Habitat Quality and Present State

July 2017 Green Kirkland Partnership 2017 plant order included trees, ferns and flowers. About 100 plants are ordered for planting in November.  The area where we plant is yet to be determined.

October 2016 Green Kirkland Partnership 2016 plant order included trees, ferns and flowers. About 70 plants were planted on down the main entrance path on November  26, 2016.

October 2015  Green Kirkland Partnership 2015 plant order. Plants were placed at the entrance to the park.

October 2014 EarthCorps event: 2014 EarthCorps Planting added to the clearing near the steps.

July 2014 Forterra brings in Washington Conservation Core to clear 6000 sq ft of blackberries from the steep east side.

March & June 2014 Environmental & Adventure students removed blackberries from the clearing west of the steps.

October & November 2013 – 196 Native plants on this list went into the restoration area #02. Jan Johnson shares a list “Good Native Plants to Bind Soil” these plants will stabilize a slope. Jan’s notes on Madrone habitat requirements and Sedge and Rush planted Oct-Nov by the stream, west side of park trail.

October 2013 EarthCorps clears small area of blackberries east of steps.

September 2013 Applied Ecology clears steep area east of steps and plants 500 shrubs, trees and ground cover.

February 2013 Wild Flowers Planted

Winter 2012 Vine Maples and Salal planted at Entrance by City of Kirkland

Spring 2012 Jan Johnson, a Green Kirkland Steward, returned on Monday, April 9, 2012 to discover any new Spring ground cover plants. We found several Skunk Cabbage, Western Trillium and several areas of Bleeding Heart. She has revised the Native and Invasives plant list below:

Plant List Juanita Heights Park 3/1/2012 updated 4/9/12

Acer circinata Vine maple                    –   Planted April 2012
Acer macrophyllum Big-leaf Maple     –   Moderately present
Carex (sp)                                            –   Narrow leaved
Carex (sp) Sedge (TBD)                     –   At spring, Wide leaved
Dicentra formosa Bleeding heart        –   A couple of scattered small areas
Galium (sp) Bedstraw 
Gaultheria shallon Salal                      –   Several locations

Geum macrophyllum Large-leaved avens          –   A few along trail
Holodiscus discolor Oceanspray                        –   Planted April 2012
Hydrophyllum tenuipes Pacific waterleaf             –   One nice large stand near entrance to the park
Lysichiton americanum Skunk cabbage              –   In several locations
Mahonia nervosa Low Oregon grape                    –   Relatively common
Oemleria cerasiformis Indian plum                       –   Mostly at entrance
Ribes lacustre Swamp gooseberry                       –   At least three (two seedlings)
Rubus ursinus Trailing blackberry                        –   Generally
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry                            – Scattered throughout and plentiful
Polypodium glycyrrhiza Licorice fern                     –   On nurse logs and maples
Polystichum munitum Sword fern                          –   Common

Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas fir           –   A few including a youngster or few
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken fern              –   Throughout in small numbers

Sambucus racemosa Red elderberry         –   Scattered throughout

Tellima grandiflora Fringecup Saxifragae    –    Keep a watch on in case more than one species

Thuja plicata Western red cedar                  –  Common, including various ages
Trillium ovatum Western trillium                   –  Up to a dozen?
Tsuga herterophylla Western hemlock        –  Moderately present

Utica dioica Common nettle                         –   Scattered throughout
Vaccinium parvifolium Red huckleberry      –   Common!!

Crataegus monogyna Common Hawthorne                   –   Several
Geranium robertianum Herb Robert                               –   Scattered
Hedera helix English ivy                                                  –  Ubiquitous
Ilex aquifolium English holly                                             –  At least a dozen
Prunus laurocerasus Cherry laurel                                 –   Several stands
Prunus lusitanica Portugal laurel                                     – Several large shrub-trees

Rubus procerus Himalayan blackberry                          – Very few
Taraxacum officinale Common dandelion                      – A few; not problematic

6 red cedars (T. plicata)  and at least that many seedlings, a pot of false lily-of the-valley (Maianthemum dilatatum), and at least six fringecup (T. grandifola)  given to Kathy from my Stevens Pass salvaged plants (or seeded onto my balcony if cedars) on 4/9/12 for planting in the park.

