For many years, Nature Consortium’s home was the West Duwamish Greenbelt. That has been changing over the last two years, as we have added new project sites up and down the Delridge corridor such as Longfellow Creek and Camp Long. We added another to the list last week, hosting our first-ever work party at a new site at Delridge Way SW and SW Myrtle St near Sanislo Elementary School. The three-acre property is owned by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and was added to Nature Consortium’s stewardship portfolio in 2017.

20170509_111355Restoration at any of our sites is a multi-year undertaking, involving removal of invasive species, installation of native plants, and regular maintenance of restored areas. And as with all of Nature Consortium’s projects, the effort at Delridge and Myrtle is meant to engage with the surrounding community — to include neighbors in work activities and to reflect neighborhood values and vision.

Like the West Duwamish Greenbelt, Longfellow Creek and Camp Long, the Delridge and Myrtle site is also part of the Duwamish River watershed and plays a role in determining the quality of water that reaches Puget Sound. Healthier urban forests produce better air quality, provide better habitat and are easier to maintain than unrestored forest.

The first stage of plans for the site call for restoring a native forest community in the low-lying area along the western edge of the site. The area will be planted with beaked hazelnut, pacific waterleaf and other native species that are well-adapted to the seasonally wet conditions.20170509_101038

The first volunteers on Tuesday, May 9 were about a dozen students from the University of Washington, who joined the project as part of an Environmental Science and Resource Management course. They removed native plants, focusing their efforts on an area that had been planted during a previous restoration effort.

The next event at the Delridge and Myrtle site is scheduled for Tuesday, June 6. A sign-up form and a full calendar of events is available here: www.naturec.org/calendar-events/