Campus Project: Help Restore the Kincaid Ravine Forest!

Our friends at the UW Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER-UW) and EarthCorps passed along word of a few volunteer work parties coming up to help restore Kincaid Ravine to a healthy and beautiful campus forest!

A 2.2-acre urban forest located in the northeast corner of campus, Kincaid Ravine is currently dominated by invasive species and deciduous trees that are coming to the end of their natural lifespan. It is a declining forest that is gradually losing the ability to perform important ecological functions.

Restoration EventsAs part of the process of restoring this forest to health, the first event of the quarter—organized by SER-UW—will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15, along the Burke-Gilman Trail under the 45th Street Viaduct. You’ve probably walked or cycled through there countless times, and now you have a chance to get involved and remove some invasive plants. Tools, gloves and refreshments will be provided, so all you have to do is show up ready to dig in!

After this kick-off work party, EarthCorps has partnered with the UW Campus Sustainability Fund to line up five additional opportunities at Kincaid Ravine for the winter and spring quarters. Among the other key partners in this effort are Martha Moritz, a graduate student in Environmental Horticulture who is serving as the student project manager, and SEFS Professors Kern Ewing and Jim Fridley (as well as administrative support from UW Botanic Gardens).

As before, tools, gloves and refreshments will be provided for each event, but EarthCorps asks that you sign up beforehand if you’re able to come.

Saturday, Feb. 22: EarthCorps work party from 10 a.m-2 p.m. Invasive plant removal. Sign up now!

Saturday, March 1: EarthCorps work party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Planting and mulching. Sign up now!

Thursday, March 6: EarthCorps work party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Invasive plant removal. Sign up now!

Saturday, March 15: EarthCorps work party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. This will be the last work party in winter quarter. You’ll be doing a lot of planting and mulching. Sign up now!

Saturday, April 19: EarthCorps Earth Day work party from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to kick off spring quarter. Sign up now!

Learn more about the Kincaid Ravine restoration project, and please contact Yiyan Ge, volunteer coordinator, or Martha Moritz, student project manager, with any other questions.

Fall Planting Party!

If the start of Fall Quarter has you fired up and extra motivated to get your hands dirty, you can channel that energy on Saturday, October 19, at a volunteer work party with our friends at Conservation Northwest!

The fall planting, organized by Conservation Northwest and other local partners, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. near Snoqualmie Pass along the Interstate 90 corridor. Their goal is to recruit 40 to 80 volunteers to help restore and connect important habitat, and they’ll be planting native plants, including ground cover, shrubs and willows, all around the Gold Creek pond area.

Gold CreekGold Creek is an essential pathway for wildlife moving north and south in Washington’s Cascades and needs greater protection and connectivity. Beginning in 2007, Conservation Northwest and partners began restoration efforts reducing invasive plants and recovering native species. Not only is Gold Creek an important place for wildlife, it also offers popular and important recreation opportunities, including picnic areas, an ADA-accessible trail, and trail access to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Beverages, snacks, work gloves and tools will be provided, but you’ll want to bring a lunch and extra water. If you have your own favorite gardening gloves, feel free to bring those as well.

To learn more or RSVP for the planting, contact Jen Watkins and come join Conservation Northwest in their efforts to improve Gold Creek for wildlife and human uses!

Photo © Conservation Northwest.

UW-REN to Host Volunteer Work Party at Ravenna Park

UW-REN Work Party

The restoration site in Ravenna Park.

Coming up this Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the UW Restoration Ecology Network (UW-REN) is organizing a restoration project at Ravenna Park in Seattle. They’re still recruiting volunteers for the work party, so if you’re in the mood for some romping in the mud—with positive ecological results—then email Amy Vondette today!

Depending on how many volunteers they can scrounge up, you’ll likely be removing invasive species, mostly Himalayan blackberry, but also some Reed canary grass and creeping buttercup, from previous work sites in Ravenna Park.

The site is by Ravenna Creek and is muddy in a lot of places, so you’ll want to wear rubber or waterproof boots if you have them. UW-REN will provide gloves and tools, as well as snacks, coffee and juice. If you need more detailed directions to the site from the parking lot (5520 Ravenna Ave NE, 98105), contact Vondette anytime before Saturday.

So sign up to make a splash at Ravenna Park on Saturday!

