As drivers and cyclists head westward on 116th Avenue past Juanita Village and Juanita Bay Park, they ascend on Juanita Drive above Lake Washington’s northeastern shores. Within minutes, the sight of businesses and hillside homes is replaced by towering canopies of Douglas fir trees–a lush 40-acre urban forest amidst the neighborhoods on Big Finn Hill’s eastern slopes. As they pass by, commuters may notice a blue sign that identifies the stand as the “Juanita Woodlands Park.” What they may not know is that just a few years ago, this impressive stand of trees was marked for removal and replacement by a subdivision.
Over a five-year period, the community banded together to save the woodlands. Today, thanks to the efforts of local residents, businesses and government representatives, the grove is now a park that preserves an important habitat for native species and provides countless benefits for humans, including recreational opportunities–not to mention beautiful roadside scenery.
Help keep the deer of Finn Hill fed! This is the only woodlands event this year. What: Volunteers are needed to help plant vegetation and to remove invasive species in Juanita Woodlands to create deer meadow. When: Come join us on Saturday, September 27th at 9am Where: Meet at 120th Street trail head on the east side of Juanita Drive at 76th. Over the past few years, many of you have helped restore the Juanita Woodlands by planting over 5000 trees and removing seemingly endless mats ivy, blackberries, and archangel. This year, we’ve got something different in mind: we’re going to clear out a meadow for the deer that frequent the Woodlands. We’ll be heading into the deep recesses of the park (sort of – the Woodlands aren’t that extensive), so you get to do a little exploring while lending a hand to Mother Nature and her creatures. We hope you’ll join us on the 27th. Additional details to come. The Juanita Woodlands is in need of a Volunteer Coordinator. If you have an interest in stewardship and would like to care for the Juanita Woodlands please contact Teresa Chilelli using the contact form on this web site. Tasks for the Volunteer Coordinator 2-3 times a year help send work party emails to the Woodlands volunteer list Assisting to place yard signs (A-Frames) to advertise the event Help during the work party event with sign in, refreshments, etc, Hours – maybe 10 hours leading up to each work party event (minimal – but rewarding) The following is from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife website: Living with Wildlife Food and Feeding Habits Deer eat a wide variety of plants, but their main food item is browse—the growing tips of trees and shrubs. In late winter and early spring, deer eat grass, clover, and other herbaceous plants (Table 2). Deer also eat fruit, nuts, acorns, fungi, lichens, and farm and garden crops if available. For their first few weeks of life, fawns thrive on milk, which is more than twice as rich in total solids as the best cow milk. Deer eat rapidly and, being ruminants, initially chew their food only enough to swallow it. This food is stored in a stomach called the “rumen.” From there it is regurgitated, then re-chewed before being swallowed again, entering a second stomach where digestion begins. From there it is passed into a third and then a fourth stomach, finally entering the intestine. Shelter and Range Needs Deer are sometimes referred to as “edge” species, meaning they thrive at the interface of openings and cover patches. This allows deer to feed in productive openings while being close to escape cover. Many wooded suburban environments, such as parks, greenbelts, golf courses, and roadsides, meet the needs of deer. Mule deer can move long distances during spring and fall migrations to avoid mountain snow. Mule deer summering in the Cascades migrate as far as 80 miles to reach adequate winter range. Black-tailed and white-tailed deer normally reside within a ½ to 3 square-mile area; in mountainous locations, they move to lower elevations for the...read more
Finn Hill friends and neighbors: This is a quick note to alert you to 2 community events coming up in September. DennyFest, Sunday, September 7 Yes, it’s our annual neighborhood celebration in O.O. Denny Park from noon to 4pm. As always the music will be terrific – Geoffrey Castle and his band will be back, joined by Bochinche, a fantastic Afro-Caribbean group – and the chili and pies will be great, and the dog show will be fun… and it will all be free! The bouncy house, the fortune teller, the magician, the crafts table will be there, along with plenty of food and beverages. I could go on, but I hope you’ve heard enough to make plans to swing by O.O. Denny on the afternoon of Sunday, September 7. Don’t miss it! For more information, stay tuned at the DennyFest page. Juanita Woodlands Volunteer Event, Saturday, September 27 Over the past