Sustainable West Seattle has been the recipient of two grants to improve wildlife habitat and water quality, solicited by the Puget Creek Watershed Alliance for ecological restoration in the Puget Ridge neighborhood near South Seattle College.
The first $20,000 grant from King County Wastewater Treatment Division focuses on “Lawn Transformations” to reduce stormwater runoff by improving the soil’s sponge and filtering capabilities. Titled “Clear the Air and Shrink Your Lawn,” this grant intends to reduce lawn mowing that comprises 5% of this nation’s air pollution. By eradicating grass, amending soils, and planting native species, it is hoped these mostly evergreen plants will better intercept winter rains and shade out weeds. Eight properties have had grass removed and plants installed, including a portion of lawn at Sanislo Elementary School. Also, the grant assisted the installation of one backyard rain garden that manages roof and street runoff.
The second $5,500 grant from King County Flood Control District is intended to restore native plant communities on properties with backyard natural areas in the Puget Creek watershed. This grant pays for invasive tree and knotweed removal, and to plant native evergreen trees that will reduce stormwater runoff and create shade conditions for replanting native diversity in the future. Invasive trees include European hawthorn, English laurel, and holly, a plant that is doubling its numbers every six years and is projected to be the dominant species in urban forests within three decades if we do nothing to stop its spread (for information: http://seedrain.
Chosen grant participants will be supported by the restoration contractor, Garden Cycles, to remove invasive plant infestations and assist with planting and plant care. Garden Cycles’ primary transportation is by bicycle with trailer (http://gardencycles.com/).
Look at the transformation!