Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Backyard Habitat Classes at Woodland Park Zoo!

Pollinators: Saving our populations of bees
Oct 4, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  
Bees might be small in size but humans depend on them for the success of our food supply.  As bees are rapidly disappearing our food supply is also in peril.  Uncover some of the mysteries of why bee populations are struggling to survive and the solutions affecting the health of honey bees, native bumble bees and other native pollinators. Fee: $25 per person

Amphibians: Conservation Efforts for Ecosystem Ambassadors

Oct 18, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 
Found on nearly every continent, amphibians are important indicator species for environmental health even as they undergo decline worldwide.  Come and learn fascinating facts about these beautiful animals, their crucial role in the ecosystem, and global conservation efforts to save them from extinction.  Find out how you can support the call to action, ensuring that these creatures will continue to thrive on our planet as they have done from more than 200 million years. Fee: $25 per person

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

King County Native Plant Salvage Event on February 1, 2014

We’re digging up native plants and need your help!
Join other volunteers digging up trees and shrubs from this site scheduled for a school and housing development in the morning. In the afternoon, we’ll pot-up the salvaged plants for later planting at King County habitat restoration sites. Once planted, these native plants will help reduce erosion, shade streams and provide habitat. Special thanks to the Snoqualmie Valley School District and the PulteGroup for providing the salvage site.

When: Saturday, February 1, 2014

 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m: Salvage plants for King County.
12:00 to 2:00 p.m: Salvage plants for yourself if you salvaged for the County from 9:00 to 12:00.
1:00 to 4:30 p.m: Potting at Holding Facility (Free plants are offered to potters).

Where: Snoqualmie for salvaging
             Issaquah for potting

Directions to the Salvage site: From I-90 take Exit 25 (HWY 18 West and Snoqualmie Parkway). Go north on SE Snoqualmie Parkway. In 1.2 miles, turn left onto SE Swenson Drive. Follow signs to site.
From Highway 202 (SE Fall City-Snoqualmie Road), go south on SE Snoqualmie Parkway and drive 2.5 miles to SE Swenson Drive. Turn right onto SE Swenson Drive. Follow signs to site.
Volunteers who dig for King County from 9:00 to 12:00 are eligible to dig plants for themselves from 12:00 to 2:00.

Not a morning person? Volunteers are also needed at our Native Plant Holding Facility from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. to help pot up the salvaged plants. Volunteers who help with potting are eligible for a free native plant for every half hour they work.

Directions to the Native Plant Holding Facility:
From eastbound or westbound I-90 take exit 18 (Highland Drive) in Issaquah. Continue uphill onto Highland Drive and drive through several lights. Turn right onto Issaquah-Fall City Road. It becomes Duthie Hill Road.
From SE Redmond-Fall City Road go west on 292nd Ave SE. It becomes SE Duthie Hill Road.
The facility is in Duthie Hill Park on the south side of the road at 27101 SE Duthie Hill Road.
Drive through the “do not enter” signs to the nursery at the end of road.

Notes: A parent or guardian must accompany volunteers under 16 years old. Dress for the weather and be prepared to get dirty. Sturdy shoes or boots are recommended. The site can be muddy. We’ll provide gloves, tools and light refreshments.

Please call Cindy Young at 206-296-8065 or email if you plan to participate. 

For a PDF version of this flier and a map click on the link:

King Conservation District Native Bareroot Plant Sale!

Kick off the spring planting season with the King Conservation District Native Plant Sale, set for Saturday, March 1st. The sale features a wide selection of native trees, shrubs and groundcover plants. New for 2014 is an expanded selection of plants used for traditional native food and medicine.

For details and a complete plant list, see the attached news release and flyer. Orders are due by February 9th. See the KCD website for additional information and online ordering:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Count birds in your backyard or community for science - and fun!

From WDFW's Crossing Paths newsletter

December 2013

A popular way to view birds this month is to participate in the 114th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC) with one of Washington's 46 official counts scheduled between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5, 2014.

