Audubon Birdloop Work Parties
Since March, 2006, BirdLoop work parties have been held on the first Saturday morning of every month from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers from Eastside Audubon and the community are always welcome. To find the next work party, check the Eastside Audubon calendar.
The monthly effort gets a big boost several times each year on community service days at corporations such as Microsoft, and Comcast, and Amazon.
Why Work Parties?
Much of our work party effort is to control non-native plants that, if left unchecked, will overwhelm native plant species that are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Ella Elman explains:
Invasive species are non-native plants that have been brought from European and other countries by settlers and are recent immigrants to this state. They did not evolve in our forests and ecosystems and act like giant bullies, pushing out all other plants.
While blackberries and thistles are used by birds, it’s only because they are displacing everything else and removing all the complexity and diversity from our forests. Where once a large and diverse plant community thrived, offering hundreds of species with nesting, foraging and hiding opportunities for birds year round, now there are acres of ivy, blackberry and Scotch broom, offering a very diminished habitat with only a few plants.
When we plant many native species instead of the one invasive species we take out, the wildlife habitat is greatly enhanced and many more species can use it.
Volunteers of the BirdLoop
These Eastside Audubon volunteers are a few among many who work month-in and month-out to restore and maintain habitat at Marymoor Park.
Glenn Eades directs monthly work parties to remove invasive species such as Scotch Broom and Reed Canary Grass in the meadow and along the trail, as well as blackberry vines that choke out native trees and shrubs.
Under the guidance of Ella Elman, we've planted hundreds of native trees and plants in more than 10 areas. Ella also did our wetlands survey and will continues to coordinate our planting efforts.
Megan Lyden was responsible for the first interpretive signs EAS installed on the BirdLoop. All feature lovely design and illustrations commissioned from a professional artist.
Under the direction of the late Sunny Walter, we transformed two county transit kiosks into beautiful interpretive kiosks for the Meadow and River entrances to the BirdLoop. We also installed new display cases, and filled them with maps and posters. The Eastside Audubon photo group donated images for the BirdLoop bird and wildlife posters.
Tim McGruder built a new gate between the dog area and the meadow. He also headed up the installation of the new interpretive signs. He directed the boardwalk extension project to help keep birders' feet dry during the winter rains.
For bike racks, BirdLoop project manager Jim Rettig commissioned a beautiful sculpture showing a heron in reeds. He also led the effort to develop two trail extensions to move the BirdLoop route further away from the off-leash dog area so our visitors can enjoy the birds in greater quiet. He also works on trail signs.