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.
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.
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.
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?
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/
Shoreline’s Community Wildlife
Habitat Team Coordinator