In 2019, a Maple Valley family reached out to KCD for assistance. They had just purchased a property along South Jenkins Creek and had big dreams of building a home on the property and transforming the area surrounding the stream into a healthy, densely vegetated woodland with native, edible shrubs and tall evergreen trees for their family to enjoy and children to explore. However, with old, dying red alder trees and an understory infested with blackberry thickets, knotweed, and years of illegal streamside dumping, the property was in dire need of stewardship and care! Through KCD’s Landowner Incentive Program and Urban Riparian Habitat Stewardship Program, KCD was able to assist the residents by controlling challenging weeds, removing a half ton of garbage, and establishing just under 1,200 native trees and shrubs to enhance 39,600 square feet of wildlife habitat and stream buffer.
Unfortunately, weeds do not respect property lines. The knotweed that covered the family’s streamside area had also spread into the Witte Road right-of-way. Witte Road is one of two main north to south collector roads in Maple Valley. If left untouched, the knotweed could have been unintentionally cut and spread during routine roadside clearing or could have easily spread back into the streamside area where it was going to be controlled. As a result, KCD worked with the City of Maple Valley to use $10,000 of their Member Jurisdiction funding to control the roadside knotweed and replace it with native plants. Since then, KCD’s Member Jurisdiction Grant Program has also provided $93,000 in funding for fish passage culvert monitoring on Jenkins Creek and $4,000 in funding for the Tahoma High School Tree Giveaway.
Now, 3 years after the initial planting, the South Jenkins Creek planting helps filter stormwater runoff from Witte Road and provides enhanced wildlife habitat for many species, including the property’s new resident elk, Johnny. If you want to attract wildlife, big or small, to your streamside, forest, farm, or backyard, KCD has resources and affordable sources of native plant material for you!