A Blog About the Environment, Land Use, Preservation, Politics and Life, In and Around Shoreline, WA
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Update - Shoreline's Community Backyard Wildlife Project
This article is an update on our local Shoreline Community Backyard Wildlife Habitat Project. The goal is to increase Wildlife Habitat and corridors, by certifying the entire City of Shoreline as a habitat area. Sustainable Shoreline Education Association is the sponsor. Boni Biery is the coordinator and author.
Where are we now?
“The Project” is sponsored by Sustainable Shoreline Education Association. Our goal is acquire a Citywide National Wildlife Federation Certification making Shoreline a “Wildlife Habitat Community. To do this, one of the things we must do is certify about 300 backyard/balcony habitats, 10 business habitats and 5 five school habitats. This single requirement is the one and only thing keeping us from reaching our goal.
How we care for community is critically important to the quality of life for all who share the habitat within Shoreline. Our growing population has taxed the delicate balance of nature to the point where it needs our helps. Our active stewardship now can work to preserve and enrich the environment that helped to make Shoreline “a most livable city” in 2008. However, active citizens in other communities are working hard and they are not waiting for us. They are getting certified!
Shoreline’s Community Wildlife Habitat Project serves to rally our entire community around preserving, restoring and creating attractive, low maintenance wildlife habitats. We’re making out mark on Shoreline! Here are the community-wide things we’ve been doing.
Ronald Bog In the fall thru spring of 2007 we worked with the city Parks Department and “hands-on” volunteers to clear away all the invasive undergrowth in an area 35 feet wide and 130 feet long in Ronald Bog Park. Then we replanted with 17 different native species, including many shrubs for birds (twinberry, salmonberry, elderberry and snowberry), western red cedars, Sitka spruce, and ninebark. Signs will soon be placed.
`Bird Population Study In the winter of 2008 we started a Wintering Bird Population Study. Local birders began color-banding black-capped chickadees, chestnut-back chickadees, and this winter will begin banding at a second site and expand to include fox sparrows and juncos. This study is now under fully under the oversight of the Puget Sound bird Observatory with three locations and fox sparrows and juncos added to the birds being banded. Visit http://www.pugetsoundbirds.org/PSBO/index.php?pg=WinteringBirds to learn more.
Champion Trees Spring of 2008 saw the first ever, Champion Tree Contest. A tree is designated as champion using a formula of height, canopy spread and circumference; the tree for each species generating the highest value is the champion! 19 Champion trees in 8 different parks have been identified and marked with informational signs. The second Champion Tree Contest opened in spring of 2009; this time open to trees on private property. There have been 19 new nominations which are currently being located and measured.
Brugger’s Bog Fall of 2008 thru fall of 2009 saw the restoration of about 160 foot stretch of streambank along the north fork of Lyon Creek in Brugger’s Bog Park. Lots of invasive removal was followed by the planting of many native grasses and berries to increase the variety of food and shelter sources for wildlife while also stabilizing the bank and increasing the amount of water cooling shade over the stream itself.
Where we are now At the end of 2009 we need to certify just one more school and 77 mores homes. Let’s make this the year the City of Shoreline becomes a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat Community joining the ranks of Tukwila, Camano Island, Lake Forest Park, Fidalgo Island and Alki.
• If you have yet to certify your habitat, we’d like you to join us. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to get you the answers you need. • If your habitat is already registered, thank you! Would you please consider talking to a neighbor about joining us?
Coming Up Watch for an exciting new event coming up this summer. You might want to mark your calendar to save Saturday, July 10th for this one. You’ll be hearing more real soon.
• We can choose to be better stewards of our own backyards.
• We can choose to use more sustainable landscape practices that will save us time & money while reducing the volume of harmful chemicals that enter our waterways.
• We can choose to reconnect local wildlife corridors and live in balance with the beautiful setting nature has provided us.
Shoreline’s Community Wildlife Habitat Project serves to rally our entire community around preserving, restoring and creating attractive, low maintenance wildlife habitats. To learn about these and more visit http://www.sustainableshoreline.org/
Boni Biery Shoreline’s Community Wildlife Habitat Team Coordinator
• Douglass Squirrel sighted in Briarcrest by Chris Southwick Feb 2012
• Cottontail Rabbit sighted in Briarcrest Neighborhood Nov 1st. Did not look like a domestic "bunny!"
