Written by Rikki McGee with Tahoma Audubon Society
Tahoma Audubon Society (TAS) worked with Forterra through our Green City Partnerships program. Forterra is phasing out its involvement with on-the-ground coordination and field-based implementation of Green Cities, while still remaining an active partner. To make sure our leftover tools go to good use, we’ve been donating them to groups like TAS to support important restoration efforts.
Restoration takes time, effort, people and commitment. Tahoma Audubon Society has partnered with Forterra to steward different properties; the most recent is the Clover Creek Reserve in Parkland, which is a mix of creek riparian area, prairie and woodland. Those of us who are site stewards have been excited and gratified to work with Forterra staff. They know how to support volunteers who are committed to making a change in their communities as they work to return neglected properties to healthy and viable ecosystems.
While the Audubon volunteers have committed time and effort, we would not have made the progress we have without Forterra-provided resources. They not only donated tools – shovels, loppers, spades and gloves – they also shared expertise. With the support of Forterra Conservation Associate Jacob Childers and Lands Program Manager Collette MacLean, we received expert advice and guidance about best practices for restoring the riparian and prairie areas of the property.
In our first year of restoration, the Audubon stewards worked with community volunteers to remove approximately 800 square feet of invasive Himalayan blackberry and Scot’s broom, and planted 43 trees, six shrubs and a variety of prairie plants. We used Forterra-donated blue tubes to protect the plants and then mulched the planted area heavily. This work creates healthy habitat for wildlife, improves air quality, dampens noise pollution, protects towns from flooding and reduces soil erosion and water pollution. The surrounding community benefits as well – healthy green spaces strengthen neighborhoods, provide safe access to nature and improve quality of life.
The tools donated are the foundation of our continued work, which stands as evidence of Forterra’s commitment to the community. We learn and work through the organization’s steadfast mission.
The Tahoma Audubon Society was chartered in 1969. They advocate for the protection of wildlife and promote conservation through education and activities that enrich its member’s experiences in and with the natural world.