Join us to improve bird habitat

Vashon Audubon is starting a new partnership to improve habitat for birds. Join us! Have fun and make a difference.

Songbirds are vanishing from North America because they’re losing vital habitat due to human activities. To demonstrate our commitment to resilient songbird habitat in our community, Vashon Audubon is partnering with the Vashon-Maury Island Land Trust to restore and care for part of the Judd Creek Preserve in Paradise Valley.

We’re calling the area where we’ve chosen to work the “Paradise Valley Block.” The block is seven adjacent properties encompassing about 40 acres in Paradise Valley, located east of 111th Ave. SW, part of the Land Trust’s Paradise Valley Preserve. The block has about 2,000 feet of the mainstem of Judd Creek, about an equal amount of a major tributary, plus short portions of several smaller tributaries.

This is one of the most vibrant places on Vashon. The habitats along the stream corridors are in good shape (thanks to major work by the Land Trust over the years). The property is also home to wetlands, second-growth forests, and forest restoration projects going back 10 or more years. The creek hosts chum, pink, and coho salmon, and the native plant community is diverse. The skunk cabbage wetlands along the Judd Creek are spectacular!

These features make the place vital habitat for songbirds and other Vashon wildlife. The land provides excellent opportunities for improving wild bird habitat as well as being an outdoor laboratory and classroom.

The block is also a high-profile public-use site and a keystone part of a Judd Creek habitat corridor linking Island Center Forest to Quartermaster Harbor. It’s a place where our work will be visible and will matter.

How can you get involved?

Vashon Audubon will be helping to plant native trees and shrubs at the Vashon Land Trust’s Paradise Valley Preserve on Saturday, December 5, from 9:30 am to noon.  A short natural history education activity will be offered at 9:30, with the planting itself starting at 10 am.

We’ll meet at the trailhead of Judd Creek Loop Trail on 111th Ave SW. Social distancing will be practiced and masks are required. Tools and gloves will be provided by the Land Trust, but bring your own if you wish.

After this fall’s planting is complete, Audubon’s efforts will be less frequent but long-term. Caring for this land will call for a lot of different skills. Beyond digging blackberries and planting trees, we’ll need help managing a nest box program, planning educational events and materials, conducting community outreach, and more. To learn more contact Jim Evans at jimevans@centurytel.net or 206-678-8914.

Respecting your ecosystem might start with discovery and understanding, but it eventually requires manual labor.

John Marzluff, Avian Conservation Biologist, University of Washington.

Photo of Judd Creek by Susie Fitzhugh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: