Autumn is a great time for habitat restoration around Puget Sound. The start of the rainy season means softer soils, perfect for invasive weed removal and native vegetation planting.
Although cloudy skies may not be the most exciting outdoors weather, that could not dampen the enthusiasm of nearly 40 volunteers who showed up at the Duwamish Hill Preserve! Gathered around the site’s Seasonal Round, volunteers learned about the history of the preserve, the Salish peoples and the cultural and ecological significance of the plants around them.
ECOSS Multicultural Outreach Manager Allan Kafley talking about how indigenous tribes were connected to native plants and how local wildlife benefits. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Then it was time to put on gloves and grab the shovels. With twice as many volunteers as expected, the group quickly dug out invasive weeds, replaced them with native shrubs and helped protect this unique ecosystem and cultural site! Adjacent to the Duwamish River, this site — like others being restored within the Duwamish Alive Coalition — also supports salmon by reducing pollution in the river.
Removing invasive weeds by the armful. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Restoration tools for the day. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Digging back invasive reed canarygrass. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Proud habitat restorers with the Tall Oregon grape they planted. This plant can be found natively throughout the Pacific Northwest. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Native planting is best done in pairs. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
A long-toed salamander wandering the restoration site. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Each overturned pot represents a newly planted native plant. Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Group photo of the volunteers. Almost 40 in total! Photo Credit: Sam Le.
Habitat restoration volunteering is a great way to build connections with the environment and with one’s community. Not much can compare to the feeling of encountering the animals that you are working to protect while restoring habitat. The New Arrivals program promotes access to these and other experiences for immigrants and refugees.
Learn more about New Arrivals
Thank you Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust for partnering with us and sharing your restoration expertise. Thank you Bhutanese Community Resource Center for helping bring volunteers from the Bhutanese community! Thank you to Rotary Club of Seattle for funding environmental equity work. And thank you Duwamish Alive Coalition for including us to make environmental education and connections accessible to all!