Leslie Groves North Native Plant Restoration Project
Restoring native vegetation to the north end of Richland's Leslie Groves Park is a project that began in 2006 with the approval of the Richland Parks Department. The goal was to re-establish habitat that could be enjoyed and used to educate the public about our indigenous plants and to share their beauty. The LGN group is affiliated with the Washington Native Plant Society (Columbia Basin Chapter) and the Lower Columbia Basin Audubon Society whose members have been a major part of this effort.
Our focus has been on the southernmost 1½ acres, just north of Snyder St., between the multi-use path and Harris Ave.
October 2015 - Update
Plants include bitterbrush, sagebrush, rabbitbrush and lots of native grasses. A number of these were planted from 2008 through 2014, but many have seeded from the parent plants.
Smooth Sumac is the dominant plant in the foreground; it was planted in 2011 and 2012. The background is mainly sagebrush and native bunch grasses.
What we started with!
At the start of the project, this area consisted almost entirely of non-native plants including cheatgrass, tumbleweed, mustard, and tackweed.
Poor condition of the restoration area in 2006 when the project began
We have worked on the area by mowing, raking, pulling weeds, and planting and seeding native plants. More than 30 different species of native plants have been planted at the site, including bunchgrasses, shrubs, and flowering plants.
Work party initiating restoration in 2006
The area has now been transformed into an area in which native plants are starting to predominate and to spread naturally. Birds are also starting to use the area, using the native plants for shelter and a source of seed. Work will continue on this initial 1 ½ acre site until the native plants are less likely to be overtaken by the weeds. At that point, plans call for extending this effort northward, to the rest of the natural open space area.
Improving condition of the restoration area with numerous native species evident in 2011
There are numerous work parties throughout the year with weeding work from approximately February thru November, leaf raking from October thru February (a task made much easier as a result of installing a temporary silt fence purchased with a grant from the City of Richland), collecting seeds for native species, and planting in November and December. Help is always appreciated with any of these activities with volunteers contributing as much or as little time as they can.
For more information or to receive e-mail updates on Leslie Groves North activities, please contact Debbie Berkowitz at LGN-Restore or 509-375-4740.