The longest running citizen science survey in the world, the CBC provides critical data on bird population trends. Tens of thousands of participants throughout the Americas know that it's also a lot of fun.

The count has become a family tradition among generations, with veteran and novice birdwatchers armed with binoculars, bird guides, and checklists, often out before dawn and until dusk, on an annual mission to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature during the holiday season.

If you're just learning bird identification, joining up with others who are more knowledgeable is one of the best ways to accelerate your education. If you're a pro at distinguishing Cassin's finches from house finches or sharp-shinned hawks from Cooper's hawks, join a count to help others.

All of the official counts are within designated areas, and long-running ones have traditional spots within those areas to look for birds. But many counts also include what you might tally the day of the count at your own backyard bird feeder.

Contact the coordinators listed here by area and count dates to find out how you can get in on the holiday fun.

North Puget Sound:
South Puget Sound/Coastal:
Southwest Washington:
Southcentral Washington:
Northcentral Washington:
Eastern Washington:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fall Backyard Habitat Classes at Woodland Park Zoo

In this series of five classes, you’ll learn from experts from Seattle Audubon, Washington Native Plant Society, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Woodland Park Zoo about how to design your wildlife habitat, attract birds and other wildlife to your backyard, select and care for native plants, manage your backyard sustainably, and get your yard certified as a Backyard Habitat.

Classes may be taken separately or as a five-part series.
Attracting Birds to your Backyard Wednesday, September 25th from 7 to 9 p.m
Join Neil Zimmerman, Seattle Audubon Outreach Chair and Master Birder, to learn how to attract and care for birds in your yard through plant selection, gardening practices, placement and maintenance of bird feeders and nestboxes and use of water features.
Site Evaluation, Design, and Maintenance Tuesday, October 8th from 7 to 9 p.m
Join Allen Howard, Woodland Park Zoo horticulture staff, to learn the basic principles of creating habitat for wildlife, with a focus on planning, site analysis, design and garden maintenance.
Fall Plants and Planting Saturday, October 19th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Join Monica Vander Vieren, Washington Native Plant Society Native Plant Steward, and David Selk, Woodland Park Zoo horticulturist, to discover how different plants in your garden can provide for the basic needs of wildlife. The class includes a plant walk around zoo grounds focusing on aesthetic and size considerations, as well as proper planting techniques.  
Butterflies & Bees Saturday, October 19 from 1 to 3 p.m.
Join Woodland Park Zoo entomologist Erin Sullivan and horticulturalist David Selk to discover how to attract and care for local butterflies and bees. You’ll learn about the importance of these backyard pollinators as well as the threats they face and what you can do to help, including insect-friendly gardening practices.
Weeds and “Pests” in your Backyard Habitat Wednesday, October 23rd from 7 to 9 p.m.
Join Sasha Shaw, King County Noxious Weed education specialist, and Chris Anderson, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife biologist, to learn how to identify and eradicate problem weeds and coexist peacefully and legally with all wildlife that are attracted to your backyard habitat.
Cost: $25 per person / $100 for the five-part series if you register before 3:00 p.m. on the first day of the five-part series.
For more information or to register, see the zoo's website:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May and June Savvy Gardener Classes!

Savvy Gardener Class Catalog - Spring 2013
Updated 5/2/2013
Join us for May and June Savvy Gardener Classes!
We have added new classes. Come get inspired and learn from trusted gardening experts on what you can do next in your garden. We hope to see you soon.
Please note that most of these classes require pre-registration through Brown Paper Tickets. Just click on the link for each class and register online or call Brown Paper Tickets for friendly help. These classes are brought to you by the Saving Water Partnership, Cascade Water Alliance and the many local water utilities that comprise these organizations.