few years, many of you have helped restore the Juanita Woodlands by planting over 5000 trees and removing seemingly endless mats ivy, blackberries, and archangel. This year, we’ve got something different in mind: we’re going to clear out a meadow for the deer that frequent the Woodlands. We’ll be heading into the deep recesses of the park (sort of – the Woodlands aren’t that extensive), so you get to do a little exploring while lending a hand to Mother Nature and her creatures. (See picture below of local Woodlands residents. Did you spot the cottontail?) We hope you’ll join us on the 27th, check out this previous post for more information. Additional details to come. Scott Morris Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance – President www.finnhillalliance.org | 206-972-9493 PO Box 682, Kirkland WA...read more
Juanita Woodlands Log Blog What’s Growing & Going On In the Park. Fifth Edition: Fall 2013 Volunteers Wanted for Clean-up Event Saturday October 5th 9am-noon Be part of the action! Pull unwanted invasive plants, like Himalayan blackberry, ivy, and holly to enable young native trees to grow and flourish. Volunteers planted 745 native trees in January 2012 (Oregon Ash, Paper Birch, Shore Pine, and Western Red Cedar), but now invasive plants are crowding them out. Mike Crandell, and staff from King County Parks will be overseeing the event and providing tools. Mike is our Natural Resource Coordinator for Area IV of King County Parks. Teresa Chilelli, FHNA Juanita Woodlands Chairwoman is coordinating volunteers. For more information on this event contact Teresa at TChilelli@aol.com. This clean-up event is one of the many important events in FHNA’s Juanita Woodlands 5 Year Reforestation Plan (click link to view PDF). Now in the fourth year of the Plan, 4,500 trees have been planted by volunteers throughout the Park. Volunteers have removed armloads of BAD invasive plants from the park. To whom do we owe the success of this program? VOLUNTEERS! That’s YOU! Come help on the morning of October 5th! Have the satisfaction of helping to create a healthier and more beautiful Woodlands! Bring your family. Bring a friend. See you at 9:00 a.m. on October 5th. Thank you to a special group of volunteers from Expedia, who worked hard in the west Woodlands for most of the day on Sept 6th! A total of 35 volunteers, organized by Finn Hill resident Galina Veridyan. Thank you all! We just passed the half way point between the summer and winter solstice. The Autumnal Equinox was on September 22nd. At the Equinox, nights and days are about equal length. Days will continue to be shorter and nights longer until the winter solstice in December. “The Top 11” List of Invasive Plants of Finn Hill……. Are there BAD plants lurking in your garden? Invasive plants are bad because they can spread from our gardens to nearby parks and forests and cause serious problems. They compete with native plants for water and nutrients, and can seriously alter the forests. Some invasive plants form dense mats or impenetrable thickets that can change the understory ecosystem of the forest, as has already happened in places in the Juanita Woodlands Park and Big Finn Hill Park! If you find any of the invasive plants listed below in your garden, remove them. Weed ’em out! Replace them with native plants. Native plants are good! Native plants are beneficial to the ecosystem. Native plants support habitat for native birds and other wildlife. Here is our “Top 11” List of Invasive Plants of Finn Hill**: Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) & Evergreen blackberry (Rubus laciniatus). Learn more at about it. English Ivy (Hedera helix). Learn more at about it. Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon). Learn more at about it. Herb Robert “Stinky Bob” (Geranium robertianum). Learn more at about it. Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens). Learn more at about it. Field Bindweed, aka Morning Glory (Convolvulus arvensis). Learn more at about it. Scotch Broom (Cytisus Scoparius). Learn more at about it. Small Trees/Big Bushes English holly (Ilex aquifolium). Learn more at about it. English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus). Learn more at about it. European Ash (Sorbus aucuparia): Has pointed leaves....read more
