SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve’s restoration practices are aimed at the preservation of healthy and complex ecosystems as a community resource. These green spaces benefit not only the plants and animals who call the Nature Preserve home but also the human communities and economies around it.
Alder Grove Restoration
Photo by Ray Owens
The Alder Grove site will be undergoing a large-scale restoration project over the next several years with the work starting in early 2018. 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 based in silviculture, improves stand development and promotes healthy ecosystems with rich biodiversity.
This site was clear-cut for timber in the 1990’s. Currently, the area is dominated by invasive Himalayan Blackberry and English Holly on the ground and native, but small from over-crowing, Alder trees. SHADOW’s restoration plan involves removing some of the unhealthy Alder trees to allow light to reach the understory and forest floor. Wood from these Alders will be left on the forest floor to provide important nutrients to the soil and habitat for wildlife. SHADOW will also be taking steps to combat the dominance of the invasive species and will be planting native conifers to return the forest to a more natural state.
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 impacts of invasive species on the grounds.
The most important element to the success of this project will be in the maintenance of the forest, caring for newly planted trees and removing any invasive that return, 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 has 14 established photo points throughout the grounds. These help visually monitor changes over time in the diversity that we steward. We will also be monitoring our restoration progress through the photo point project. We welcome interested volunteers to join the team!