Evan Wright, Melissa Obenchain, and Peter Kalmes tear up the blackberry at Lincoln Park for Earth Day.

In May 2018, 21 of our neighbors completed 100 hours of training to earn their Master Native Plant Steward status.  Centered around Camp Long and Seward Park, the newest stewards to join the Green Seattle Partnership gained knowledge of native plant types and growing requirements, dove into the world of restoration and work party best management practices and considered community outreach techniques to learn how to effectively take their passion into park neighborhoods.  Over 30 experts in their field, representing many organizations and agencies, came together to lead interactive field and classroom sessions to make the learning experience vibrant and relevant.

Jacob Gunden and Claire Hanson perform a volunteer engagement exercise where they behave like Tsuga heterophylla.

Did the learning end there?  Heck no.  They also are now working in five teams at roughly one-acre zones at Kubota Gardens, Coleman, North Acres, Daybreak Star in Discovery and Westcrest Parks.  The way they wrapped all the learning together was to produce a stewardship plan for their sites that incorporates Green Seattle’s goals into an assessment of history and conditions and articulated strategy and work plan for addressing the unique challenges of the site – from lack of forest canopy diversity to a number of invasive weed threats to informal trails and dog use through park areas.  Each steward has committed to steward their sites for at least one year, with a longer-term vision in mind since we all know restoration is not a short-term endeavor.

This endeavor is a folding in of the Washington Native Plant Society’s Stewardship program within the Green Seattle Partnership efforts.  If you would like to learn more, please check out our website at https://www.wnps.org/ Or perhaps consider attending a volunteer event hosted by some of our very own Master Native Plant Stewards. Here are some opportunities to dig in at an upcoming work party:

 

Upcoming Work Parties

Colman Park, July 14th 10am – 1pm

Westcrest Park, July 22nd 9am – 12pm

Chrys Bertolotto
Chapter Chair of the CPS Washington Native Plant Society