For the month of April, the City of Bellingham (City) will host the Puget SoundCorps Crew as part of the Urban Forestry Restoration project administered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban and Community Forestry program. It is a great opportunity to enhance the capacity of our Bellingham's forests to manage stormwater and improve air and water quality right here in our community—enhancing the health and functionality of trees and forested sites in urban settings.
The Puget SoundCorps Crew will work with City staff on forest management and maintenance along the marine shoreline and in the Padden Creek and Lake Whatcom Watersheds. Their work will support the City's long-standing commitment to habitat restoration. For over 15 years, the City has worked to plant native plants, remove invasive species, and increase salmon spawning habitat on over 70 sites within our local watersheds, including major in-stream restoration like the recent Padden Creek Daylighting and Squalicum Creek Re-route projects.
One of the SoundCorps Crew's most important tasks will be to remove invasive species such as English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, and English hawthorn. These invasive non-native plants prevent forested areas from providing our community the full benefits and services of healthy forests by competing for space, water, and nutrients, and in some cases, even killing trees. Once the unwelcome plants are gone, native vegetation will be planted in its place.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to work with the skilled SoundCorps Crew,” said Analiese Burns, Habitat and Restoration Manager for the City of Bellingham. “They will help us achieve the difficult on-the-ground work that is critical to maintaining the health of our watersheds.”
Community members can also help protect one of Bellingham's key habitat areas by participating in an Earth Day Planting Party on April 22 at the newly restored stream corridor on Squalicum Creek. The City's Habitat Restoration Program is part of the Natural Resources Division of Public Works. Natural Resources delivers meaningful, durable, and cost-effective programs and natural resource services to the citizens of Bellingham to provide clean, abundant waters and intact ecosystems. Learn more at www.cob.org/environment.
For more information about the Urban Forestry Restoration Project, contact Micki McNaughton via (360) 902-1637 or firstname.lastname@example.org. DNR's Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service. Puget SoundCorps is part of the broader Washington Conservation Corps program administered by Washington Department of Ecology. Puget SoundCorps crews work on projects that help restore and protect water quality in Puget Sound. The Washington Conservation Corps is supported through grant funding and Education Awards provided by AmeriCorps.