Past and Present: Continuing the Tradition of Restoration in UBNA

February 17th, 2011 by Jake Milofsky - UBNA RA

Earlier this season as we were getting ready for a new quarter of restoration work in the Union Bay Natural Area, a friend supplied me with her wonderful collection of photographs from the 2004 planting of UBNA’s “blue tube forest”.  It was a pleasure to be given a look back in time to the beginning of this project, as I have only been familiar with UBNA for a mere 2 years.  During the 2004 project, students planted over 1,000 bare root trees into what was then a grassy field, mulched these new seedlings, and protected them with blue plastic planting tubes.  Today, as anyone who strolls along Wahkiakum Lane well knows, that area is certainly not a grassy field any more!

In addition to the planting, students also participated in a Native American ceremony to bring the bald eagles back to UBNA; an effort whose success our birding friends can attest to.

Let’s have a look back to 2004:

(All 2004 photos courtesy of Katie Murphy)

Looking east from within the planting area

Looking north from within the planting area. The three mature trees just off of Wahkiakum Lane still provide good reference points for this image

Students also participated in a Native American ceremony to bring bald eagles back to UBNA

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Walking through UBNA today, one notices many of these once tiny cherry, poplar, ash, willow, and alder seedlings have matured into healthy saplings, filling in the canopy of this new woodland.  In more recent years, the overall diversity has been increased with supplemental plantings of conifer species such as western red cedar and Douglas fir.

What a difference 7 years can make!

Unfortunately the woodland restoration plot has also been impacted by invasive Himalayan blackberry, which competes with the desired woodland species for important resources and threatens the overall health of this newly established ecosystem.  This invasion has been consistently managed over the years and will remain a perennial effort until the canopy is mature enough to cast shade over the blackberry plants, bringing them under a natural control.

Fortunately, UBNA has many friends in both the UW community and the general public who have given their time over the years to help nurture this newly established woodland, and 2011 has been no different!  During the winter quarter there have already been 3 volunteer work parties, with several more scheduled throughout the rest of the academic year.

UW students and members of the general public alike provide valuable volunteer support in the maintenance of UBNA's restoration sites.

If these efforts sound intriguing, you too can join the efforts to create healthy native ecosystems in the Union Bay Natural Area.  For info on upcoming volunteer work parties, have a look at the UWBG’s volunteer calendar and register for an upcoming event.  You’re guaranteed to leave feeling a sense of accomplishment, and you may even see a bald eagle!

Many Hands Makes Light Work in the Union Bay Natural Area

September 22nd, 2010 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Between August 2009 and August 2010 the Union Bay Natural Area chalked up 2,050 volunteer service and educational tour hours from student organizations, University of Washington dorm residents, local community groups, the UBNA service corps, and University of Washington courses.  There are numerous opportunities to get involved with the UBNA this academic year through the courses offered as a part of the Restoration Ecology Network, the Society for Ecological Restoration student guild.

Garden Loosestrife – Spray Application Scheduled 9/22

September 14th, 2010 by UWBG Horticulturist

UWBG IPM staff will be out on Union Bay, Wednesday, September 22nd, w/ spray contractor NW Aquatic Eco-Systems. All canoe landings and shoreline trailheads will be posted. This is the second of  two  follow-up spray applications in our effort to control the class A noxious weed, Garden Loosestrife.

Garden Loosestrife Spray Scheduled – Wed., August 18, 2010

August 13th, 2010 by UWBG Horticulturist

Garden Loosestrife (GL) control contractor, NW Aquatic Ecosystems, along with UW Botanic Garden IPM staff, will complete initial 2010 treatment on Wednesday, August 18th. The  Waterfront Trail between Foster Island and MOHAI will be closed early am to public temporarily for contractor access to GL growing near the trail. Signs will be posted on barricades at both trailhead entrances and also staffed during spray period to avoid public breaching the barricades. Trail will be reopened once material has dried on foliage. The remainder applications will be accomplished via boat in and around Marsh and other islands and inlets throughout UW Botanic Gardens managed Union Bay shorelines.

Scheduled pm Kayak tours will not be disrupted. Applications within tour boundaries will be completed in am.

There will be a follow-up treatment later in September. Notice will go out as soon as date is set.

For further information, call 206-543-8800

Invasive Garden Loosestrife Spraying to Restart

July 29th, 2010 by UWBG Horticulturist

Lysimachia vulgaris imageFor a second year, Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems along with UW Botanic Garden will begin spray work to control Lysimachia vulgaris (garden loosestrife), a state-listed noxious weed occurring along Union Bay shorelines including the Union Bay Natural Area and the Arboretum’s Foster and Marsh Islands the first week of August.  King County requires control of this aggressive and invasive weed, which poses a serious threat to the native character of area wetlands. In 2009, DoE provided a 5-year grant for $75,000 to fund loosestrife control.

In mid-July members of King County’s Noxious Weed Control Program and UW Botanic Gardens staff mapped the extent of the weed in the areas listed above.  Comparison of the maps from year 1 to year 2 demonstrated slight control had taken place.  Once again the weed will be controlled with an aquatically approved herbicide by the contractor, Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems using airboats and other specialized equipment.

King County Garden Loosestrife Fact Sheet