Continued Learning

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).

Native Plant ID Walk, Northwest Native Plant Garden
Community members break out of the forest to learn about meadow plants and habitat

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.


Free Trees for your Restoration Site!

Forterra’s exciting new C3 program (Carbon Capturing Companies), spearheaded by Pearl Jam, is working to engage local businesses about their carbon footprint.  In addition, this is creating an amazing opportunity for community-lead tree planting for carbon sequestration.

ImageA bunch of great local companies from the Seattle Sounders and Seahawks to Cherry St. Coffee and Molly Moon’s Ice Cream have committed to reducing their carbon usage and sequestering carbon through tree planting. These efforts will be completed on urban parks in the communities where the businesses work and their customers live and play.

Submission period has been extended through September 10th!

Forterra is looking for homes for these companies’ carbon. This means free trees!  Native conifers will be available in the late fall to all who apply and agree to maintain and monitor the trees through their establishment. Application and more information available on the Forterra webpage.

For questions, email me:

Plant Salvage Poetry

Dylan Mendenhall, Schmitz Park Preserve’s Forest Steward,  shared a poem with us about his volunteer group during a native plant salvage.  It was submitted to Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union’s Op : Coop. We really like it and think that you will, too.

Friends of Schmitz Park

Goodbye Forest

In the great green forest
There was a plant salvage
And rain from the sky
And a picturesque…

…bough growing over with moss.
And there were three little ferns
And an urban disturbance

And sacks full of plants
And miraculous burlap
And a dear little fern
And a non-native worm

And the boots of a volunteer stuck in the mush
And a quiet old lady whispering “lush”

Goodbye forest; goodbye moss
Goodbye boughs growing over with moss
Goodbye twilight and rain from the sky
Goodbye ferns and the urban disturbance

Goodbye plants and burlap sacks
Goodbye shovels and volunteer huddles
Goodbye boots and goodbye stuck
Goodbye nobody, goodbye mush
And goodbye to the old lady whispering “lush”

Goodbye mushrooms – surreal like and strange
Goodbye rhizomes – the underground chains
Goodbye volunteer – riding a bicycle
Goodbye forest – now unto the tranquil


See it @ Op : Coop and help Friends of Schmitz by casting your vote!