Partners are restoring a wetland

Vashon Audubon is partnering with Vashon Center for the Arts and Vashon Nature Center to restore a wetland meadow.

Called Heron Meadow, this two-acre wetland is owned by VCA and is home to the Nature Center’s field office. The three organizations are working together to transform the meadow into a sanctuary for native wildlife and a demonstration site for how to enhance wildlife habitat.

In the past few weeks, volunteer work parties led by Paulina Barry, the Heron Wetland Education and Stewardship Intern, have planted beautiful native species donated by neighbors.

A bitter cherry and river birch are the first of their kinds in Heron Meadow. A large amount of thimbleberry has been planted that will no doubt provide bright red edible berries in the summer.

Black gooseberry is another species new to the meadow. It is surprisingly spikey, but produces berries that both birds and humans love.

In the Alder Circle, a gathering place in the meadow, the work groups are attempting to replace creeping buttercup, a non-native species, with a native clover called oxalis. As spring really starts up, the invasive reed canary grass is also spreading again, so the crews are focusing on stripping cardboard to cover it up.

Wildlife surveys continue to provide new information about who benefits from our community’s restoration efforts. The Song Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Nuthatches and Towhees have been present all winter and are now cheering us on in spring!

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