• Coyote spotted in Paramount Park Meadow, just sittin'. 3/11
• Varied Thrush sighted in Paramount Park Neighborhood 2 & 3/11
• Townsends Warbler photographed in Highland Terrace Neighborhood 1/11
• Blackheaded Grossbeak sighted near Paramount Park last Fall
• Great Blue Heron sighted at Hidden Lake in Boeing Creek basin
• Barred Owl sighted in Thornton Creek Park #1 near Jackson Park, 8/10
• White crowned sparrow identified in Highland Terrace/Aurora Square neighborhood
• Blackheaded Grossbeak sighting in Hillwood neighborhood
• Two Raptors sighted in Shoreline. Osprey and Merlin have been documented at Ronald Bog and Echo Lake respectively this summer (2010)
• Pacific Chorus Frog heard in Shoreline's Hillwood Neighborhood
• Three types of warblers identified in Briarcrest neighborhood in May and June
• Red Breasted Sapsucker Banded in Briarcrest Neighborhood of Shoreline
• 4/16 - Mating pair of Pileated Woodpecker seen yesterday in Paramount Park. They were utilizing some "snags" (dead trees) which were placed in the wetland restoration area with a KC Wildlife Habitat Grant in 2002. The Pileated Woodpecker is considered a "Priority Species" by WDFW. The pairs mate for life and make their nests in cavities they excavate in dead trees with their sharp beaks. They eat insects and grubs they find in the dead wood.
• Great Blue Heron seen today at Thornton Creek Par #6 eating two fish in five minutes. It's interesting to note that it took many years to get the City of Seattle to realize that there are fish living in Thornton Creek, only 2-3 blocks from Northgate. In the design of the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel at Northgate, fish passage was a non-negotiable issue. The Great Blue Heron is considered a Priority Species by WA State.
• River Otter Spotted at Kruckeberg Botanic Garden! The Garden does not have a river running through it, so we were startled to see what appeared to be a river otter (Lutra canadensis) passing through recently. River otters live in rivers, streams, and coastlines. With water repellant fur and webbed feet, these playful members of the weasel family are designed for swimming and catching fish, their main food. However, they often wander far from water in search of a mate or new living area, surprising the unsuspecting staff of botanic gardens. The Kruckeberg Garden is near the headwaters of Storm Creek.
• Wood Ducks seem to be happily proliferating at Thornton Creek Park Six near Northgate. With the help of stewards, beavers and other species, habitat is improving at this little "wild" urban paradise. Despite a jungle of invasives there is a wetland habitat (improved by beavers) that suits the Wood Ducks. Today, 13 were sighted in the branches of a fallen cottonwood. 13 Wood Ducks Today!
• Beaver families have been moving in and building habitat around our urban watersheds, especially into Thornton Creek. Here is a photo a "creative engineer" naturally utilizing the creek corridor at Thornton Creek Park #6, which is a wetland waiting for better "engineering".
• At least 40 bird species have been sighted at Paramount Park over the last 20 years and more. The Barred Owl is one visitor who is watching over us.
• 12 birds at Greenlake today including Western Grebe, Bufflehead, Great Blue Heron and Hooded and Red-breasted Merganser
Janet proudly served on Shoreline City Council, from 2005-2009 and is an outspoken, current environmental and preservation activist residing in Shoreline, WA. Over the past 20 years, she and many other partners have succeeded in many remarkable accomplishments for the environment and community. On the City Council, she helped spearhead many environmental achievements for Shoreline, giving Shoreline a "green city" profile. She is a founding member of Paramount Park Neighborhood Group, Thornton Creek Legal Defense Fund (which advocated for and succeeded in "daylighting" Thornton Creek at Northgate), South Woods Preservation Group, Lake Ballinger Forum, Sno-King Economic Gardening group and other efforts. She serves on the Advisory Board of Friends of Fircrest, and is a member of Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and Shoreline Solar Project.
Janet holds an Art degree from Moore College of Art, Phila, and runs an arts business for 30 yrs. She also is sales rep for Appel Farms dairy at Seattle Farmers Markets.
Janet and her wonderful, patient husband, Alan Worthington of 32 yrs have two grown sons, Travis and Spencer.