Monday, January 16, 2012

Burke Gilman Volunteer Parties

Alyse Wright and Michelle Latham

Our photo diary presents the work of volunteers on the Burke Gilman Trail to remove invasive plants and restore a native forest environment within Seattle. We documented a section of the trail between 40th Ave NE and NE 70th st on January 12th, 2012 at noon. In this section of trail, we observed areas of recent volunteer led clearing and replanting, marked by wood chip mulch and flags at each new plant. We also saw innumerable bird and bat houses which had been built and hung by volunteers, and a staircase built by a boyscout troop. Also installed were informative signs listing volunteer events, interpretive signs providing names and descriptions of plants, and signs advertising the Green Seattle Partnership.

This partnership is the organization which supports the Friends of Burke Gilman volunteer group with the help of the City of Seattle and Forterra, and the signs were intended to help recruit more volunteers to work on the trail. The desire for volunteers is great because the Burke Gilman trail is an important recreation and transportation feature of North Seattle. As we walked along the trail we observed many users enjoying it, including runners, walkers, cyclists, people walking their dogs, squirrels, and birds. The Do-It-Yourself attitude of the volunteers who are working on the trail is helping to improve the trail experience for all its users, and creating a space for urban dwellers to "get away" and experience "nature." This is especially important for the city’s resident and migratory wildlife, but is also beneficial to the homeowners adjacent to the greenbelt the trail creates.

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