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A 9-acre public park dominated by forested riparian wetlands in the urban setting of north Seattle. Trails and interpretive signs provide access to natural areas and environmental education, but the park faces considerable ongoing human impacts from onsite access as well as off site factors such as stormwater runoff from surrounding neighborhoods.

2001 - 2002  | 2003 - 2004  |   2004 -2005

 

2004 - 2005
 
Project name

Licton Springs Park: slope wetland and riparian restoration

Location

north Seattle

Client

Licton Springs Community Council and City of Seattle Parks Department

Students

V. Mehring and E. Podolak (UW Seattle; Landscape Architecture), N. Ostrovsky (UW Seattle; Biology - Botany), J. Walker (UW Seattle; Environmental Horticulture), C. Wilson (UW Seattle; Wildlife Conservation)

Site description

The site was adjacent and to the north of the project for the previous year. Land sloped down from the adjacent city street into a wetland area and stream that was heavily overgrown by invasives

Restoration challenge

This area has been neglected for years and has developed well-established stands of reed canarygrass and Himalayan blackberry.

Restoration approach
The site was meticulously cleared of invasives and heavily mulched using woodchips over cardboard. It was left unplanted until spring to monitor for weed re-growth, and because the site was moist and could be planted at any time during the year.
2003 - 2004
 
Project name
Licton Springs Park: slope wetland and riparian restoration
Location

north Seattle

Client

Licton Springs Community Council and City of Seattle Parks Department

Students

J. Boardman and D. Brown (UW Seattle; Environmental Horticulture), D. Fox and C. Raynham (UW Seattle; Forest Resources), J. Huey (non-matriculated)

Site description

a slope leading from an adjacent public road and playground area down into a riparian corridor above and adjacent to the 2001-2 Licton Springs UW-REN project. The upland slopes were dominated by a mosaic of non-native lawn grasses and an aggressive non-native shrub (Himalayan blackberry) and the wetland section was a thicket of non-native reed canarygrass.

Restoration challenge

Clients wished to remove non-native species from the upland slope and restore the area to a structurally and species diverse plant community of native species, paying close attention to providing habitat especially for songbirds. Focusing access to the stream (and limiting impacts) from playground users was also an important objective. A diverse native wetland assemblage was installed to replace the reed canarygrass stand adjacent to the 2001-2 project site.

2001 - 2002
 
Project name
Licton Springs: iron springs and wetland slope restoration
Location

north Seattle

Client

Licton Springs Community Council and City of Seattle Parks Department

Students

A. Hauschka (UW Bothell; Education), M. Mills and J. Wu (UW Seattle; Landscape Architecture)

Site description

a unique iron springs and seepage slope below, both overgrown with a monoculture of a non-native grass (reed canarygrass).

Restoration challenge

Clients wished to make overgrown spring source more visibly distinct and restore slope below to a native wetland assemblage with a diverse vegetation structure to support a variety of habitats in this urban oasis. As an urban park there was also a need for interpretation and control of access and use.

Restoration approach

UW-REN students, working with community members, removed non-native species from around the iron springs and on the slope below. Native trees, shrubs, grasses, and herbs were added along with mechanical barriers for weed control with a focus on species to (1) rapidly establish a shade canopy to control reinvasion by reed canarygrass, (2) promote eventual succession to a mature evergreen forested wetland, (3) create structural diversity in the vegetation for habitat, and (4) delineate trails and control access. Interpretive signage was added on the ecology and environmental chemistry of the iron springs and its historic and landscape context.