Restoration work to begin on Pierce County urban forest

A Puget SoundCorps crew will remove English ivy and Himalayan blackberry from trees in Pierce County’s Bresemann Forest starting Monday.

Pierce County obtained the Puget SoundCorps’ assistance through the Urban Forestry  Restoration Project, which is administered by Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Urban and Community Forestry Program. This program aims to improve forests to help manage stormwater and clean air and water. The crew will work on the Bresemann Forest restoration project for three weeks.

“Trees provide many benefits and help keep our streams, rivers and Puget Sound clean,” said Washington State Department of Natural Resources special project coordinator Micki McNaughton. “In removing invasive plants, this team will keep our trees and waterways healthy.”

Getting rid of these invasive plants will improve the health of the trees and the adjacent Spanaway Creek, according to Pierce County officials. Washington State Department of Natural Resources staff report invasive non-native plants, such as English ivy and Himalayan blackberry, can threaten the health of forests. 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.

“We value the Puget SoundCorps’ efforts in restoring urban forests,” said Pierce County Public Works and Utilities water quality and watersheds manager Dan Wrye. “Last year, a crew removed invasive plants from Swan Creek Park. We look forward to partnering with them on this Spanaway Creek project.”

English ivy clings to a tree in the Pierce County's Pierce County's Bresemann Forest. On Monday, Puget SoundCorps crews will begin to remove the invasive plant. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)

English ivy clings to a tree in the Pierce County’s Pierce County’s Bresemann Forest. On Monday, Puget SoundCorps crews will begin to remove the invasive plant. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)