While summer still lingers on, winter will arrive, like it or not. And young trees planted in the Juanita Woodlands will need help surviving the dark months. FHNA is calling for volunteers to remove invasive species like ivy and blackberry vines that are encroaching on young trees in the eastern Juanita Woodlands. The work party runs from 9am to noon on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Everything takes place on the east side of Juanita Drive. Volunteers can meet at 76th Avenue NE and NE 120th. (Turn east off Juanita Drive onto 120th Street.) Bring work gloves, loppers, and shovels if you can. Coffee and water will be supplied. The 40-acre Juanita Woodlands was saved from development with local donors paying more than half a million dollars nine years ago in an initiative to help King County secure the land from the state of Washington. Since then, hundreds of volunteers have done clean-up work in the area bordering both sides of Juanita Drive near Fire Station 25. Thousands of trees have been planted as part of a long-term restoration effort after discovery of diseases affecting mature trees throughout the woodlands. To get more information on the woodlands cleanup, contact Teresa Chilelli at TChilelli@aol.com or call...read more
Oops! Don’t let this happen to you! Living here in the great Pacific Northwest is truly a gift wrapped in green. We are blessed with the majestic splendor of the tall, beautiful, beneficial, lean, and green Douglas fir. Some benefits of these trees are: Just three strategically placed trees can decrease utility bills by 50% Childhood asthma rates are lower in neighborhoods with healthy tree cover An acre of trees every year absorbs the amount of carbon produced by driving a car 26,000 miles. However, along with the beauty and benefit, comes danger as well. There are things you can do, though, to help preserve the trees and protect yourself. Winter is usually the time that trees fall. Days of rain make the ground squishy and then a heavy wind comes along to topple that big tree. NOW is the time to see if those trees in your area may be at risk for a fall. The two major causes of trees falling are unstable, wet ground and disease. Take a stroll outside and take a poll of the trees you have in your area. What kind of tree is it? Douglas fir are the most likely to fall. Cedar is a little more stable. Deciduous trees usually only lose large limbs during storms as they have a deeper root system. How tall is the tree and if it fell, would it cause property damage? The prevailing storm winds in the greater Seattle area, usually come from the south or southwest. Check the height of the tree, (links listed below on how to do this) then measure the distance to your home. You’ll then know if you are in the clear. How to Measure a Tree (YouTube Video) How to Measure a Tree (WikiHow article) During our wet spring season, take a quick survey during heavy rainfalls. Go out in your yard and see how and where the water goes. Does it head straight for or pool near big tree root systems? If so, diverting that water away from the trees will help keep the ground stable. Are the trees healthy? Urban trees are extremely susceptible to disease. There are warning signs and several guidelines that can be used to help you decide whether a tree is potentially unsafe. However, be aware that further testing of a suspect tree should be done by a qualified arborist before a final decision is made to retain or remove a tree. If you have evergreen trees, look up at the canopy. If you see a substantial amount of cones, this generally a sign of tree stress caused by drought, excessively wet soils conditions, fungus root infections, or recent soil disturbances in the dripline of the tree. The dripline is the height of the tree measured horizontally on the ground. Thus, a hundred foot tall tree will have roots that are hundred feet or more out from the trunk. Check to see if any construction activity has taken place in the dripline in the past 1-6 years. Trees usually begin to show stress anywhere from 1-7 years after injury has occurred. If the soil is excessively moist, chances of the roots dying from a lack of oxygen are high. Excessively moist soil can also increase the chances of infection by...read more
FHNA Endorses King County Parks Levy Recently the FHNA board voted to endorse Proposition 1, the King County Parks Levy. Click on the link below to see the press release. The six year property tax levy lid lift of 18.77 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $56 per year for a family living in a $300,000 home, will provide $60 million dollars of revenue per year. These funds will allow the King County Parks Divisions to fund maintenance and operations of the parks system, perform infrastructure repair and replacement, acquire and conserve open space, and develop regional trail corridors. I had the privilege recently of serving on the county task force that recommended the parks levy to County Executive Dow Constantine with park activists and public servants from all over King County. Learning about the current state of the parks system was very eye opening. There are many areas where infrastructure improvements and maintenance are in great need. To the credit of County Executive Constantine and the county council they accepted almost all of the task force’s recommendations. King County Parks is a wonderful regional parks system that includes the Juanita Woodlands and Big Finn Hill Park in our own community. This modest investment will mean major improvements for our parks. Please click on one of the links below to learn more about the levy and, most importantly, please vote “yes.” FHNA Press Release (Click to view PDF) YES on King County Proposition 1 King County Parks, Trails, and Open Space Replacement Levy Photographs from Big Finn Hill Photographs by Jeanette Leach...read more
