As if on cue, a bald eagle soared overhead during a recent Twilight Tour at Lake Washington Christian Church, where community members, Earth Corps and King Conservation District (KCD) have worked over the past 10 years to transform a blackberry infestation into a wildlife sanctuary. Presented by KCD Resource Planner Ashley Allan, and church members Kent Sullivan and Robert Moreno, the tour focused on restoration efforts that have improved the health of a stream and wetland running through the Kirkland property.
KCD works with streamside property owners through the Shorelines Habitat Improvement Program, which aims to restore freshwater shorelines by removing invasive weeds and planting native plants. This program provided technical expertise and cost-share funding to develop a planting plan and plant this streamside with a variety of native trees and shrubs. KCD will continue to visit this site in the summer for 3-5 years to control regrowth of weeds and replant die-off.
The Twilight Tour focused on restoration how-to’s and highlighted native plants including Sword Fern, which makes an excellent slope stabilizer, Sitka Willow, which grows quickly in wet zones, and several native berries that are just starting to ripen. Through the efforts of Lake Washington Christian Church and KCD, this once blackberry-, ivy- and knotweed-filled ravine is now teeming with wildlife and keeping the water clean.