An army of more than 70 neighbors, Cub Scouts, Tree Board members, city councilmembers and others converged on Edmonds’ Hutt Park to celebrate Earth Day Saturday with a gala ivy pull.
The dirt and vines were flying as the volunteers dug, cut and simply yanked the invasive English Ivy (Hedera helix) from the forest understory.
“This is the first step in restoring native vegetation to this area,” explained Jesse Curran, Edmonds Parks Department horticulturalist. “Later this spring we’ll cover the cleared area with 1-3 feet of wood chips. This completely eliminates ivy by ‘cooking’ any remaining live stems and roots, but it will take about two years to completely kill it. Once it’s gone, we’ll come back in and plant with native forest species like ferns, Salal, Oregon grape and Salmonberry.”
The event was sponsored by the City of Edmonds Tree Board, the City of Edmonds and Puget Sound Stewards. Part of EarthCorps, Puget Sound Stewards has been involved in several other projects around town including buffer enhancement around the Edmonds Marsh. According to Edmonds Parks Department Naturalist Jennifer Leach, the organization will continue to work with residents of the Seaview neighborhood to build on these enhancement activities at Hutt Park.
“This is the best turnout we’ve ever had for this kind of event,” beamed Diane Buckshnis, one of the event organizers. “Many are neighbors who actually use this park themselves, and want to take positive action to enhance their community.”
One of those invested in the work was Reed Brown, who got to work while his infant son Kai enjoyed the ride in a baby carrier. “I actually proposed to my wife right over here,” Brown said while pointing to a clearing a few years away. “This is my neighborhood park, and I feel a real sense of ownership with it.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel