Thursday, December 27, 2012

Native Grasses Coming to Wenatchee

 A few weeks ago Cascadia Conservation District, with help from U.S Fish and Wildlife, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Chelan County Public Works, and Intermountain AmeriCorps, worked on a project to restore native grasses right here in Wenatchee. Due to recent road work, an area of land near the local U.S. Forest Service building was missing essential ground cover. We pitched in to do our part by reseeding the area with a native grass blend donated by U.S. Fish and Wildlife. Establishing ground cover is important for a variety of reasons and is especially beneficial when it is native.

In general, grasses help prevent erosion as well as excess water runoff. However, native grasses provide these same basic conservation benefits as well as a few others. Seeding with a native grass mix prevents non-native (invasive) species from establishing. If this site had been left unseeded it is very likely that the next few growing seasons would have seen quite a few unwanted weeds popping up. Noxious weeds harm wildlife by depriving them of the habitat they need and are accustomed to. Native grasses are also adapted to their environment, which means they generally don’t need additional watering or other maintenance making them not only more environmentally friendly, but economically friendly as well.

Intermountain AmeriCorps members come
out on Saturday to help seed.

The seeding project took place on a Saturday in early December just before the ground froze. AmeriCorps volunteers weren’t shy to get to work by raking the project site, broadcast seeding, and lightly-compacting the newly seeded soil.  The grasses should start to sprout up in the spring and, once established, will look much nicer than the gravely, dusty, barren state that this site was previously in. We’d like to thank everyone who helped out with this project, especially Kay, Jim, Christy, and Maria, who donated their time and energy to make this project happen.

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