A Weekend of Stewardship

It was another busy weekend for conservation and stewardship up and down the peninsula! The weekend started early on Friday morning, when GPC’s stewardship team led a work party at the Klingel-Bryan-Beard Wildlife Refuge. We got a ton of support from YouthBuild Kitsap to make this event possible, and we’re so grateful for it.

Volunteers cutting back a large thicket of Himalayan Blackberry around an old apple tree.
These volunteers are working hard to rescue that apple tree from the Himalayan Blackberry it was overgrown with! Photo by Hannah McDonough

This site is being prepared for something special. The shoreline used to be an open cattle pasture, and GPC has worked a lot to restore it. Right now, it’s still in a degraded condition, with lots of Scotch Broom and Himalayan Blackberry growing all over the place. That’s what our volunteers helped with – we cleared out so much of these two invasive species that you could really see the difference!

In the fall, GPC will be planting on this site. But we’ll be planting something a little different from usual. We’ve got a plan to do something called “Assisted Migration.” The idea is to acquire our plants from nurseries that are farther south than usual, so that they will be thrive under the future climate conditions that are expected for this region. This technique will help keep our shorelines resilient, even as things change.

In the fall, the KBB Wildlife Refuge will be used as one of GPC’s Land Labs sites. We’ll bring out a busload of students from a Bremerton school, to give them a chance to experience this kind of natural setting first-hand and see the restoration work that’s in progress to make it even better!

Several volunteers raking gravel at the Clear Creek Trail
It’s tough to move around all that gravel, but it’s possible thanks to the dedication of our volunteers! Photo by Hannah McDonough

Meanwhile at the Clear Creek Trail, GPC AmeriCorps VISTA members Janessa and Hannah were helping to coordinate another work party on Saturday and Sunday.

The Clear Creek Task Force is working to resurface a few sections of their extensive urban trail system. Thanks to a huge donation of gravel from Mark at Kitsap Quarry, which was arranged by Greg at GB Underground and delivered by David of Northwest Trucking and Materials, the volunteer stewards could get it done!

Resurfacing these trails is an important part of keeping them accessible. It is so important that people of all backgrounds and abilities have the chance to get out in nature and experience the beauty that’s all around us, every day.

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer steward? Keep an eye on GPC’s events page to know when an opportunity is coming up, or sign up for our E-Newsletter so that you’ll always be in the loop.