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A 255-acre learning facility for K-12 environmental education founded to provide discovery-based learning and outdoor experiences. The campus is dominated by various forested wetland and upland plant communities and bordered by estuarine marshes.

2002 - 2003


2002 - 2003
Project name
Islandwood: Mac’s Dam Creek riparian restoration
Bainbridge Island
Islandwood Environmental Education Center
Y. Engels (UW Bothell; Environmental Science), A. Holmer (UW Seattle; Environmental Horticulture), D. White (UW Seattle; Fisheries), K. Palmer, A. Benge (UW Tacoma; Environmental Science)
Site description
a 1200 ft 2 riparian corridor of Mac’s Dam Creek about 1 mile above the Blakely Harbor estuary. The stream corridor was dominated by a species-poor assemblage of non-native plants (e.g., Himalayan blackberry, Reed canarygrass).
Restoration challenge
Client wished to remove non-native species and create diverse native plant communities along the stream to promote habitat and natural hydrologic regimes, while protecting streambanks. This was intended to serve as a demonstration restoration for the campus and an educational resource.
Restoration approach
UW-REN students, working with Islandwood staff, removed non-native species and applied mechanical control and mulch to reduce reinvasion. Native trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbs were added with a focus on species to (1) rapidly establish a shade canopy to control reinvasion by non-native species and (2) promote establishment of diverse riparian forest and shrub communities appropriate to different expected hydrologic regimes. Streambanks were stabilized with woody debris and bioengineering approaches. As part of this initial restoration effort for the Center, UW-REN students helped lay the groundwork for a native plant propagation facility for future projects.