Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Neighbor helping neighbor...

This kind of volunteer activity is exactly what we need more of. Happy Thanksgiving!

Stream-side Hedgerow Planting on Joe Leary Slough

On Sunday, November 14, 2010, 35 volunteer friends and neighbors gathered to plant 135 native trees and shrubs for a small hedgerow on private land along the Joe Leary Slough in Bow. All the work and materials, along with site preparation and technical advice, was donated.

The hedgerow will eventually help protect water quality in a variety of ways: (1) Restricting large animal access; (2) Creating shade which will control invasive reed canary grass; (3) Taking up excess pollutants and nutrients before they can enter the stream. In addition, the hedgerow will also provide a habitat for small animals and birds.

The result can be seen along Benson Road, about mid-way between Avon-Allen Road and Allen West Road – a stand of blue protector tubes that will grow into magnificent trees and shrubs during the next few years.

This idea of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” reminiscent of historical “Barn Raising” events, was contributed by Glen “Alex” Alexander from the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The intent was to provide a low-cost, fun and appealing approach to getting necessary stream-side water quality protection without government agency involvement or conditions.

Although small, it was a successful model. A fun, food-filled celebration followed the actual planting work. We hope other landowners along streams and rivers, such as those in the troubled Samish Watershed, will try the same thing. Many of the organizations and participants of this event stand ready to help.

Now is the time to begin organizing for the Spring Planting Season.Contact Peter and Dorothy Haase (360) 707-5877 for more information to get your own project started.

(Donors for this project included:Sakuma Brothers Farms, Taylor Shellfish Farms, Chuckanut Shellfish Farm, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group, Salal Native Plant Society, Skagit Land Trust, Skagit Conservation District, Skagit County, and Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.)

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