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Invasive weeds get the boot, salmon get a boost, with King County grant awards

Summary

Restoring degraded fish and wildlife habitat for numerous species, and improving access to existing high-quality habitat are just two of the 12 projects funded this year across King County with the County’s “Wild Places in City Spaces.”

Story

Restoring degraded fish and wildlife habitat for numerous species, and improving access to existing high-quality habitat are just two of the 12 projects funded this year across King County with the County’s “Wild Places in City Spaces.”

Administered by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP), the program provides grants up to $12,000 to volunteer organizations, community groups and government agencies for projects to reforest urban areas and restore habitat within the Urban Growth Area of King County and incorporated cities.

“Grant funds are positively leveraged by the outstanding efforts of our community partners, resulting in habitat improvement projects that offer real environmental benefits,” said Christie True, DNRP director.

The funded projects all have on-the-ground benefits and promote a demonstrable reforestation or restoration benefit, including increasing the diversity of urban forest stands, or improve wildlife habitat.

These grant winners are being highlighted this week as King County promotes Earth Week through the “It’s Easy Being Green” campaign. Click on the County’s website at http://www.kingcounty.gov/beinggreen to discover a long list of green activities happening around the county and learn easy tips for saving money, conserving natural resources or improving our environment.

2012 Wild Places in City Spaces grant winners

Trout Unlimited - $10,000
Ebright Creek Culvert Removal – Remove an undersized culvert  on Ebright Creek and replace it with a much larger culvert that will help Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon and other native fish access some of the best remaining fish habitat in the Sammamish watershed.

Friends of the Burke-Gilman Trail - $10,000
Greening of the Burke Gilman Trail - Phase Two – Reforestation and habitat enhancement along the popular Burke-Gilman Trail will occur from 37th Avenue Northeast to 40th Avenue Northeast, and from Northeast 65th Street to Northeast 70th Street. Invasive, non-native plants will be removed, and native trees and shrubs will be planted. Volunteer work parties and birding outings will be scheduled as part of a community building and education effort.

Friends of Madrona Woods - $10,000
Southeast Madrona Woods Restoration and Entry Enhancement – The southeast corner of Madrona Woods is the only remaining un-restored acreage in the park. Friends of Madrona Woods will clear the area of invasive plants and replant with native vegetation, creating a safer and more-visible entrance to the park from Lake Washington Boulevard.

Sound Salmon Solutions - $10,000
McCormick Park Community Restoration Project – Community volunteers will replace native trees on a previously restored site that was damaged by flooding and active beavers. Replanting the corridor must happen before the area is taken over by invasive plants.

Mountains to Sound - $10,000
South Woods Community Restoration – The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust will partner with Shoreline and community members to restore two acres in South Woods Park. Invasive trees, blackberry and ivy will be removed, and the land will be replanted with native vegetation.

Mercer Island – $8,812
Luther Burbank Wetland Buffer Restoration – The City of Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department will remove invasive trees and restore the western buffer of the Luther Burbank North Wetland. City staff and their partners will recruit volunteers and coordinate 10 work parties to accomplish the improvements.

City of Kent - $6,650
Mill Creek Canyon/Earthworks Park Restoration – EarthCorps and Kent Parks staff will work with volunteers to replant and mulch native species at this location, which has been infested with English ivy. The project also involves removing invasive plants from the hillside floor and stream bank.

Fieldstone Homeowners Association - $6,140
Clark Creek Riparian Restoration Project – This effort will include removing invasive weeds from along the banks of Clark Creek, and replanting those areas with native vegetation. Funds will also be used to remove a barrier to upstream migration of adult coho salmon, and help educate the community about small streams in the city.

Stratford Village Homeowners Association - $4,000
Stratford Village Woods Restoration – A one-acre woodland will be restored through a cooperative project to remove litter and invasive vegetation, reestablish native shrubs and trees, provide wildlife viewing areas and enhance wetland and stream buffers.

Rainier Audubon - $2,410
Artificial Snag Project – The Rainier Audubon group will partner with the City of Kent to build and erect six artificial snags at the Green River Natural Resource Area, also known as the Kent Ponds. Rainier Audubon has pledged assistance with installing and monitoring the project, while Kent will provide in-kind staff time and a partial cash-match for the project.

Discovery Park - $2,200
Purple Martin Habitat Restoration – This project is intended to increase the purple martin population in King County by providing nesting habitat for these fascinating birds. The project will also provide public education opportunities surrounding purple martins and the ongoing efforts to improve their numbers.

Forterra - $1,450
Duwamish Hill Preserve Restoration – This location is in a Tukwila city park, featuring geological, cultural and ecological significance along the Duwamish River. Forterra, in partnership with the City of Tukwila and the Friends of Hill volunteer groups, will continue working on woodland restoration and advance the restoration of a rare rocky bald plant community.

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Related information

Wild Places in City Spaces

King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks