Restoration Projects in the Union Bay Natural Area

1991 - Lythrum salicaria removal, Shovelers Pond (K. Ewing)

Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) was removed from Shovelers Pond by hand. This invasive plant species is one that if not removed will produce thousands of seeds per plant that potentially would germinate during the following growing season and result in the producton of thousands more seeds. Therefore, complete removal of all Purple Loosestrife is recommended from the Union Bay Natural Area. Large plants were removed from Shovelers Pond in 1991 and continued manual and chemical removal has been required.

1992 - Festuca idahoensis restoration, East Wahkiakum Lane (UHF 590)

Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue) was planted along the north side of Wahkiakum Lane, nearer the eastern end trail head. Five circular plots were established. The existing weedy vegetation and the soil attached to their roots were removed from each of the five plots prior to the planting of the fescue seeds.

1992 - Alnus rubra restoration, south end of Shovelers Pond (UHF 590)

Fifty Alnus rubra (Red Alder) trees were planted along the south side of Shovelers Pond. Red Alder were planted to provide vertical structure to Shovelers Pond. Red Alder is the most common wetland tree species in the Northwest. It typically is not found growing in open water, but is normally found in the moist soils adjacent to wetlands.

1993 - Symphoricarpos albus restoration, south of the Corporation Yard   (UHF 572, Winter)

Symphoricarpos albus (Snowberry) was planted to replace Rubus discolor (Himalayan Blackberry). Resprouting blackberry has required annual manual removal of canes from the snowberry patch.

1993 - Lythrum salicaria removal, Wetland C (M. Rains)

Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) was removed from Wetland C by hand. Wetland C is the smallest of the three wetlands south of Wahkiakum Lane that have been designated as the three boundary corners of the Shorebird Habitat Management Area for the Union Bay Natural Area.

1994 - Alnus rubra, Fraxinus latifolia, and sedge species restoration, Shovelers Pond (UHF 572, Winter)

Alnus rubra (Red Alder), Fraxinus latifolia (Oregon Ash), Carex spp.(Sedges), and Scirpus spp. (Bullrushes) were planted throughout Shovelers Pond. These species add to the wetland diversity of the pond and aid in the further establishment of native wetland plants, in addition to reducing the ability of non-native, weedy species to become established.

1994 - Festuca idahoensis research plots, East Wahkiakum Lane   (K. Ewing and L. Zemke, May)

1450 (4 m2 ) research plots were installed to determine the effects of (1) burning, (2) soil amendment, and (3) organic matter removal on biomass production/growth of Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue). 800 plots were installed by K. Ewing (seed material obtained from Mima Mounds site near Olympia) and 650 plots were installed by L. Zemke (seed material obtained from a commercial seed supplier; Grasslands West). Each plot consists of 16 bunches of Idaho Fescue. 60-80% of K. Ewing’s plots have survived.

1995 - Quercus garryana research sites, 3 Areas (UHF 572, Winter, and R. Bell)

Three research sites were installed for the purpose of testing irrigation treatments, competition, and plant material (seedling source) on the establishment and growth of Quercus garryana (Garry Oak):

Site 1: North of Wahkiakum Lane near the northern most pond. The site was mowed to remove Himalayan Blackberry prior to the planting of 34 Garry Oak seedlings. Each was covered with a protective fencing.

Site 2: East of Shovelers Pond. 63 Garry Oak seedlings were planted on a knoll which supported a single Pinus ponderosa (Ponderosa Pine), Agropyron repens (Quackgrass), Holcus lanatus (Common Velvet-grass), and Agrostis spp. (Bentgrass). Each was covered with a protective fencing.

Site 3: West of Shovelers Pond. 66 seedlings were planted in an open grassland area. Each was covered with a protective fencing.

1995 - Western Washington Prairie (Mounds) Research, East Wahkiakum Lane   (K. Ewing, May)

Forty six circular research plots were installed for the purpose of testing fertilizer, composting, and mounding treatments (full factorial design) on the establishment and growth of native western Washington prairie species. Half of the 46 plots consisted of mounded soil to emulate the conditions prevalent in many western Washington prairies. ‘Blocking’ for microtopographical effects (moisture gradient) was also taken into account. The native western Washington prairie species used in this research consist of Carex pensylvanica/inops (Long-Stoloned Sedge), Aster curtus (White-Top Aster), Potentilla gracilis (Northwest Cinquefoil), Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue), Eriophyllum lanatum (Oregon sunshine), Camassia quamash (Camas) and Lupinus lepidus (Prairie Lupine).

1995 - 8 Various Restoration Sites (UHF 473, Autumn)

Eight restoration projects were installed in various locations by K. Ewing’s Restoration Ecology Class. These projects included the following:

Site 1: Understory plant restoration plot, including Alnus rubra (Red Alder); north of Wahkiakum Lane near the northern most pond.

Site 2: Arbutus menziesii (Pacific Madrone) restoration plot; west of Shovelers Pond.

Site 3: Wetland plant restoration site, including Cornus stolonifera (Red-Osier Dogwood), Carex spp. (Sedges), and Scirpus spp. (Bullrushes); northwest corner of Central Pond.

Site 4: Wetland bank restoration at a culvert site, including Carex rostrata (Beaked Sedge) and Salix spp. (Willow); southern drainage from Central Pond

Site 5: Festuca idahoensis (Idaho Fescue) restoration site, which included tilling of soil; east of Shovelers Pond.

Site 6: (similar and adjacent to Site 5)

Site 7: Site mulching experiment; south of Central Pond

Site 8: Salix spp. (Willow) and Cornus stolonifera (Red-Osier Dogwood) whip planting; south of the E-5 Parking Lot

1995 - Lythrum salicaria removal, Central Pond (Birder Volunteers)

Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) was removed from the shoreline of Central Pond in hopes to create a more conducive environment to shorebirds. Central Pond is one of the three wetlands making the boundary to the Shorebird Habitat Management Area for the Union Bay Natural Area.

1996 - Lythrum salicaria removal, Wetland C    (Eagle Scout Volunteer and Troop, Summer)

Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) was removed from Wetland C by hand for the second time. Removal of the plants’ above-ground biomass was first completed by cutting the plants down at their base. Tilling of the soil was then accomplished to aid in the removal of the root masses.

1997 - Ribes sanguineum restoration, 4 Transects (UHF 572, Winter)

Ribes sanguineum (Red-Flowering Currant) individuals were planted along four transects. The transects were placed along a drier-to-wetter gradient in order to determine whether a moisture gradient would effect the establishment and survival of the plants. Two of the four transects are located on the north side of Wahkiakum Lane, one to the northeast of the E-5 Parking Lot and one northeast of Shovelers Pond. The last two transects are located on the south side of Wahkiakum Lane, one adjacent to Shovelers Pond on the west and one just east of the E-5 Parking Lot.

1997 - Lythrum salicaria removal, Shoreline (Student Volunteers, Fall)

Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) was removed from a shoreline/bay wetland area. This area had been previously choked by Purple Loosestrife, and with its removal, should be once again utilized by shorebird species.


1998 - Prairie creation, E5 Parking Lot  (UHF 473, Winter)

One third of the E5 temporary parking lot was allowed to be converted into a priarie habitat with mounding of soil to replicate those found in the south Puget Sound prairies.  Native prairie species (grasses and forbs) were planted in the site along with soil and mulching treatments.  Tree species were planted along the site's perimeter in order to establish a type of barrier to help reduce the amount of foot-traffic in the area.

1998 - Mowing of blackberry,  (CUH, Summer)

All blackberry south of Wahkiakum Lane and selected areas north of Wakaikum Lane were mowed during the summer of 1998.  Mowing will continue during the following few summers in order to reduce the invasiveness of the blackberry.

1999 - Prairie creation, E5 Parking Lot  (EHUF 473, Winter)

A second effort has been conducted on the first third of the E5 in order to promote the restoration efforts for this site.

1999 - Mowing of blackberry,  (CUH, Summer)

2000- Prairie creation, E5 Parking Lot (EHUF 473, Winter)

The prairie restoration was enhanced.

2000 - Mowing of blackberry,  (CUH, Summer)

2000- Live staking of willow along west edge of woody wetland, East Basin (EHUF 462, then Kim, Giblin and Ewing)

Live willow stakes from the adjacent swamp were installed in mowed and mulched buffers along the edge of woody vegetation to create shade and suppress reed canarygrass. This process continued for six years, creating a new woodland edge.

2001 - Shrub buffer for E5 Prairie (EHUF 473, Winter)

Because of weed encroachment from the deeper soils to the east of the old parking lot, a shrub buffer was installed along the former edge of the parking lot. The restored area was heavily mulched with wood chips before planting. A small and expanding wetland in the center of the shrub buffer area was also restored.

2001 - Mulching experiment (Ewing/Chalker-Scott, Winter)

Six large plots were prepared just to the west of Shovelers Pond. Three of the plots were herbicided in the fall, then plowed. Three of the plots received a thick layer (10-12") of wood chips. In the late winter, approximately 750 Symphoricarpos albus, 20 Holodiscus discolor and 6 Ribes sanguineum bare root plants were installed. Survival and growth is being monitored.

2001 - Mowing of blackberry,  (CUH, Summer)


2002 - Mixed restoration adjacent to E5 (EHUF 473, Winter)

Sites adjacent to the parking lot E5 buffer were selected to expand the restored area. The restoration was extended south along the loop trail, and included shrublands, wetland and wetland riparian woodland. The prairie restoration on the reclaimed portion of the parking lot was reworked.

2002 - Mowing of blackberry,  (CUH, Summer)

2003 - Mixed restoration adjacent to E5, phase II (EHUF 473, Winter)

The restoration area adjacent to parking lot E5 was extended south to wrap around the shoreline wetland that has formed at the southeast corner of parking lot E5. Two newer wetlands have also formed in the E5 area, one that is moving into the parking lot and another east the ridge formed by the former east edge of the parking lot. These restorations included tree, shrub and live stake installations.

2003 - Mowing of blackberry,  (CUH, Summer)

2003 - Site preparation, forest restoration site at west juncture of loop trail and Wahkiakum Lane

Site was delineated with mulch border. After summer mowing, individual surviving blackberry plants were sprayed with herbicide to give best chance for elimination before tree planting. Mulch was stored at site.

2004- Installation of bare-root trees (Winter)

Over 1000 bare-root deciduous trees were installed (Prunus, Populus, Fraxinus, Salix, Alnus). The area around and between trees was mulched. Tree shelters were used.

2004-  Restoration along fence, East Basin  (Autumn)

ESRM 362 Autumn class cleared blackberry and other invasive, mulched, and planted a variety of species adapted to the hot, dry slope adjacent to the chain link fence, just east of the green waste bins behind the greenhouse.

2005-  Installation of more trees, and mulching (Winter)

Trees were added to make up for dry season mortality of bare root plants.  Substantial mulching was added to conserve summer soil moisture levels.

2005-  Live willow stakes installed in stream just down from Dukbut Pond  (Autumn)

ESRM 362 Autumn class cleared reed canarygrass from the stream corridor and mulched.  Live stakes were then planted.

2006-  More blue tubes

ESRM 473 Winter class installed a number of trees to the north of Wahkiakum Lane, opposite the installations of the previous two winters.  They also dropped down and planted flooding-tolerant trees in the existing wetland area down the slope.

2006- Clark Road culvert riparian area

ESRM 362 Autumn class cleared and area adjacent to disturbance caused by vacuuming Clark Road culvert. Live stakes of willow and black cottonwood were added and the site was mulched.

2007- Trees to south of Wahkiakum Lane

ESRM 473 Winter class cleaned out the area that had been planted by the previous winter class and mulched heavily, followed by installation of trees and shrubs.

2007- Centennial Grove

The College of Forest Resources planted coniferous trees to the northeast of parking lot E-5. Sitka spruce and western red cedar were planted in the wet areas along the access road, and Douglas fir, shore pine, and grand firs were planted in drier areas upslope.

ESRM 362 students planted an additional 110 conifers

A volunteer work day also resulted in the planting of over 100 trees and shrubs.

2007-Riparian corridor downstream from Dukbut pond

Conifers were planted west of the creek as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Site was later cleaned up and trees were replanted by an Environmental Science 100 class.

2008-Understory planting at 2004 project site

Trees were added to the site that the ESRM 473 Winter class originally installed. Woody understory species were planted where shade was anticipated.

A worm fence was built around the mulch pile to limit its expansion into the planted area.

2009-Yesler Swamp Trail re-surfaced

The trail from 2003-4 was surfaced with bark and re-located to avoid wetlands

2010-Central Pond shorebird habitat

ESRM 473 class cleared five areas around Central Pond to improve shorebird habitat

2011-Shovelers Pond grassland

Mounds were constructed and native grasses were planted immediatley west of Shovelers Pond by ESRM 473 students.

2011-Yesler Swamp Forest Creep

Friends of Yesler Swamp removed blackberry and began to plant woody plants north of the current edge of forest. Located at the corner of Surber Drive and NE 41st Street .