I walk my dog a lot. This activity gets me outdoors and gives me great joy. My dog takes me places I might not go if she hadn't dragged me there, or inspired me to go there. We spend lots of time in the green belts and park of my hood. I noticed recently the efforts to restore the green belts from the damage caused by English Ivy and Blackberries. Left unchecked, these invasive spcies (not originally from our NW ecosystem but introduced recently) will overgrow all native trees and plants and eventually kill them. After the restoration process has occurred, the effect on the green belt is amazing....the forest floor is filled with Sword Ferns and all sorts of low growing plants of which I can't remember the names, but they are beautfiul and obviously in harmony with the big Firs, Cedars, and Maples that still tower there.
The other day, I praised a group of volunteers about their efforts and it was suggested that I might want to help out... So a few Saturdays ago I did and it was great. The four of us planted a variety of plants and trees all through an area that had been cleared of the Ivy and Blackberries. The woman who ran the program that day was Jillian Archer, who is a city gardener. She was fantastic and very knowledgable... Her work is part of a larger program called Green Seattle Partnerships. This is a bunch of folk from the city volunteer groups and NGO's that want to enhance Seattle's already gorgeous urban forests. They are partly funded by the Green Belt and Parks Initiative that Seattle voted for a few years back.... Anyway it was a fun and very interesting day.