the event from 10-noon, there will a mulching work party at the restoration project Yesler North Site.   
Yesler Swamp North is the north site of Yesler Swamp which is an area of swampland located at the former outflow of the Yesler Creek. The site area is about 902 square meters. On the west side is a prairie ecotype, and on the east side is a forest ecotype with a relatively steep slope. Both ecotypes receive full sunlight. Previous planting in the forest ecotype was done to reduce overall sunlight.  
Throughout the site are invasive species that decrease ecosystem health and beneficial species that improve ecosystem health. The plan is to remove the invasive vegetation to make space for beneficial species. Improving trail aesthetics will be a beneficial effect of the restoration.  
The goals, with a $600 project budget and volunteer labor support are:
  • Restore the native plant ecosystem to reduce the current stress on the ecosystem - reduction or elimination of invasive species on site and increasing appropriate native or beneficial species on site.
  • ​Address the slope of the site so that plants can grow successfully - reshaping of the sloped area to promote plant establishment and select appropriate vegetation for growing on sloped areas.
  • ​Increase wildlife biodiversity onsite by creating an appropriate habitat for animals - maintain the established ecotones between the two plant community types, increase coarse woody debris onsite and increase habitat-providing vegetation.
  • ​Ensure that the site is convenient for continued community usage - maintain the well-defined trails and sidewalks bordering the site, maintain the aesthetic appeal of the site and minimize human disturbance on site.

For more information go here

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