Kids say the darnedest things sometimes, especially when they’re traipsing through a smelly wetland teaming with life and fun new experiences.
This past October, fourth grade students from Discovery Elementary joined the Conservation District’s Sound Education staff (Jessica Kinney and Laura Goff) at the North Creek Park wetlands for an outdoor field trip.
Western Washington and more specifically, Snohomish County, has an ideal climate for growing grass. One of the reasons for this is due to our temperate climate with plenty of rainfall. For example, the city of Snohomish averages 50 degrees Fahrenheit and has about 275 frost-free days per year. This is accompanied with about 35 inches of annual precipitation.
Improving watershed health takes everyone. It takes landowners of all types – urban, rural, farmers – coming together and figuring out how they can do their part to keep the watershed healthy for the near- and long-term. Since 2013, the Snohomish Conservation District has been working to accomplish exactly that in the Church Creek sub-basin, thanks to a grant.
But, is tearing up the lawn and planting vegetables the only way to reduce your environmental impact and provide for your family? Maybe you don’t even have a lawn to tear up. Many condo and apartment dwellers are taking classes on growing food in small spaces, in pots, on vertical supports or in neighborhood pea patches. Pea patches, or ‘recession gardens’, are so popular that in Long Beach, California, the waiting list for garden space has quadrupled for a 312-plot community garden.
Ananda* Farm is a 14-acre, community-owned yoga and permaculture farm on the south end of Camano Island. Their mission is to live simply and harmoniously with nature, and to provide basic needs for themselves and a growing community of friends. Yoga and meditation are the foundation of life at the farm. Ananda Farm represents a positive change for the Camano-Stanwood community, and reflects the diversity of clients the conservation district now serves.
It can’t be any fun to sit at your kitchen table and watch the soil on the hillside above your backyard slowly slide down and envelope your house and garage. Not only is it not fun, it can be stressful knowing the foundation of your house and garage are surely rotting from wet soil and the constant pressure of soil creeping downslope.
What can you learn from an experienced forester about keeping young trees safe from hungry wildlife? Plenty! Duane Weston shares two simple approaches to keep new seedlings safe, one of which he developed.
One thing you hear a lot when you take a walk in the woods with local forester Duane Weston is his to-do list. He frequently mentions where he needs to fill in with new trees, clear a fallen log, clean up one of many trails, add more wildlife habitat, or thin an older stand of trees. There seems to be a never-ending list of work on a 40-plus acre tree farm, but you can tell Duane relishes the opportunity to work on it and make on-going improvements.
If you own five acres or more of forested property in Washington, you might want to know about something called “designated forest land”. This is a property tax assessment option for forest landowners in our state that can lower your taxes.
So, leave those fuzzy slippers by the door, put on a pair of mud boots or waders if you got ‘em, and let’s go ‘herping’. The word ‘herp’ comes from Herpetology, the study of amphibians (including frogs, toads, salamanders, newts) and reptiles (including snakes, lizards, turtles).
If you haven’t already prepared for more rain and cold here in Western Washington, it’s not too late. Here are a few tips and tricks to beat the winter weather this year and establish more permanent solutions for next year.
As with all things, change is inevitable. Such is the case with Snohomish Conservation District’s Sound Horsekeeping program. Read on to hear a message from Jessica Paige, the former program manager for Sound Horsekeeping, and meet our new program manager, Cayley Allen from Stanwood.