Native Garden Project/ Ocean-Friendly Gardens

Our Native Garden Project objectives include supporting the existing ecosystem, improving water quality, reducing the occurrence of invasive/non-native plant species, and providing more scenic landscapes.

Throughout the year, we host work parties with the help of the City of Bellingham’s Parks and Recreation at historic Woodstock Farm on Chuckanut Drive.   Volunteers from all over come together to lay mulch, plant native plant species, and of course, remove invasive plant species.

Last year, several work parties were held at this city park, including an all day event for International Surf Day on June 20, 2009.  At this event, volunteers battled against English ivy, Himalayan blackberries, and some Stinky Bob in order to clear the hillsides to give native plants a fighting chance to thrive again.  Additionally, volunteers were invited to listen to local experts offer their knowledge on the history of the land around the farmstead, focusing special attention on the historical shell midden located next to the boathouse.  This shell midden was left by a Native American tribe that no longer exists in present day and little is known about them.  They thrived in the area over 1200 years ago, feeding off of the pleathera of food Mud and Chuckanut Bay had to offer.  They also migrated with the change of season, living in the Chuckanut area only part of the year.  After learning the history of the land, volunteers helped to dig fence postholes around the midden so that a fence could be built around it in order to help protect the heritage site.  Afterwards, volunteers were treated to a BBQ, live music provided by Aloha Danny, and some kayaking.

When the farmstead was originally acquired as a park, the City did so with a vision of creating a public heritage site, including structural and landscape features. In addition, the acquisition of the farm secured critical habitat and connected existing greenways. The native garden project is a key step in fulfilling the city’s vision and enhancing habitat.

For more info on Woodstock Farm, click here.

Ocean-Friendly Gardens are becoming increasingly popular and for a good reason.  As our understanding of watersheds improve, consciousness of how much of an impact each and every one of us has on it is growing, and people want to do something about it.  You may live miles away from the ocean, yet what water drains off your property where you live eventually reaches the ocean, carrying whatever pollutants it may pick up along the way.  Stormwater has become a high priority for anyone concerned about water quality.  As impervous surfaces continue to expand, more and more pollutants enter into our watersheds and less and less water is left for plants to thrive.  Instead of paving over more surfaces or adding more roofed structures to your property, think about adding in an ocean-friendly garden.  Not only are they beautiful (and will make all your neighbors want one), but they help reduce the amount of pollutants that reach the ocean by helping to filter them out.  Be a part of the solution, not the pollution.  For more information on how you can construct an ocean-friendly garden, contact bay@plantasnativas.com or visit Surfrider Foundations OFG website