Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust crews were busy last month, planting conifer trees in Tollgate Forest. The planting is part of grant-funded restoration work that improves riparian, floodplain and wetland habitat adjacent to the South Fork Snoqualmie River.
To date, Greenway Trust crews and volunteers have planted over 2,800 native trees as part of the City’s Cooperative Watershed Management and King County’s One Million Trees grant program.
In addition to the Tollgate Forest tree planting, crews are also working at Meadowbrook Farm and a 5-acre parcel adjacent to the City’s Wastewater Treatment Plant where comprehensive restoration – both tree planting and invasive weed control – commenced in early 2020 with funding from the Snoqualmie Watershed Forum.
This important restoration work aims to establish a healthy mix of conifers in areas dominated by deciduous trees like cottonwood and bigleaf maple, many of which are failing and leaving gaps in the forest canopy for invasive weeds like blackberry and knotweed to establish.
The Cooperative Watershed Management funding was complemented with funding from King County Noxious Weed Program’s Healthy Lands Project (HeLP) to control species like blackberry, knotweed, butterfly bush, and tansy ragwort within Tollgate Forest. This funding, along with work performed by Greenway Trust crews, has supported valuable restoration maintenance and created space for more tree installation utilizing King County’s One Million Trees grant program.
The Greenway Trust plans to eventually plant 3,500 trees to improve and protect areas surrounding the South Fork Snoqualmie River.