Planting for Healthy Landscapes, Waterways

A group of people in rain jackets in a muddy forest clearing work together to plan trees. A recently fallen evergreen tree lies in the foreground.

Over the past year, we have done a lot of work at the Preserve, which is now nearly 500 acres in size. Volunteers and contractors removed debris from Wildcat and Chico creeks, plus the last remnants of the old homestead in Hidden Valley, which created space for the new visitor pavilion. This critical work left some patches of ground ready for new, native plants.

So far this year, volunteers and Board members have planted nearly 800 of the 900 native trees and shrubs that we purchased last year in order to reach the prime goals of the plantings: 

  • Restore the riparian habitat surrounding the area where Lost and Wildcat Creeks converge to form Chico Creek. 
  • Reestablish a diverse forest surrounding the riparian area. 
  • Enhance the resiliency of Hidden Valley as the effects of climate change continue to emerge.
Selfie of people smiling under the pavilion during a work party on a cold day.

In March, we’ll continue the planting work and welcome volunteers to help us. March is also a good time to see the new bridge and pavilion, plus take a look at our latest project on land that we acquired on Seabeck Highway Northwest to create improved visitor access at the Preserve.

We are also moving ahead with forest management work, which is key to ensuring the long-term health of our forests and makes the landscape more resistant to and resilient in the case of a wildfire. 

We are off to a fast start to making improvements at the Preserve this year and we look forward to sharing those improvements with you. We hope to see you at a planting next month or to simply take a walk in a beautiful spot.

– Jeff Wirtz, President