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Sleeves Up, Gloves On

Repel the invaders!

Ivy climbs up trees and covers them, smothering them and adding so much weight and sail area they tip easily in the wind. Himalayan Blackberries overflow every sunny patch of ground. Holly pushes out the native understory plants. , and even suggested things we might do about them. Now it’s time to get to it, going into the spring growing season. 

What to do? If the invaders are on your land clear them out so they don’t re-infest all properties around them, or hire someone to do it. Maybe do what the pioneers did and harvest each others’ crops, where the same bunch of friends goes from one of their properties to the next on subsequent days, in this case taking out all the invasives. As I mentioned before, this helps , too, by improving their natural habitat- food, cover, nesting sites, soil quality. It will also help the human environment, improving diversity and the overall health of your landscape.

We can all do this in our own yards, but city land belongs to all of us and it’s our shared responsibility. That doesn't mean it can't be fun, too, and happily, there are many opportunities to help out. In the University of Washington’s Ecological Restoration students and the City of Shoreline are holding Scotch Broom Removal parties coming up on February 25, March 10, and March 17, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Native plants will be replanted, too.

Brugger’s Bog Park will hold a planting party Feb 18 from 10:00 to noon, Paramount Park will have a cleanup party to remove litter and weeds Feb 25 from 9:00 to noon, Ronald Bog Park will hold parties Feb. 25 and April 28 from 9:00 to noon, Darnell Park will be removing blackberries March 3 from 9:00 to noon. All of these events’ contact information is available on the City of Shoreline’s regular page of clean-up parties and they also run the Ivy O.U.T. (Off Urban Trees) program because, as they say “Removing invasive species is an important element of long term management plans for city parks.”

No excuses now- this helps the city, the land, the gardens, the wildlife, and can give you a wonderful workout at the same time!

tyson greer February 12, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Good article, Larry - Glad to learn about these focused efforts to erradicate these invasives. Another avenue is the Friends of the Cedar River Watershed (www.cedarriver.org) -- they have a Volunteer Habitat Restoration program that works with teams or business to organize restoration community service events. Contact program lead Nisa, 206-297-8141. Cheers, Tyson

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