Juanita Woodlands Log Blog What’s Growing & Going On In the Park. Fourth Edition: Summer 2013 Summer. The growing season. Long daylight hours and warmth from the sun create ideal growing conditions for the trees and plants in our pacific northwest forests. Walk through the Woodlands and see the abundance of new green leaves on trees and plants, a sea of greens, nature’s dynamism–sprouting, bursting forth new life. “Set the focus of your eyes so that you begin to see not just a mass of trees, but variations and details that have meaning.” –Vinson Brown This quotation is from an interpretive sign at West Mountain 3 Park at Tradition Lake. Can a young tree grow 34″ in 3 months? Yes! See Oregon Ash #3 in the Tree Height Measurement Log below. The Log tracks the growth of a small sampling of 21 of the 5000 trees planted by volunteers 2010, 2011 and 2012. From mid March to mid June 2013, several of the deciduous trees grew 24-30″ in height. Conifers grew 4-9″ in height. June’s measuring process was more efficient and much more fun with the help of friend Jeanette Leach and her happy black lab Katie. Katie led the way, I measured, and Jeanette recorded the height measurements onto the spreadsheet. Thank you Jeanette and Katie! Now that I know how much easier it is having someone else to help with the recording, here is an open invitation to come help with future measuring. If you are interested, contact me at email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The next measuring will be around mid to late September. BTW, Jeanette volunteers much of her time in Big Finn Hill Park. In fact, in addition to an on-going campaign to remove invasive plants from the park, she took the initiative herself, to map the trails in the park. She found a GPS mapping app to download her I-phone and walked all 10-12 miles of trails throughout the park! Her mapping work helped provide King County Parks with the data to publish a trails map–the first trails map ever, for BFHP. More info on the new map in next Log Blog. The following are the Tree Measurement Charts and photographs of the trees, divided into three sections based on the year the trees were planted. To skip to a section, click on the name: Planted January 2010, Planted January 2011, Planted January 2012, and the Log blog Announcements, Events, and Helpful Tips. Planted in January 2010: West Section Trees Planted in January 2011: West Section Trees Planted in January 2012: West Section Trees Log blog Announcements, Events, and helpful tips: How to Measure a Tree: Want to know a new way to measure the height of a tree? In a previous Log Blog I put the word out I was looking for new ways to measure tree heights because a few of the trees in my study project had grown taller than my measuring pole. Teresa Chilelli, FHNA Chairperson of the Juanita Woodlands, sent me this You Tube video. Thank you Teresa. I’ll be trying this out next time. Click here to view YouTube Video. Invasive Plants: Learn about “Invasive Plants” at DennyFest on Sunday September 8th, 2013 at O.O.Denny Park, Kirkland, WA. What is an “invasive” plant? How to identify an invasive plant in...read more
Log Blog to March 30th volunteers-A big THANK YOU! “We had a great turnout! A big thank you to all 25 volunteers. We had beautiful weather, everyone really worked hard. Mother nature, the woodlands, and the neighborhood are immensely grateful”, says Teresa Chilelli, Chairperson of the Juanita Woodlands. She reports volunteers cleared invasive Himalayan blackberry and holly, and also re-tagged and staked native trees planted January 2012 in the Woodlands east section. And here’s photos of some of their accomplishments. Huge piles of pulled invasive plants, and plenty of breathing room now for these native young trees to grow and flourish through their coming growing season. Thank you volunteers! Next Woodlands event will be in September 2013 Teresa announced the next event will be sometime in September, in the west section of the Juanita Woodlands, where volunteers planted 4300 native trees in 2010 and 2011. Volunteer at the September event to help maintain and nurture these young trees. By volunteering you become part of the 5 year re-forestation program to create a healthier more diverse tree canopy in the park. Be a part of this lasting legacy. September date to be announced soon. Visit the Finn Hill Alliance website for the date, time, and details, and stay informed with your Juanita Woodlands Log...read more