ESRM Students Volunteer at Beaver Pond

Beaver PondEarlier this quarter, students in Professor Rob Harrison’s “ESRM 100: Environmental Science” course volunteered at the Beaver Pond Natural Area in Seattle. Working with Ruth Williams, the volunteer organizer, the students removed invasive plants and planted some native species.

Most ESRM 100 students complete a volunteer project as part of the course requirements, which include writing up a summary of their work, including the species they worked with, why they did the work, any problems they encountered, solutions they employed, and environmental benefits of doing their particular project.

For many, says Professor Harrison, the project is the first time they’ve done anything like this kind of restoration work outside—and they enjoy it so much that it often leads to additional environmental service volunteering!

Photo © Rob Harrison.

Celebrate Earth Day at the Arboretum!

This Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., roll up your sleeves and come join the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (UWBG) and Seattle Parks and Recreation for a day of fun service projects to help improve the Washington Park Arboretum!

Organizers have selected about eight work sites throughout the Arboretum. Projects range from weeding and invasive plant removal to mulching and even some trail work, with different tasks suitable for 8-year-olds up through early teens and adults.

Earth Day 2012

2012 Earth Day volunteers. See how pumped up and excited they are?

This year’s service event is expected to draw some 300 volunteers, including a crew from a fraternity and sorority at the University of Washington, groups from Southwest Airlines and other corporate partners, volunteers from the National Park Service, local high schools and other individual participants.

The event officially kicks at 9:30 a.m. with introductory remarks from several speakers, including Tom DeLuca, director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. By 10 a.m., volunteers will begin fanning out to project sites around the Arboretum, and the event ends at 2 p.m.

If this is the first you’ve heard of the clean-up, don’t worry, it’s not too late to sign up! You can register online up until noon on Friday, April 12, and walk-up registration on Saturday will be available beginning at 9 a.m. They’re eager for all the hands they can get, so come spend a morning playing in the dirt, celebrating our Earth, working together to beautify our community, and getting youth and community members involved!

Where: Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle 98112. We will meet in the Meadow, which is about a five-minute walk south of the Graham Visitors Center on Arboretum Drive.

What to bring: Water bottle, sack lunch, travel mug for a hot drink, sunscreen, rain gear, long pants, layers of clothing and boots. (Some snacks and drinks are provided.)

What you won’t need: Tools, gloves, environmental education and project materials, all of which will be provided on site!

For more info or to register, visit the SCA’s event site, email or call 206.324.4649.

Photo of 2012 Earth Day volunteers © Student Conservation Association.

Student Volunteer Opportunity: Salmon Recovery Conference

Salmon Recovery ConferenceHosted by the Salmon Recovery Funding Board of the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, the biennial Salmon Recovery Conference will be held May 14-15, 2013, at the Vancouver Conference Center in Vancouver, Wash. More than 500 attendees are expected to attend the two-day conference, which focuses on building better salmon recovery projects.

One great way for students to get involved and attend the conference is as a volunteer with the Salmon Recovery Funding Board.

As a student volunteer, you’ll get to learn about issues, projects and up-to-minute methods in Pacific Northwest salmon recovery; connect one-on-one with salmon recovery practitioners and policymakers from Oregon and Washington; build your resume and professional network, and also get reimbursed for your student registration fee ($75) by working 4-6 hours at the conference!

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 29, so learn more about the work you’d do as a student volunteer and see if you’re interested!

Ecological Restoration: Volunteers Needed to Plant!

UW-REN Volunteer Opportunity

Yes, you might get a little muddy, but how can you resist this young volunteer’s earnest plea to come out and help?

The 2012-13 University of Washington Restoration Ecology Network (UW-REN) Capstone class has been in the process of restoring eight different project sites around the Puget Sound, and they need your help to continue the work into May. There is a volunteer event almost every week at one of our sites located in Seattle, Bothell, Shoreline and at Pierce College in Lakewood.

Projects include restoration work in a variety of ecosystems, including wetlands, Garry oak prairie, beach sand dunes and riparian forests. Volunteering with UW-REN is a great way to learn more about and be involved with ecological restoration, your natural surroundings and your community.

Check out a continuously updated listing of events, and if you have questions or want to get involved, email Lindsey Hamilton!

Photo of young volunteer © UW-REN.