MERCER ISLAND FOREST STEWARDS EMAIL UPDATE:
Greetings and Happy New Year Mercer Island Forest Stewards!
I hope that you are all doing well and look forward to another wonderful year working together to care for the Island’s forested parks. As always, we are so grateful for your time and commitment and highly value your contributions.
NEW FOREST STEWARDS in 2018
I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Hillary Ethe, a new forest steward who has been doing work at Ellis Pond. Hillary is a teacher by trade with a passion for conservation and restoration. We are so thrilled to have her join our forest stewardship efforts on the island. She has mainly worked independently, as some of you do, but will be hosting her first volunteer event next Saturday 2/9 from 10 am – 1 pm. I wanted to extend you a personal invitation from both of us and ask if you would also be willing to help us spread the word about the event or even attend yourselves. We will be doing a planting along parts of the small watercourse that drains Ellis Pond and likely doing a little mulching and weeding as time allows.
Welcome James Rollo, forest steward at Pioneer Park. James works in the field of GIS and also has a passion for habitat restoration and the environment. He and his partner Jenny have been doing invasive removal and planting in both Pioneer NW and SE. Check out the new shrubs planted all along the Pioneer SE trail 68th and near the kiosk.
Last but not least – Virginia Arnon! Virginia is not new to forest stewardship and has been volunteering in a variety of Mercer Island parks for many years. She is a knowledgeable Native Plant Steward. Virginia launched a new effort to engage neighbors at Homestead Park and held volunteer events through 2018. She’ll be continuing this effort in 2019. Her events are the third Saturday of each month if you’d like to stop by.
I have been busy with restoration planning for the year and look forward to connecting with each of you for a site visit and planning session. I know I already have dates on the calendar for a couple of you! I will be contacting each of you more personally (if I have not already). I’m also interested in learning about what you need to be successful and how I can best support you in your work in the coming year. I am always open to requests, constructive feedback, etc.
The Washington Native Plant Society Central Puget Sound Chapter invites volunteers to attend their monthly programming. These events are free and open to the public. There is free plant ID help before all of the Seattle programs. Find out about upcoming programs: https://www.wnps.org/cps_programs.html
The University of Washington is holding two day-long conferences that I wanted to share with you. They tend to be geared more towards professionals in the field, but I’ve run into a number of volunteer stewards from Seattle that attend and have learned a lot. They do cost money, but I thought you might find them of interest:
2019 Ecological Restoration Symposium: Restoration Beyond the Reference System
2019 Urban Forest Symposium: Trees for the Future: the critical role of urban forests in combating the climate crisis.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
All the best,
Natural Resources Specialist | City of Mercer Island, Parks & Recreation | Office 206.275.7882