Native Trees and Plants Help Restore Irene Davis Union River Preserve
A volunteer crew recently planted 6,000 Pacific Northwest native trees, shrubs, and wetland plants at Forterra’s (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) Irene Davis Union River Preserve in Belfair. The important work took place over two consecutive weekends from February 25 to March 4 and served as one of the primary accomplishments in the third year of a give year restoration project at the Preserve.
Forterra purchased the 56-acre Mason County property in 2006. The Preserve provides habitat for federally-listed Puget Sound Chinook and Hood Canal summer chum salmon, along with steelhead, coho, Pacific lamprey, and cutthroat trout. It also provides wildlife habitat for animals such as black bear. Planting native plants provides great ecological benefit by improving water quality, widening wildlife corridors and lessening erosion and the spread of invasive weeds. Plant protectors were installed to protect the trees from deer and competing grass. The protectors are very visible from Highway 300 and drew the attention, honks and waves of drivers passing by.
“This project is the culmination of years of effort to remove invasive plants that served as barriers for wildlife movement and native plant regeneration. We’re excited to now have these native plants installed and look forward to engaging the community in the ongoing stewardship of this nature preserve,” said Elsa Sargent, Forterra lands coordinator.
Restoration of the Preserve will continue as part of Forterra’s goals to preserve, protect and restore natural systems for fish and wildlife habitat, maximize the ecological function of the site to contribute to the region’s biodiversity and manage the property such that it is a recognized asset to the community and adds natural protection to the Union Bay Estuary and Lynch Cove.
The work was accomplished with the help of a tree planting crew led by Tim Wilson. Members of the crew were a father daughter team, Dennis Ashe and Melissa Ashe, brothers Brett Daugherty and Zach Daugherty along with Ryan Dennis, Derrick Folwell, and Jesse Mottinger.
Local volunteer Land Steward, Ken VanBuskirk, helped with logistical support of the planting event and removed an illegal campsite along the banks of the Union River, returning several shopping carts found at the site to local businesses. For more information on becoming a steward with Forterra please contact Forterra at email@example.com or (206) 905-6954.
Forterra will host a volunteer event at the Irene Davis Union River Preserve on Saturday May 19, 2012 from 10am-1pm. Register to help weed and water these native plants and learn more about the history and the stewardship goals of this unique nature preserve by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (206) 905-6952.