Northwest NEWS

May 14, 2001

Features

One-day training session for streamside monitors

By Bronwyn Wilson
   Senior Staff Reporter
   Is it alive, dead or stressed? This is the question monitors ask when checking up on native trees and shrubs planted for salmon habitat restoration. Before the monitoring, volunteer squads plant trees and shrubs, such as Douglas fir, Western red cedar, salal and Oregon grape, along stream banks. After a year, volunteer monitors enter the scene to check up on the young plants. "The first year, we want to see if the plants survived from the planting. After that (2-3 years from the planting), we want to see if they're starting to spread out seeds or spread out roots and if they're becoming a seed source for new native plants," said Peter Holte, Coordinator for the Sammamish Restoration Stewardship Program.
   When the trees are full grown, their shade will cool the water for salmon survival. Plus, the plants help filter pollutants that enter the water. If the trees and shrubs die before they reach maturity, the salmon habitat suffers.
   Monitors are currently needed at Woodinville sites, one at Wilmot Park and another at Little Bear Creek. Also at Bothell sites, monitors will check the habitat at Horse Creek and at Blyth Park. Holte said the monitors would look for plants that didn't survive in order to learn what they might not want to plant again. They'll also be checking to see how the plants are spreading. "We're trying to create a habitat that is not made up of one layer but of many layers therefore provide habitat to many different species and improve water quality by offering a degree of filtration," said Holte.
   A training program for those who want to monitor streamside vegetation will be held May 19, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Old Redmond School House Community Center. Volunteers will learn to monitor old and new sites and determine if previously planted sites are meeting the goals to improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat. During the one-day session, different types of riparian zone plants will also be discussed.
   "Primarily, we're going to explain the goals of streamside habitat restoration," Holte said. The class will take volunteers through the steps needed to go through the monitoring process.
   "And we'll go through the steps at a site," Holte added.
   Volunteers are asked to come to class dressed appropriately for a day outdoors. Everyone should bring a lunch. "We'll provide refreshments and an afternoon snack," said Holte.
   Holte would like monitors to make a commitment of 8 hours after the training. In addition, supplemental native plant walks sometime after the one-day training session are in the plans. "They will be a leisurely walk in a nice setting."For more information or to RSVP, contact Peter Holte at (425) 556-2822 or e-mail at pholte@ci.redmond.wa.us.