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Edible Landscapes for the Homeowner
Jessi Bloom,Owner and lead designer of N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes
Would you like to grow your own food but think it’s too much work or takes too much time? Join award- winning landscape designer Jessi Bloom and learn how to employ design strategies from nature, so you can grow easy peasy edibles that are low maintenance, resilient, and sustainable. Plant once and enjoy the harvest from your edible landscape for years. Jessi will cover basic food forest design and show her favorite low maintenance edibles for the Pacific Northwest. This class is guaranteed fun!
Secrets of Companion Planting in Your Edible Garden
Laura Matter, Seattle Tilth
Everything in the garden is connected! Instead of combining plant varieties that compete with each other for water and nutrients, learn how to choose communities of plants that grow well together and encourage each other’s growth. In this class, we will discuss characteristics of your annual and perennial food crops, and how to group them together into mutually beneficial plant communities for maximizing space and harvest. We will explore the permaculture concept of “guilds” and use nature as a model for expanding your garden.

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Container Gardens with a Twist
Marianne Binetti, Radio host, author, columnist
Learn how to design and maintain colorful containers that don't require constant care and water. Meet fantastic foliage plants, new bloomers that don't have drinking problems, and creative ways to grow edibles and ornamentals for year-round color in pots. You won't be able to contain your enthusiasm with these great ideas. Some free samples included for all class participants.
Designing the Northwest Garden
Greg Rabourn, Educator, radio personality, author or Marianne Binetti, Radio host, author, columnist
Thoughtful garden design creates a healthy, relaxing space for people, pets, and wildlife. Whether you are starting from scratch or just want to improve your existing landscape, you will be shown how to design a true northwest garden that will allow your family time to relax and enjoy their surroundings while keeping maintenance time low.
Favorite Northwest Natives for Sun and Shade
Greg Rabourn, Educator, radio personality
Add beautiful color, texture and wildlife benefits to your garden by incorporating stunning northwest natives. Greg Rabourn will show you different plants that will thrive in sunny hot spots or shady corners. Follow Greg's tips and you will be amazed at the birds and butterflies that visit your garden while also reducing your yard maintenance.
Native Splendor in the GardenEmily Bishton, Landscape designer and environmental educator
Learn about Pacific Northwest native plants that are beautiful, easy to care for, and thrive in our unique climate and soil conditions. We’ll focus on plant selections for a variety of growing conditions including challenges such as dry sun and shade, how to use natives as the foundation for a new landscape or incorporate them into an existing landscape, and maintenance practices that keep them healthy and growing strong.
  • Saturday, May 18; 10am-11:30am
    Foster High School, Commons Area
    4242 S. 144th St, Tukwila
    Register Online | Phone: 1-800-838-3006
Sustainable Garden Design
Jessi Bloom, Owner and lead designer of N.W. Bloom EcoLogical Landscapes
Landscapes and gardens offer a wealth of benefits if designed and managed well. Jessica will teach you how to look at your garden as an ecosystem and explore the possibilities to make your space more sustainable. She will cover building healthy soils, good design and planning, as well as proper maintenance strategies to reduce work while preserving our natural resources. The class will go through the design process, how to choose plants and prioritize uses for your space. You’ll see examples of beautiful, sustainable landscapes for inspiration. After taking this class you will have the tools to begin a journey towards making your own garden more sustainable.
Sustainable Gardening…a better way to beautiful
Peggy Campbell, Horticulturist
Healthier gardens of easy-care plants with fewer weeds, less watering, and no chemicals? It’s possible! Learn from horticulturist Peggy Campbell successful techniques and practical tips for transitioning your garden to a sustainable one. And discover how to select plants that will thrive in your garden.
Transform Your Dry Shade into Lush Beauty
Marianne Binetti, Radio host, author, columnist
Dry Shade? No Problem. Learn how to add color and drama to your landscape even in the most difficult situations such as the north side of your house or under cedar and fir trees. We’ll discuss key ingredients for success such as improving your soil, selecting the right plants, and practical watering methods. The class will include beautiful photos and a plant list that will inspire you to love your shade.
Wildlife-Friendly Gardening for Beauty and Sustainability
Emily Bishton, Landscape designer and environmental educator
Welcome songbirds, butterflies, and beneficial insects into your yard while conserving natural resources at the same time. Discover how urban wildlife can provide you with year-round natural pest and weed control and better pollination. Then, learn about design techniques and maintenance practices that can attract and nurture beneficial wildlife in your garden for years to come.