J. Johnson

March 1, 2012

On March 1, 2012 Jan Johnson a Park Ranger at Juanita Bay and a Native Plant Steward walked through the park.  Here is the habitat report on Juanita Heights Park:

Here are some recommendations, most of which we discussed March 1.  I am assuming you will be able to continue working in the park, and possibly add plant materials.  I should have enough red cedars potted individually and carried through the summer to pass some along to you this fall, and I can definitely contribute fringecup later this spring.  We might be able to carefully and moderately collect some youth-on-age and bleeding heart seeds early this summer if you want to try to grow them in flats and pots until big enough to transplant.
Jan Johnson

Plant List Juanita Heights Park 3/1/2012
Vaccinium parvifolium Red huckleberry                           Quite a bit
Mahonia nervosa Low Oregon grape                                A few locations
Gaultheria shallon Salal                                                    One location
Rubus ursinus Trailing blackberry                                    Generally
Rubus spectabilis Salmonberry                                        Scattered
Oemleria cerasiformis Indian plum                                   Mostly at entrance
Carex (sp) Sedge (TBD)                                                   At spring
Polypodium glycyrrhiza Licorice fern                                On nurse logs and maples
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken fern                                     Very few
Ribes lacustre Swamp gooseberry                                   One
Polystichum munitum Sword fern                                     Moderately present
Acer macrophyllum Big-leaf Maple                                    Moderately present
Thuja plicata Western red cedar                                       More common
Pseudotsuga menziesii Douglas fir                                  A few
Tsuga herterophylla Western hemlock                             Moderately present
Geum macrophyllum Large-leaved avens                        A few along trail

Hedera helix English ivy                                                   Ubiquitous
Ilex aquifolium English holly                                             Scattered
Prunus lustianica Portuguese laurel                                Several stands
Prunus laurocerasus Cherry laurel                                  Several stands
Rubus procerus Himalayan blackberry                            Very few

Growing Wild Garden Consultation – Juanita Heights Park, Kirkland, WA.
Habitat Quality and Present State

The hillside faces generally east southeast, and drops off quite steeply.  While the soil appears to be generally well-drained, there is at least one emergent spring on the site.  Total acreage was 3.4 acres when the park was annexed to the city of Kirkland, and two residential lots (size unknown) have been added since then.

This site has one of the highest concentrations of ivy (Hedera helix) I have seen to date in a Kirkland Park.  On the other hand, there is relatively little infestation by non-native blackberries. Because there is a lot of fallen wood, it also has a very high concentration of red huckleberry (Vacciniium parvifolium), a wonderful native!.   There are scattered lush stands of low Oregon grape (Mahonia nervosa) and salal (Gaultheria shallon), and the native blackberry (Rubus ursinus) is found throughout.

The over-story consists of large-leaved maple (Acer macrophyllum), Western red cedar (Thuja plicata), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), and some Western hemlock (Tsuga herterophylla). While there are few young trees, a few scattered red cedars (T. plicata),  at least one Douglas fir sapling (P. menziesii), and a few Western hemlock (T. heterophylla) saplings are present.  If areas can be freed of ivy, there is good potential for both planted saplings and natural regeneration.

Other species observed on site include salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiforma), a single swamp gooseberry (Ribes lacustra), sword fern  (Polystichum munitum),  licorice fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) and one emerging sedge plant (Carex sp. ).

A second walkthrough later in the growing season should extend this list of existing species.

