Tread lightly by the Schmitz Park stream – brand-new trees!

The request comes from Karin, who shared photos of some of her fellow volunteers at today’s 350.org tree-planting party at Schmitz Park – adding new growth to the existing old growth:

I had a great time with this group, and we planted mega amount of trees. The trees all have bright ribbons to mark them, and we ask the community to be watchful where you walk along that area by the stream to ensure survival of the plants. Thanks to Dylan, who was our organizer and leader.

This was one of many work parties for this year’s “10/10/10 Global Work Party” – here’s our coverage from the “350 Day of Action” last year. P.S. The significance of “350” is explained here.

5 Replies to "Tread lightly by the Schmitz Park stream - brand-new trees!"

  • dsa October 10, 2010 (11:47 pm)

    That’s an old forest. Were there trees missing that needed replaced? It was donated to the city on special terms. Is this in keeping with those terms? I not complaining, just surprised that an old established forest needs these new trees, but I have not been down there in several years, so forgive me if I’m ignorant on the area.

  • Aimee October 11, 2010 (1:28 pm)

    This project was organized by Friends Of Shmitz Park. It is a monthly program, actually, on the last Saturday of every month. Yesterday was an exception. 10-10-10 was a designated day for global work parties to work on our planet’s climate crisis. Visit http://www.350.org/en for more information about the movement and the participants. There you will find pictures and bios of different movements that took place yesterday all over the planet in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

    The saplings were donated by, I believe, by the horticulture program at the University Of Washington.

    Dylan, who is a part of this program at the UW, was the leader of the event, as he is part of Friends Of Shmitz Park and grew up right next to those woods.

    We planted trees along the bank of the stream that runs through the park, back towards the back of the park. High pedestrian traffic has caused the bank to erode, and precious plant life has been trampled, due to park goers straying from the designated path.

    Climate change due to high carbon emissions and overgrowth of invasive plant life has also compromised the parks precious old growth trees. It is work to maintain our beautiful parks. This is necessary.

    Mr. Schmitz’s parents donated what is now Schmitz Park to the city in 1908 on the condition that no tree would ever be cut.

    This was a truly beautiful experience and if anyone has time to help at the next event, please do. Our planet literally depends on it.

  • Dylan Mendenhall October 12, 2010 (11:25 am)

    Thank you again to everyone who came out to this beautiful forest in the pouring rain! If you haven’t been out to the park lately, go check it out. Together we planted:
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    35 western hemlock
    20 sitka spruce
    15 western red cedar
    36 red columbine
    18 salmonberry
    18 thimbleberry
    myriad salmonberry live-stakes
    a dozen or so wild strawberry
    and a few vine maples too
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    The site looks absolutely transformed. All together we covered 4000 ft^2 of riparian habitat and 6000 ft^2 of upland. We closed off an erroneous social trail, shepherding passersby to the more intuitive paths. We also greatly improved the trail, making it safer for people to get down to the creek, which is a popular location. Fundamentally, we strove to balance the dynamic between restoring stream-side vegetation and maintaining accessibility. One of the overriding themes of Schmitz Park, from its dawning, has been the challenge to preserve our native biodiversity while ensuring that generations into the future will be able to walk and breath and ponder among it.
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    For more information about the Forest Stewardship program and the Green Seattle Partnership, go to http://www.GreenSeattle.org

  • Dylan Mendenhall October 12, 2010 (11:56 am)

    In reply to dsa’s comment:
    Schmitz Park is indeed an incredible gem among our city’s many natural areas. It is one of only two locations in the city that is considered Old Growth – the other being Seward Park. This relatively intact ecosystem has a strong resilience to disturbances such as invasive plants or wind storms, which is why most of the park remains very healthy. Compare what you see in the interior of the park to almost any area along the perimeter.

    As Aimee described, this particular site was severely impacted by pedestrian traffic. Of the 10,000 ft^2 that we restored, much of it was bare eroded soil, which is very unusual in a forest like this. The majority of the plants that we installed were propagated using seed that was harvested from within Schmitz Park, and in some cases, from Lincoln Park and Camp Long. This helps preserve the unique genetic identity of our forest. I am glad that there are citizens out there with a critical eye on the fate of our most precious resource.
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    Go for a walk in Schmitz Park! It will inspire you.

  • dsa October 12, 2010 (10:38 pm)

    Thank you Dylan for your thoughtful and detailed responses. I hope there is room for 70 new trees to grow in a natural way without looking like sun starved toothpicks. However I fully understand the need for the other plants and appreciate your stewardship efforts.

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