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Advanced Soils
Ladd Smith, Co-owner of In Harmony Landscape Services
Healthy soil is the key to our planet’s future. This class will cover the biology and structure of soil and show you how to introduce, nurture and replenish beneficial organisms that will help your soil produce a beautiful and healthy landscape.

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Natural Yard Care
Ladd Smith, Co-owner of In Harmony Landscape Services
By working with Mother Nature, you can have a great looking landscape that’s easier to care for and healthier for families, pets, wildlife, and our great Northwest environment. Come learn what Natural Yard Care is all about and how to create a healthy, beautiful yard.
Strategies for Weed Control
Ladd Smith, Co-owner of In Harmony Landscape Services
Strategies for weed control; learn about Integrated Weed Management. This class will explain why weeds are the toughest pests to control in gardens. Long-term success with weed control means understanding why weeds are successful and then developing a plan using a variety of weed control methods. Learn how certain weeds are Mother Nature’s signs of underlining challenges in the landscape.

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Drip Irrigation 101
Susie Egan, Owner of Cottage Lake Gardens, Master Gardener or
Carey Thornton, Seattle Tilth
Drip irrigation can be 50% more efficient than a regular sprinkler system. This class will teach you how to install a simple, inexpensive drip system without electrical wiring or the need for a professional. Plus, all the components are available at your local hardware or home improvement store. Your plants will be healthier with drip, and you won’t have to worry about dragging around hoses, turning on sprinklers or having your water bill break the bank.
  • Sunday, May 19; 1pm-2:30pm (Carey Thornton)
    McLendon Hardware
    440 Rainier Ave. S, Renton
    No pre-registration required. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Drip Irrigation Design
Carey Thornton, SeattleTilth
In this workshop we’ll delve more deeply into designing a drip irrigation system that makes sense for your home garden. We will practice calculations and troubleshoot different design scenarios that include containers, raised beds and ornamental gardens. This class is for gardeners who already understand drip but need help with design details. If you are new to drip irrigation, we recommend you attend Drip 101 or Drip Irrigation for the Home Gardener beforehand. Please bring a scaled drawing of the area you plan to install drip irrigation including the location of your outdoor spigot.
Drip Irrigation for the Home Gardener
Carey Thornton, Seattle Tilth
This class will cover the basics of design, installation and use of a drip irrigation system in the home garden. Carey will discuss how to decide if a drip system is right for you. Then, she’ll walk you through what parts you’ll need, how to put it all together and finally get it running. Soaker hoses and other low-pressure options for your garden will also be discussed. This class will include indoor and outdoor components; please dress for the weather.
Rain Barrels and Drip Irrigation: A Perfect Pairing
Carey Thornton, Seattle Tilth and Dan Borba, Owner of Natural Rain Water
Rainwater is pure, plentiful and your plants love it. Best of all, it’s free! Rainwater harvesting is the practice of collecting and storing rainwater for use in your yard. Drip irrigation is an extremely efficient and effective way to water your plants. This class will teach you how to utilize both technologies to help you save money and keep your landscape looking great!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Living with Wildlife in West Seattle: Green Space, Back Yards and Parks

Meet WDFW and USDA Wildlife Biologists!
  • Learn about the hows, whys and ways of coyotes, raccoons, rabbits, beavers and more in our neighborhood
  • Families, Friends and Neighbors Are All Invited!
  • Free and Drop In Opportunity
Date: March 20th from 11am - 12:30
Location: High Point Family Center, 6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle, WA 98126, 206.588.4900