When assessing an area for restoration, the City of Bellingham takes into account the unique attributes of the site and applies the appropriate restoration techniques.
In areas plagued by a massive load of invasive vegetation the invasive species must first be removed or controlled.
Species planted in restoration project sites are tailored to match site conditions including soils, sunlight, and landform. The species are also patterned after native plant associations that are currently or historically found at similar sites. An assessment of historic forest conditions (PDF) that would have occurred along city streams is used to tailor current planting plans.
Once plants are installed, the sites must be maintained to ensure that native species survive and thrive. In areas where beaver are present young trees and woody shrubs are enclosed in wire fencing to deter browsing from deer, rodents and beaver. When the trees grow beyond a critical phase, where they are able to withstand natural browse, the wire cages will be removed to eliminate the inhibition of growth. The Washington Conservation Corps crews continue to control invasive weeds at each site, performing maintenance at least three times each year.
For more detailed information on techniques used on specific sites, visit the habitat restoration projects section.