Concerns:The primary concerns are the prevalent ivy (Hedera helix), and scattered holly (Ilex aquifolium), Portugal and cherry laurels (Prunus lustianica and Prunus laurocerasus).)  The sparseness of natural tree regeneration is another major concern, as is the absence of a middle story of shrubs and trees from much of the area.  There are also some very steep slopes that you may not be able to actively work on due to landslide and other perils.

General Suggestions  Ivy control.  I suggest you concentrate your continuing efforts in three primary areas: cutting off ivy stems growing on trees; maintain the areas previously cleared, and; clear out from the islands of native plants such as your log of salal (G. shallon) , your patches of Oregon grape (M. nervosa), and your spring, then plant and maintain them. By starting next to native nursury stock, you can utilize natural regeneration to supplement any plantings you are able to do. Enlarge your perimeter as you are able.

Laurels and Holly:  Discuss this with your park manager, Jason Filan.  Perhaps parks personnel can help with removal of these large shrubs, or he will have other ideas.

The Spring: this area is a unique microhabitat in the park, and already has some nice natives around it.  A few additions would enhance it and generate a lot of texture and interest.. Since you want to encourage the use of the park for outdoor education, this feature is well worth some special attention and plantings.

Steep slopes:  While you may not be able to actively work on the steeper slopes, if you concentrate some effort on clearing at the top, and plant native species that can seed downhill or spread by rhizomes, you may be able to begin to address the slopes without clambering down them.  For example, plant lots of sword fern (Polystichum munitum), which spreads readily, at the edge of the slope.  It is one of the commoner plants growing on a similar steep slope at Kirkland Watershed Park, transplants and establishes easily, and can often be salvaged.  Homeowners who have it are often delighted to have you take some of it away.  Your local garden club might be a good source.

Similarly, thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), which spreads in thickets by a vigorous underground root system, and likes relatively open slopes, might spread downhill. It is a good soil binder that stabilizes slopes while providing food and cover for wildlife. Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) bushes also have good soil binding qualities and forms thickets and might spread downhill.

Planting suggestions: Overstory.  With a lumbered second growth woods such as this, one of the concerns is that many of the trees reach old age and come down at the same time. Because of the ivy infestation, there has been little natural regeneration.  By planting saplings of the four main species already there, you provide a nursery middle story for natural regeneration as well as get a head start on reforestation with your plantings.  Since you have such wonderful nurse logs, I would suggest you emphacize Western hemlock (T. heterophylla), followed by Big-leaf maple (A. macrophyllum) and Western red cedar (T. plicata), and in the open, drier areas, Douglas fir (P. menziesii).

Middle story: You are already planning to add vine maple (Acer circinata ) to your understory. This is a good choice. Beaked hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), service berry (Amelanchior alnifoliaz), and oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor) might also do well in drier areas of the site.  Encourage your salmonberry (R. spectabilis) and Indian plum (O. cerasiformis) to spread. Some red flowering current (Ribes sanquineum) by the steps entering the park would be a nice entrance addition.

Ground covers:  Western bleeding heart (Dicentra Formosa) and violets (Viola (sp)) might be easily established, and they spread readily.  Western columbine (Aquiliegia Formosa) and fringecup (Tellima grandiflora) like open forests and might do well along the trail.  Deerfoot Vanilla-leaf (Achlys triphylla) might do well in the drier upland areas. False lily-of-the–valley (Maianthemum dilatatum), youth-on-age (Tolmiea menziesii), and Pacific waterleaf (Hydrophyllum tenuipes) around the spring where there is high water table are other possible additions. Your spring also looks like a wonderful place for skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum) and ferns such as Western maidenhair (Adiantum aleuticum), lady (Athyrium filix-femina) and wood fern (Dryopteris expansa).  Encourage your existing Oregon grape (M. nervosa), salal (G. shallon), and trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus) to spread..

Since you have so much fallen rotting wood, I suspect you might be able to establish bunchberry (Cornus unalaschkensis) in your park. It is often tricky to establish, but seems to do best where there is lots of organic matter and nurse logs available to it.


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