There is always work to be done restoring urban forest and maintaining trails. Here’s what’s currently happening and how you can get involved.
HIGHLAND PARK WAY SIDEWALK
An unusual project to uncover the sidewalk on the north side of Highland Park Way has created a new connection between the end of a hike through the greenbelt to Highland Park Way and the intersection with West Marginal Way. See this short video about the project.
PIGEON POINT PARK
Pigeon Point is located on the furthermost northern end of the greenbelt, overlooking Elliot Bay and the mouth of the Duwamish River. Over the past 10 years, Nature Consortium now part of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, has brought volunteers and community members together to help restore habitat by removing invasive weeds, amending soil, addressing erosion issues, and planting new native trees and shrubs.
Puget Park is just south of Pigeon Point Park. The Seattle Parks Department along with community volunteers have been working on improving the trail. They have been removing invasives, planting natives, regrading and resurfacing the trail. The entire 1.2 mile horseshoe shaped trail should be completely restored by the end of 2019. If you haven’t been to Puget Park lately, go check out the progress being made or at least check out this before and after photo: https://twitter.com/SeattleParks/status/843259499175723008
Westcrest Park is located on the furthermost southern end of the greenbelt. DIRT Corps is revitalizing the southwest portion of Westcrest Park. The first step is to remove invasive species followed by planting events. The volunteer restoration events will include a brief weed ID education class to learn about the different types of invasive weeds, why they are harmful, and how to get rid of them. Learn how to join an upcoming Dirt Corp volunteer restoration event here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theDIRTcorps/events/
GREENBELT THINNING GAP ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
The Green Seattle Partnership conducted a restoration project on roughly 40 acres in West Duwamish Greenbelt on the hillside between South Seattle College and West Marginal Way. A thinning and gap enhancement operation occurred from mid-August through mid-October 2017. Native planting by Garden Cycles was completed in March 2018. Professional crews thinned red alder and big leaf maple to create small gaps in the canopy to allow more light to the forest understory where young conifers await favorable light conditions. The cut down timber was left in place as nurse logs or snags, and habitat piles were built with the slash material. Weeding and major replanting of tree seedlings was conducted over the 24 thinned acres as well as on an additional adjacent 16 acres. With more light and planting of 10,000 native tree/shrub seedlings, this effort will nudge this forest on a healthy and resilient path. The Applied Ecology crew will continue invasive removal and maintenance weeding over 100 acres of the greenbelt as well as monitoring seedling survival.
If you are walking through this area, be mindful on windy days. With less density, trees are not buffered from the high winds. Learn more about this project at: http://www.greenseattle.org/letting-light-shine/.
Since 2003, the Nature Consortium’s Urban Forest Restoration Program has been conducting forest restoration in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Along with volunteers and community groups they have been removing invasive, planting natives, and controlling erosion. There are three Nature Consortium restoration sites in the greenbelt at Pigeon Point Park, north of Riverview Playfield, and north of the Seattle Chinese garden. Nature Consortium is now part of the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association; check out that website to sign up to volunteer.