This past Saturday we had a great plant ID and forest association walk at the Northwest Native Plant Garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma with twenty community members participating!
Located in a well-maintained native plant garden, this identification walk focused primarily on native plants, their natural associations with other plants, and the kinds of habitat they prefer. The Northwest Native Plant Garden was an ideal location for this type of walk because it features designed habitats such as the forest garden (semi-shade), the pond garden (wet areas and margin), the waterfall garden (moist shade), the woodland garden (dry shade), and the meadow (dry sun).
Participants received information about plant propagation and then learned how to identify many plants that propagate well. From those recommended in the Green Tacoma Partnership Habitat Steward Field Guide, we learned how to identify black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), various roses (Rosa spp.), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), willow (Salix spp.), spirea (Spiraea douglasii), oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor), Indian-plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), mock-orange (Philadelphus lewisii), red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), and western redcedar (Thuja plicata).
The next plant identification walk is scheduled for Saturday, June 15th at Oak Tree Park (sign up). As an active restoration site, participants will not only be able to hone their native plant ID skills, but there will also be ample opportunity to learn more about invasive plants commonly found in urban forests and greenspaces and the best way to manage those. As we progress through the year and plants begin to flower, fruit and develop seeds, we will offer educational walks and workshops on seed collection and dispersal. All of these educational opportunities, as well as regular volunteer work parties where you can join friends, family and neighbors in improving the community can be found through CEDAR. Sign up online and invite your friends!
This educational opportunity was made possible through funding from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program.