West Duwamish Greenbelt gets more helping hands, big and small, on Neighbor Appreciation Day

“This will be a Douglas Fir forest someday” – as it was before.

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(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Full of hope and energy, that’s what Ben Cody (above left) from the Nature Consortium told volunteers of all ages gathered this morning for a planting party at Pigeon Point Park.

He offered a quick lesson in planting, before volunteers fanned out to get 90 trees and shrubs into the ground, helping restore yet another section of the 400-acre West Duwamish Greenbelt.

The planting party was a special West Seattle highlight of the city’s Neighbor Appreciation Day – and that brought out our area’s newly elected District 1 City Councilmember Lisa Herbold.

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At left in our photo above, with the councilmember, staffers, and family members, that’s NC executive director Merica Whitehall.

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While volunteers were gearing up with gloves and shovels, we talked with Whitehall about what promises to be a big year ahead for her West Seattle-based nonprofit.

Among the highlights, they’re adding two new restoration sites, one at Camp Long and one on Longfellow Creek, where restoration work parties on three consecutive Saturdays starting March 12th will be of special interest to families: They’re launching the Eco-Investigators program, in which special activities will be available for kids while their parents help with the restoration work.

Nature Consortium also is registering participants now for its weeklong spring-break camp, and for summer camp too. And if you’re looking for the next really big event to pitch in, Earth Day and Duwamish Alive! will be marked on April 16th, with NC and EarthCorps teaming up.

But before all that, today’s work was meant to help the area make more progress toward becoming a conifer forest again. As Ben had explained at the start, since the trees were removed more than a century ago, little more than deciduous trees have stood in the space, and they’re coming to the end of their lifespan. In a mixed forest, they’d simply fall and become fodder for young conifers, but without older conifers present to seed, it’s time for some help – from everybody.

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Besides some conifers, today’s plantings were to include sword ferns and baldhip roses.

2 Replies to "West Duwamish Greenbelt gets more helping hands, big and small, on Neighbor Appreciation Day"

  • Jeannie February 13, 2016 (8:10 pm)

    We love our volunteers! Thank you all.

  • KatherineL February 13, 2016 (9:17 pm)

    Oh, hey, wouldn’t they like to plant a western red cedar? Native evergreen, nice change from all Douglas fir. I have one in a pot, with no room to plant it.

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