The “before” and “after” photos show the remarkable difference that community volunteers have made in restoring freshwater connections and native plants in the Edmonds Marsh-Estuary, according to project coordinator Joe Scordino. About 50 volunteers have participated in one or more of the seven volunteer work parties since late July to remove the invasive nightshade and chain-link fencing under the Washington Dept. of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program.
An invasive plant called bittersweet nightshade has overgrown the native cattails and alder trees on both sides of Highway 104. The nightshade vines also formed thickets on the fencing along Highway 104 necessitating removal to restore freshwater flows into the marsh. Through removal of the nightshade and chain-link fencing, community volunteers have now reconnected the freshwater flows from Shellabarger Creek on the east side of Highway 104 to the marsh on the west side of Highway 104.
More work, though, is needed on the west side of Highway 104 to remove nightshade that is preventing freshwater circulation and killing alder trees, Scordino said. Upcoming volunteer work parties through mid-September will require hip or chest waders for work in the water and mud to remove the nightshade thickets.
The next volunteer events are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 26 and Saturday, Aug. 28, both from 10 a.m. to noon along the west side of Highway 104 between Harbor Square and the pedestrian crosswalk at Edmonds City Park. Contact email@example.com if you want to volunteer to help.