We’re in “maintenance mode” in Madrona Woods. In theory, this is a leisurely pursuit of mostly keeping track of the success of our past restoration work. In practice it is nothing of the kind. This task list summarizes trouble spots that need extra work, plus ongoing maintenance needs. If someone, somewhere, actually reads this and wants more information, contact Peter Mason 206-388-6490.
- Maintain and Enhance Dance Studio Entrance: The entrance across from the Spectrum Dance Studio (800 Lake Washington Blvd) used to have large native shrubs growing next to the Blvd. This made crossing the street very dangerous, since oncoming southbound cars going the usual 35-40 mph couldn’t see pedestrians until the were on the street. Shrubs on the north side were removed and replaced with sword ferns. This became a weedy area, with some blackberry. Blackberry needs to be removed, and more ground cover needs to be planted. On the south side, large red twig dogwood shrubs continually block the northbound cars’ view of pedestrians. We have pruned these in the past, but they need to be removed and, ideally, transplanted to locations up the hill in the SE Mess. Just as on the north side, they should be replaced with low evergreen ground cover like sword ferns and kinnikinnick.
- Maintain and Replace Newly Planted Trees in the Meadow: In February 2016, we planted 30 Evergreen Carbon Capture conifers in the “Meadow,” the level area just northeast of the 38th Ave kiosk. In order for the trees to have enough light, we had to prune back lots of native thimbleberry shrubs. The trees will need similar pruning for several years until they grow above the thimbleberry “canopy.” Also, some have already died thanks to the hot dry summer and the late planting, so they will probably need to be replaced. Evergreen Carbon Capture requires monitoring and reports on the trees’ health. Probably by 2020 this task will be drastically reduced.
- Maintain Newly Planted Trees in the SE Mess: The SE Mess is a 2/3 acre wetland above the Dance Studio entrance. It was cleared of blackberry and planted in 2012. There is lots of invasive bindweed (the correct botanical name for what most people call “morning glory”) that needs to be removed from the small trees several times during the summer. Also, a few more trees should be planted here during late fall 2016. Probably the maintenance need will go away by 2020, as the trees become too large to be harmed by the bindweed.
- Make Sure GSP Fixes the “Blvd W Slope”: Start at the restroom building in the grassy part of Madrona Park. Walk across Lk Wa Blvd and up the steep, double black diamond slope. You’ll find lots of blackberry and some areas that need more conifers planted. This area was cleared by paid contractors in 2008, but they did a bad job. Since then a few Madrona volunteers finished the original clearing, and have battled the blackberry for years. Now the Green Seattle Partnership has said they plan to hire a crew to reclear the blackberry in 2017. Someone has to make sure they do both that and the necessary planting of trees. Lacking that followup, the job could easily be ignored, since GSP has several hundred other acres to worry about.
- 39th Ave E Dead End: 39th Ave E dead ends into the south boundary of Madrona Woods. The land near this dead end was restored in 2012 and has been scrupulously maintained since then. It’s a “visible edge” of our restoration, so it’s important for us to do a good job that presents “curb appeal.” This is because very few people in our world ever get out of their cars, so the only part of Madrona Woods (or anything else) is what they can see from their cars. The west side of 39th needs some work. Large mock orange shrubs were planted close to the street. They should be transplanted back about 15 feet or so (to the west, closer to the steep slope), then replaced by ground cover like kinnickkinnick.
- 37th Ave E “Thinning”: Lots of big native shrubs (nootka rose, snowberry) were planted next to 37th Ave E in 2009. This is a sunny spot, so the shrubs have grown thickly, reaching into the right of way. It’s a bad idea to densely plant a wall of 10 ft tall shrubs adjacent to a road, where people want to park. These shrubs need to be either transplanted or just eliminated. They should be replaced by low growing ground cover like kinnickkinnick