SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve practices ecological management and restoration so that green spaces may exist, as a community resource, for generations to come. We believe that healthy wilderness benefits not only the plants and animals who call it home but also the human communities and economies it surrounds.
Extend the Boardwalk
SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve is hard at work scouting the extension of our famous boardwalk trail. Extending the trail expands community access to the Nature Preserve’s grounds – adding four more habitat types to a standard tour of the bog. It is important to the staff of the Nature Preserve that we maintain the highly accessible nature of this trail.
Alder Grove Restoration
The Alder Grove site will be undergoing a large-scale restoration project over the next several years. SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve is teaming up with forestry professionals to imitate the natural species succession of Washington’s forests. This method of stewardship is commonly known as succession forestry.
The site was clear-cut for by loggers in the 1990s. Currently, the area is dominated by invasive Himalayan Blackberry and English Holly as well as small, over-crowed alder trees. SHADOW’s restoration plan involves removing some of the unhealthy Alder trees in order to create space and allow light to reach the understory of juvenile conifers. Wood from these Alders will be left on the forest floor to provide important nutrients and habitat. SHADOW will also be taking steps to combat the dominance of the blackberry and planting new conifers.
Over the next several years and even several decades, this project will cultivate a climax forest on the property – adding value for wildlife, carbon storage, and reducing the impact of invasive species on the grounds.
The most important element to the success of this project will be in the maintenance of the steps taken in the years following the initial restoration activities. SHADOW will rely largely on the help of volunteers for this maintenance. Join our volunteer team today to help ensure the successful recovery of this forest!
Native Plant Garden
SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve’s Native Plant Garden is a demonstration garden implemented in 2014. The garden serves as a demonstration to local landowners – illustrating the beauty and functionality of native plants in landscaping and gardening. The garden is maintained by volunteers who remove weeds from the beds, plant native shrubs and ground covers, and water the young plants during the dry season.
To get your hands dirty in the native plant garden:
Restoration can’t happen without data to drive our activities! Monitoring the plants, animals, and abiotic factors at the Nature Preserve is a crucial part of stewarding the health of these wild spaces. Volunteers power our monitoring and restoration activities.
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, and our partnership with the Woodland Park Zoo, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve monitors the amphibian populations throughout the grounds. Monitoring takes place in our freshwater ponds and includes assessment of egg masses, juveniles, and adults. Over the past two years of monitoring, volunteers have observed the Pacific Chorus Frog, Long-Toed Salamander, and the Red-Legged Frog just to mention a few!
Interested in joining this project?
long-toed salamander egg mass
Northwestern salamander egg mass
Monitoring Water Quality on Shadow Lake
The Nature Preserve borders the western shore of Shadow Lake and it is central to the health of this area! Staff and volunteers work with the King County Small Lakes Monitoring Program to collect data on the status of the lake throughout the year. The data collected provides information about the dissolved oxygen levels, nutrient levels, turbidity, and temperature of the lake water.
Interested in joining this project?
Photo Point Monitoring
SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve is establishing photo points throughout the grounds to visually monitor the diversity that we steward. We welcome interested volunteers to join the team!