The November 10th work party was one of our biggest. Six team leaders, four of which were Green Friends members, four neighbors, and 29 students from the UW Introduction to Environmental Science class participated.
During the first part of the work party, we split the group in half and ran two bucket brigades at the same time. One spanned the distance from the wood chip piles located at the bottom of the Hanford Stairs and the Greenbelt. We had used wood chips from those piles at the previous work party, so the piles looked small. I had expected that we would finish moving those chips and need to move to piles at a different location but that wasn’t the case. Even now more wood chips are available there. The second bucket brigade started at the top of the Hanford Stairs. In that location there were two piles of wood chips that had been delivered the previous week.
These bucket brigades had two purposes. 1) We would create new piles of wood chips throughout the restoration site. The chips in those piles will be used during our November 15 planting work party, during which time two buckets of wood chips will be placed around each tree, shrub and ground cover that is put into the ground. In this instance, the wood chips serve as mulch, reducing weed growth and holding in moisture. 2) We would finish covering most of the paths that snake through the site.with three inches of wood chips. Our hope is that having a thick layer of wood chips on top of the paths will prevent them from getting muddy and slippery during the winter rains.
(Click on any of the galleries to enlarge the photos.)
During the second part of the work party, we formed four teams. These teams focused on getting areas ready for the upcoming planting event. One team moved dried branches and blackberry canes out of a new planting area. That group also spread dirt in an area where a compost pile had been taken apart during previous work parties.
The second team cleared the ground around two sides of a red twig dogwood patch.
The third team pulled out blackberry root balls and raked out a section of land north of the Hanford Stairs.
One of our neighbor volunteers cut down blackberry canes and dug out blackberry root balls and weeds from an area just across the stairs from the third team.
We make a plant order in May of each year. The Seattle Parks Department provides us with the plants towards the end of October or the beginning of November. This year we had ordered 250 plants of 23 varieties.
Prior to this work party, the shrubs and ground covers had been separated into ten groups, each number assigned to the planting area where the plants will be placed in the ground. The trees were grouped separately.
The fourth team carried those trees, shrubs and ground covers to the areas where they will be planted.
After the work party was over, three of the team leaders walked around the site placing every plant in the spot where it will be planted.
Thanks to the effort of these students, neighbors and team leaders, we are now ready to plant. I am so excited to see what the land will look like once the trees, shrubs and ground covers are settled into their new homes!