Illahee Update 4/5/12 Preserve Work Party, Volunteer Supported Preserve, Wildlife Photos

Illahee Preserve Work Party on Saturday. On Saturday (4/7/12) morning from 8:30 – 11:30 am there will be a work party at the Illahee Preserve, with the Rotary of East Bremerton, the Washington Youth Academy, the Illahee Forest Preserve and Stewardship groups, and any interested volunteers.

New Pile of Woodchips. Around noon on Thursday a new pile of wood chips arrived at the Petersville entrance to the Illahee Preserve.

Compass Circle Wildlife Meadow Restoration Project. One of the goals of the work party will be to spread wood chips on the new perimeter trail around the Compass Circle Wildlife Meadow area that is in the process of being restored.

Almira Parking Lot Work. There is a full complement of woodchips already at the Almira parking lot that need to be spread, along with weeding of the 5 rain garden plots.

Volunteer Supported Preserve. We were asked the other day about who does all the trail work in the Preserve and we explained that most of the work in the Preserve is done by volunteers, and that we look at the Preserve as an experiment to see if volunteers and support organizations such as the Rotary and the Illahee groups can support and maintain a major park facility.

Opportunities on Saturday? The Rotary is a major supplier of wheel barrows for hauling the wood chips, and they will likely be manned primarily by the Washington Youth Academy cadets.  There will be loaders needed at the chip piles to fill the wheel barrows and rakers needed after the chips are dumped.  Since some of the trails are new there will need to be a crew to level the trails and to remove protruding roots.  A number of old trails will need to be closed which is another task.  Some of the alder trees that were downed will need to be moved to the sides of the new meadow area.  Trash will need to be picked up.  Rain garden plots need weeding.  Scotch broom needs to be pulled.  And the list goes on.  If you would like to help please stop by.

Wildlife Changes. Lots of wildlife changes happening during the spring time with some of our wintering waterfowl leaving, and those remaining pairing up.  Some of the Canada geese in our area are having turf wars, as they evidently don’t want to have nearby neighbors when they nest.

Loons. We normally see loons in the spring and the fall.  These two appeared to be going through some mating ritual and seemed oblivious to us taking their picture from the shoreline.

River Otter. River otters are usually more nocturnal so it was good to see this one up on the float eating a fish he had caught.

Jim Aho