Edmonds native plant demo garden begins 6th year

Volunteers dig in on a chilly Saturday morning
By Beverly Theunis | Mar 17, 2013

A work party of community volunteers dug in recently on this year’s first phase of maintenance and rebuilding for the Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Demonstration Garden.

They weeded and cleaned, cleared an area for a new mulch pile, leveled a patch of ground for a new tool shed, and started digging a new hiding place for amphibians because heavy rains washed away the old one last winter. Other first phase tasks include planting shrubs and trees, placing mason bees boxes, and cleaning birdhouses.

Volunteer work parties are now being formed for the “Big Work Party” on April 20.

Established in 2008, the garden has been on the forefront of a growing movement toward more water-conserving and ECO-friendly landscaping for public places and homeowners, dubbed by one book author as, “Kiss your grass goodbye.”

Accessible to the public, the demonstration garden can be entered at the Willow Creek Hatchery located on Pine Street off Hwy 104 in Edmonds.

It is a grant-funded community place where anyone can view native plants and learn how they attract wildlife. This year’s educational events will be held at the site from April through October in a meeting room provided by the Hatchery.

The events will include “Frogs, Plants and Ponds” (April 27), “Gardening with Native Plants” (May 4), “Bats Northwest” (May 17), “The Birds (Hummingbirds) and The Bees” (June 22), “Feeding Birds and Bird Feeders” (September 21), “Planting Trees and Shrubs” (October 5), and “Leaf Printing for Kids” (also October 5).

The date for “Butterflies” will be announced later.

Another workshop, “Nest Box Building” will be held at the Puget Sound Bird Fest Festival in September.

Additional events are in the planning stage. Event presenters include Thayer Cueter, Nancy Moore, Candy Brown, Todd Brown, and Barb Ogaard.

The demonstration garden contributed to the Community Wildlife Habitat certification received by Edmonds in April 2010 from the National Wildlife Federation.

It is one of 11 common place or park properties, and approximately 130 homes, that are locally registered as Backyard Wildlife Habitats through National Wildlife Federation, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

For further information on event schedules or volunteering, email susie.schaefer@comcast.net.

Event postings can be viewed on Facebook at “Edmonds Wildlife Habitat & Native Plant Demonstration Garden.”

General information including event schedules will be made available sometime in late spring on a web site now being created by volunteers: www.edmondsbackyardwildlifehabitat.org.

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