Planting Success at Kus-kus-sum Fall/Winter 2023
Planting in the snow ~ Deb Grant
Saltmarsh planting in the rain ~ Stefanie Lane
Odlum Brown planting 100 trees ~ C. Holbrook
Aurora Cannabis prepping island ~ Nick Page
A huge thank you to all our industrious volunteers and supporters who came out to assist with our fall 2023 planting at Kus-kus-sum! Even though our planting plans had to wait on some unforeseen construction challenges and complicated logistics we were still able to revegetate over two acres of the site this fall.
Starting in September, volunteers patiently weeded out stubborn invasive species like blackberry, scotch broom, and sweet white clover. We created a pile of over five cubic meters of weeds! This might not sound like a lot, but it was many hands working for many hours digging out stubborn roots and carefully pulling out small seedlings before they could get any bigger.
From October through November, volunteers helped us get over 4,000 plants in the ground for winter. The fall planting was challenging due to the weather. Luckily, we had crews dedicated to achieving our planting goals despite southeaster winds, lots of rain, and even snow! We got the whole island planted, about an acre of tidal marsh plants, and around half an acre of riparian forest species. This means that about five acres of the whole site are now planted, only three more to go!!
I really enjoyed getting to talk with folks while we worked: some folks are new to the valley and curious about this project; others are life-long residents who have watched the site transition from log mill operations to its current restoration phase. We talked about climate adaptation and how communities are shifting to prepare for new environmental extremes, native vs. invasive plant community dynamics and soil chemistry and biogeography – I’m constantly impressed by how invested our community is in restoration, environmentalism, and understanding how our natural environment works! I really enjoyed spending time outside with everyone. Even the extreme weather days were rewarding, as we got to see what we can achieve when we’re determined!
Stefanie, Restoration & Research Lead
We can not thank everyone enough for their dedication to this project: without the help of our community, we wouldn’t be this far along. We are optimistic that our final construction phase will be completed next spring, and we look forward to getting the last of the plants in the ground over the next growing season.
Wedler Engineering planting ~ M. Wheeler