Submitted by The City of Lacey
The Urban Forestry Restoration Project, administered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban and Community Forestry Program, is an exciting opportunity to enhance the capacity of urban forests to manage storm water and improve air and water quality by improving the health and functionality of trees and forested sites in urban settings. The Project moves into Lacey for the month of January, 2016, which will enhance the 20-acre urban forest of Lake Lois Habitat Reserve. The habitat reserve is a 28-acre site, which includes 8.5-acre Lake Lois, located on the east side of Carpenter Road SE, west of Lake Lois Rd SE, and north of Pacific Ave SE.
A Puget SoundCorps team of six will work with City staff to remove English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry, Spurge Laurel, Scotch Broom, and Robert’s Geranium from Lake Lois Habitat Reserve. These invasive, non-native plants prevent forested areas from providing our community the full benefits and services of healthy forests by competing for water and nutrients, and in some cases even killing trees. Once the unwelcome plants are gone, native vegetation will be planted in its place.
The Lacey Board of Park Commissioners approved the Forest Management Plan for Lake Lois Park and Lake Lois Habitat Reserve in September of 2012. Volunteers have been removing invasive plants and replanting those areas with native trees to implement the recommendations in the plan – and making big strides. City staff submitted a grant application in 2013 to bring the Puget SoundCorps to expand on the volunteer efforts. The crew worked in Lake Lois Habitat Reserve in December of 2014.
City staff submitted a second application in 2015 to bring The Puget SoundCorp back in to get ahead of the rapid encroachment of English ivy on the south side of the lake. In 2014, 228 volunteers worked 421 hours pulling ivy, planting native trees and shrubs, and watering the trees and shrubs through the dry summer and fall months of May through October.
DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service. Puget SoundCorps is part of the broader Washington Conservation Corps program administered by Washington Department of Ecology. Puget SoundCorps crews work on projects that help restore and protect water quality in Puget Sound. The Washington Conservation Corps is supported through grant funding and Education Awards provided by AmeriCorps.