Project: Chimacum Creek Planting

Student: Kyra Weidner, Port Townsend High School

School Year: 2013-2014

Kyra helped coordinate one of North Olympic Salmon Coalition’s largest volunteer tree planting events on Chimacum Creek. This partner event with Habitat for Humanity of East Jefferson County took place on three adjacent Habitat properties located along the lower east fork of Chimacum Creek. The site’s predominant vegetation was a mixture of Nootka rose, invasive reed canary grass, and pasture grass species, all of which were providing minimal shade and habitat for ESA listed Hood Canal Summer Chum and Coho salmon. Kyra wanted to be involved in every step of the project development process. She researched native plants and the requirements of good salmon habitat in order to select the species to plant. She used information from a field investigation to create a planting plan and map of the site (see below), and generated quantities of each species that she then sent to our Stewardship Coordinator for ordering. She visited local businesses to request food donations and local classrooms where she gave presentations with the goal of recruiting volunteers. At the event, Kyra served as a crew leader and educated volunteers on plant identification, the attributes of good salmon habitat, and the proper way to plant a tree.

When asked how working with NOSC helped her to learn new skills and knowledge, Kyra said: “I got a lot better at public speaking. I aced my senior presentation! I also loved learning about the connections between the trees and salmon. This experience confirmed that environmental science is the path for me.” Kyra spent 54 hours on the project.

Announcements about the planting went out in the Port Townsend Leader and Peninsula Daily News.

Kyra’s work helped her earn both the 2014 Port Townsend High School Alumni Scholarship and Port Townsend High School Foundation Scholarship. Way to go, Kyra! Upon graduating high school, Kyra worked with another Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group (RFEG), Pacific Coast Salmon Coalition in Forks. Kyra now studies environmental science at Olympic Community College. She remains an active volunteer with NOSC.

Kyra’s Planting Map

Kyra’s Planting Plan Design

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