Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall "To Do" list from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

Your family may be making those fall outdoor chore lists as daylight hours shrink, temperatures drop, and the urge grows to "batten down the hatches" in the yard and garden. Here's another "to do" list from your local wildlife family that you may find easier to check off:

• Leave some "dead heads" on your flowering plants to provide seeds for birds and other animals
• If you must rake leaves off grass lawns, just pile them under some shrubs, bushes or other nooks and crannies to provide homes for those insects that birds love to eat; leaves make great mulch to help your plants, too!
• Keep that dead or dying tree right where it is (unless, of course, it's truly a hazard to you), so birds can feast on the insects in the rotting wood or make winter roosts or dens in its cavities
• Give yourself and your mower a rest for at least a portion of your lawn so birds and other animals have a patch of taller grass to hide and forage in
• Save just a little of that dead bramble thicket for birds - it makes great winter cover and they don't need much! Fall is a good time to plant shrubs, so replace invasive, non-native Himalayan blackberry and English ivy with native plants of higher wildlife value like blackcap (native black raspberry) or red raspberry; native currants or gooseberries found in your area; or native roses such as Nootka or baldhip.
• Pile up any brush or rocks you clear around your place to give birds another option for nests and dens
• Take it easy on yourself and let go of the "perfect" garden image; wild animals like less tidy, "fuzzy" places because there's usually more food and shelter there
• Get yourself a comfortable chair, sit back, and congratulate yourself on having made a home for wildlife and a haven of relaxation for yourself!

For more information on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary program, see:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Save the Date: Duwamish Alive on October 9th!

Duwamish Alive! Restore Our River
October 9th, 2010, 10am-2pm
Join the on-going restoration of the Duwamish River Watershed.

Twice a year the Duwamish Alive Coalition, a partnership of non-profit organizations, government agencies, community groups and local businesses, host a collaborative habitat restoration event within the Duwamish River Watershed. Restoration is on-going throughout the year, but it’s only during Duwamish Alive that our organizations come together to host hundreds of volunteers at multiple sites to make a huge impact. Work sites include a river cleanup by kayak and canoe, shoreline salmon habitat restoration, and native forest revitalization, and no experience is necessary!

The restoration of the Duwamish depends on community, non-profit, government and corporate partners working together to restore the urbanized environment. The Duwamish River Estuary has less than 3% of its original habitat remaining. Our goal is to help revive the watershed such that it can support healthy people, wildlife and thriving businesses, but in order to do so, we need YOU to join us, too. We are looking for school, work, or other organizational groups as well as individuals to volunteer for Duwamish Alive.

See People for Puget Sound's website for more information. See you on October 9th!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FREE Fall Savvy Gardener classes!

Plant Now for Summer Wow!
Presented by Peggy Campbell
Discover why fall planting really is the best time to launch a healthy, beautiful garden in concert with nature! Horticulturist Peggy Campbell will share favorite plants for adding color and texture that thrive in NW gardens. Hear Peggy’s easy-care tips on how to create a gorgeous garden in YOUR yard!

Molbak's - September 18
10:00 – 11:30 AM
13625 NE 175th Woodinville

Sky Nursery - September 25
10:00 – 11:30 AM
18528 Aurora Ave N., Shoreline

Fall Planting: Edibles, Lawns and Other Healthy Treats!
Presented by Marianne Binetti
In this lively presentation, Marianne will explain why fall is such an important time of year for the garden, will teach practices you can immediately apply at home, and share how these practices will result in healthy and successful gardens. Her main emphasis will be on food gardening: what can be grown and harvested during the fall and winter, as well as what can be overwintered for harvested in early spring. She will also talk about how to treat the food garden that will not be planted over the winter, about fall lawn renovation, and some favorite plants for fall color.

Furney's Nursery - September 25
10:00 – 11:30 AM
21215 Pacific Hwy S., Des Moines

Swansons - October 2
10:00 – 11:30 AM
9701 15th Ave NW, Seattle

All classes are free; no pre-registration is required but please arrive early as classes do fill. Classes are on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11:30 AM.

Any questions should be directed to Nota Lucas ( or 206.684.5855). Please do not reply to this email.

Happy Gardening!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Living Downstream: Polluted Runoff Neighborhood Tours from People for Puget Sound

Stormwater, or polluted runoff, is the number one threat to the health of Puget Sound. It flows off our roofs, down our streets, and across our parking lots. Join us for these fascinating tours and learn from the experts what you can do to help address this problem.

Two tours in two different neighborhoods:

High Point Neighborhood
When: September 18, 2010 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: High Point Branch Library, 3411 S.W. Raymond St., Seattle
For more information:

The September 18th tour begins in the parking lot of the High Point Community Library. Participants will tour the High Point neighborhood and see examples of Low-Impact Development. Participants will learn how polluted runoff affects Longfellow Creek and learn how to take action to clean up our run-off.

Carkeek Park Neighborhood
When: September 26, 2010 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Beach at Carkeek Park Environmental Center, 950 NW Carkeek Park Road, Seattle
For more information:

From Carkeek Park Environmental Center, we'll follow the flow of water up the urban watershed by car and foot. The tour begins at the beach at Carkeek Park Environmental Center in northwest Seattle. (Instead of turning into the Carkeek Park Environmental learning center, continue on Carkeek Park road to the beach.)

The tour then moves to SEA Street to see how attractive rain gardens can effectively combat runoff pollution. We will then travel back to Carkeek Park to learn how polluted runoff and the recently created SEA Street affects Piper's Creek. Finally, you'll learn how to apply what you've seen and heard to take personal action to clean up our runoff.