The Native Lands Restoration project at North Seattle College

Fleabane

One thing that sets the NSC campus apart from its neighboring properties is the large urban forests that cover the North and South end of campus. These forested areas were actually at one time suburban neighborhoods that were demolished and essentially left alone to re-naturalize over time. The problem with doing this is that suburban yards are usually a host of exotic and invasive species that left unchecked can take over an entire forest. This is what has happened in the NSC forests, the native species have been choked out and by a variety of invasive and non-native species of plants. If you were to glance at any of the wooded areas on NSC campus the first thing you see is species like Blackberry, English Ivy, and English Laurel. All of these species are a detriment to the health of our local ecosystem and since we are at the head waters of Thornton Creek, our invasives also threaten the Thornton Creek riparian corridor.

After acknowledging this growing problem, the Sustainability office developed, in cooperation with NSC Grounds Crew, the Native Lands Restoration project. This project is a multi-benefit program that ties habitat restoration to student learning and is another way for scholarship student log required volunteer hours while directly helping the school they attend. The first areas restored were on the south end of campus next to the Licton Springs P-Patch, and now the Sustainability Office is working with instructors on campus to try and integrate a living lab into an upcoming restoration area to give environmental and biology students a chance to directly interact with native species. This project is also gaining support from community members and leaders, and has strengthened common bonds with our neighbors.

Posted on: March 30th, 2015 at 11:13:55

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