Puget SoundCorps to help restore habitat of wetland preserve

A Puget SoundCorps crew will remove Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and other invasive plants and remove trash from Pierce County’s Larchmont Wetland Reserve in Midland May 4 through 29. Getting rid of these invasive plants and trash will improve the health of the wetland the county has worked to rehabilitate for several years.

Pierce County obtained the assistance of Puget SoundCorps through the Urban Forestry Restoration Project, administered by Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Urban and Community Forestry Program. This program improves forests to help manage stormwater and clean air and water.

“In removing the blackberries and ivy, which are invasive species, this team gives the native plants in this wetland area a strong boost,” said Micki McNaughton, DNR special project coordinator. “It is hard work, and the crew will do a great job.”

Invasive non-native plants can threaten the health of the wetlands. In competing for water and nutrients, they “crowd out” native plants and even kill trees. After these unwelcome plants are gone, the trees will grow stronger.

“Puget SoundCorps’ efforts are valuable to Pierce County,” said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities surface water manager. “These crews do a lot of work in a short amount of time and the benefits for the community continue for many years by improving these wetland areas.”

About the Larchmont Wetland Reserve The Larchmont Wetland Reserve is a 16-acre parcel composed primarily of wetland. The wetlands within the reserve are being re-habilitated and expanded to improve wildlife habitat and to generate credits for the newly-adopted Pierce County In-Lieu Fee Program. Wetlands are home to numerous wildlife species and help purify surface water.

The Larchmont Wetland Reserve is within the City of Tacoma’s designated Urban Growth Area. Wetlands on this parcel drain into Clover Creek and ultimately Chambers Bay and Puget Sound. Rehabilitation and expansion of these wetlands will improve the quality of water entering Puget Sound, as well as provide wildlife habitat and reduce downstream flooding impacts from surface water runoff.

Since February, a Washington Conservation Corps crew has removed more than five tons of trash covered by invasive plants or buried in the soil. Part of that trash included a partially buried truck chassis and axle and a 50 gallon oil drum. The crew also removed more than three tons of English ivy from the site.

For more information

Learn more about trees and urban forests in our community.

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