Restoration at Martha John Creek Preserve

Mulch circles ready for planting at Martha John Preserve.

Great Peninsula Conservancy is working closely with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe (PGST) to convert two acres of pastureland to riparian habitat at our Martha John Creek Preserve. Because our hot dry summers are hard on seedling plants, part of the restoration project is an experiment to see if planting through heavy wood chip mulch will give these young plants the upper hand (by reducing competition and holding moisture). This coming winter, Sound Native Plants will install over 1,000 native trees and shrubs across 2-acres including in six, 30-foot radius “mulch circles”.  Aardvark Bark Blowing Services used a blower truck to spread 60 yards of mulch across each unit of the preserve (watch a preview of the work in the short clip below). 

The plants are being sourced from the Washington Association of Conservation Districts, a grower specializing in native Pacific Northwest plant stock. An exciting component of this effort includes GPC’s Land Labs program and PGST working together to collect field data that will help compare growth and survival of the seedlings in and outside of the mulch circles. This project was possible because of generous neighbors Richard Farnsworth and Michel Seman who have allowed access through their lands, and funding support from the Waste Action Project and Rose Foundation’s Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund. We can’t wait to see the results of this work!