Jon Diemer MEH Defense, Tuesday May 27th @ 2pm, Isaacson Classroom, Center for Urban Horticulture
“Centennial Woods Restoration and Management Plan”
Committee: Kern Ewing (chair), Jim Fridley, Darlene Zabowski
Restoration was performed on a site originally planted in 2007 at the University of Washington’s Union Bay Natural Area. Improper planting techniques and timing, extreme weather, and inadequate maintenance resulted in approximately 90% mortality. This project utilized a more systematic approach and best practices, as well as continuous maintenance over a two-year period, which included invasive species control and watering during the summer droughts. Tree species native to the Puget Sound lowlands were planted, as well as some from warmer climate zones. The latter were included in order to assess their long-term survival and growth compared with native species, in relation to how climate change might affect temperature and precipitation over time. To increase diversity even further, several native understory species were planted. Because there are still areas with little shade, the understory species that were selected are those able to survive in full sun, but which will do even better as the canopy develops. A wood chip trail was constructed through the site to facilitate access during the restoration, as well as provide future public access. Finally, a Management Plan was developed, which presents suggestions on how to ensure the long-term success of the site as the trees and understory vegetation mature. Recommendations include soliciting community involvement in continued maintenance activities and adding interpretive signage along the trail to educate the public regarding ecological restoration in general, site and project history, and information about the species that were planted.