Join us to improve bird habitat

Vashon Audubon has started a new partnership to improve habitat for birds. Join us! Our next work party will be on March 6.

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?

On Saturday, March 6, Audubon stewards will host a work party from 10 AM to noon in Paradise Valley to remove invasive ivy and perform other site maintenance tasks.  Meet at the Judd Creek Loop Trail trailhead.  Participants at the 9-10 AM birdwalk at the same location are welcome to stick around and make a morning of bird-friendly activity! Participants should dress for the weather, mask up, and plan to practice social distancing. Contact: Jim Evans, 206-678-8914, jimevans@centurytel.net

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

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