Healing Roxhill Park Bog: Volunteer Planting Day Success!

Working Together to Restore Native Plants to Roxhill Park

If it wasn’t for our helpful volunteers the job couldn’t get done. Thank you!

Saturday’s mild morning made for a successful day of planting around 300 native sedges and other peat-loving plants in Peat Cell 3 of Roxhill Park’s bog, which burned in October 2017. In only two hours, 26 volunteers learned about the unique diversity of the bog and got the plants firmly in the ground. 

Volunteers were trained and supervised by Roxhill Park’s native plant steward, Scott Blackstock, who has led plant restoration efforts like this for more than 20 years.

He explains more about the unique soil of the bog and why peat fires can be so challenging:

“Here, the peat is six to eight feet deep, so firefighters had to bring in a backhoe to turn things over,” he explains. “Dumping water on the surface can’t penetrate deep enough to put out the embers, so if the fire hadn’t been stopped, it could have traveled underground to the other peat cells in the park.”

This could be devastating to the bog.

Scott Blackstock, Roxhill Park Forest Steward supervises today’s work party. Thank you Scott for your dedication to the park!

The Roxhill Park bog is one of the most biodiverse and unique ecologies in the city, with its unique habitat serving as a pit stop and refuge for animals and birds. It is also filters and feeds stormwater run-off into Longfellow Creek, one of Seattle’s few salmon spawning creeks.

Quality family time! Learning how to plant together. Thank you for helping today!

Native plants were provided by Green Seattle Partnership, (GSP) a collaborative effort between the City of Seattle, Forterra, community partners and volunteers. GSP also thinned out invasive plants and overgrown trees throughout the park to help native species thrive.The event was coordinated by Roxhill Park Champions, which also leads a one-hour work party the second Saturday of every month. Join our mailing list to stay informed, find out events and learn about our next meeting in the new year. Everyone is welcome to join us and help lead efforts to engage our community with the park and its important role in our shared ecosystem.

Replanting Fire Damaged Peat Cell 3: 20 Volunteers needed!

Replanting Fire Damaged Peat Cell 3
Saturday, November 16th @ 10am, rain or shine

Two years after the underground peat fire in Roxhill Park, the community has successfully organized with the Green Seattle Partnership, the delivery of 300 native grasses, ferns and perennial plants to restore the damaged area.

RoxhillPark.org is seeking at least 20 volunteers to assist with planting on Saturday, November 16th. Bring gardening gloves and wear warm outdoor clothing. Shovels,  warm drinks and snacks will be provided.

We’ll meet near the restroom and parking lot along 29th Ave SW, across the street from 9227 29th Ave SW. If you arrive a little later, the planting site can easily be found looking directly east from the playground and parking lot.

Register here for a head count and more details about the location.

Pacific Chorus Frogs Return

Today’s post is written by a special friend of Roxhill Park, Jeanie Murphy Ouellette who works as Public Education Program Specialist at Camp Long.

On April 20th, 2019, just in time for the Duwamish Alive Festival where I was leading tours of the Roxhill Bog at Roxhill Park, the official state amphibian of Washington, Pacific Chorus frogs, were heard calling in the area that has the most abundant water in the Roxhill Bog – Cell 5.

Pacific Chorus Frog

Scott Blackstock, Forest Steward for Roxhill Bog and Park, heard them first.  He said he hadn’t heard that sound in 20 years. We went and listened to them and by their call, I identified them as Pacific Chorus Frogs.  I work as an environmental educator for Seattle Parks Environmental Sustainability, Education and Engagement Unit out of Camp Long in West Seattle.

Mid-April is when mating season is at its peak for these delightful beings, heard all over Seattle in wetland areas like Magnuson Park and Carkeek Park in North Seattle, and Discovery Park.  Adult pacific treefrogs are generally 3.0 to 4.5 cm (1 to 2 inches) long and on average, females are larger than males.

Their other common name is Pacific Treefrog, Pseudacris regilla (formerly Hyla regilla). They can come in a variety of colors – brown, tan, grey or green- but their distinguishing characteristics are the toepads that they have on their front and hind toes to allow them to climb trees and shrubs in search of insects, and the dark eye stripe running through their eyes from the nostril to the tympanum (ear).  There are no other frogs found in the geographic range of the Pacific Treefrogs that have these defining characteristics.

We are not certain as to how they got there, but one of the people on The Roxhill Bog Tour said he knows of a wetland just south of Roxhill Bog where he hears them calling. Perhaps they came from that wetland?

However, that they got there, they are a good indicator species for the bog – and a welcome asset for people concerned that the bog is drying out.  

Learn more about Pacific Chorus Frogs

Written by Jeanie Murphy Ouellette
Public Education Program Specialist
Seattle Parks Environmental Sustainability, Education and Engagement Unit
Camp Long