Stewardship in the North Cascades: 2012 roundup

The following is a report of what North Cascades Institute’s Stewardship Program achieved in 2012. Please help us continue to conserve and restore Northwest environments with your financial support: Every dollar donated to the Institute between now and May 9 can be matched 1:1 through a campaign organized by the Skagit Community Foundation.


President Obama has proclaimed September as National Wilderness Month.  Additionally, National Public Lands Day falls on Saturday, September 29.  In celebration of our nation’s public lands, the North Cascades Institute would like to thank our partners, participants, and volunteers for their hard work, contagious enthusiasm, and willingness to get their hands dirty as they pitched in to help take care of America’s public lands this past season.  We’re fortunate that, in the Pacific Northwest, these lands are within reach wherever we go and are managed by a variety of agencies full of hard-working, compassionate folks.  A big thanks goes out to all of these agencies for working with us this season and providing opportunities for volunteers to engage in stewardship and citizen science projects.

Thank you Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, North Cascades National Park, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Bellingham Parks and Recreation!

North Cascades Institute volunteers and program participants have been quite busy this season conserving and restoring our local public lands.  Over 1,500 volunteers were engaged in stewardship and citizen science projects this season with North Cascades Institute.  This includes over 600 youth volunteers coming from Mountain School, Cascades Climate Challenge, North Cascades Wild, and Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Program.  Over 3000 hours of stewardship work was completed.  The work included removing over 5 acres of invasive plants, planting 200 native plants, collecting 50 ounces of seed for future re-vegetation, maintaining campsites, removing social trails, monitoring nest boxes and installing signage designating campsites and trail usage.

Although it may seem like the stewardship season is coming to a close, it is only experiencing a seasonal transition.  When Autumn brings us cooler, wet weather Mountain School students will begin to plant Snowberry, Cedar, Sitka Spruce, and Douglas Fir at parks throughout Bellingham.

So, as the wet season arrives, be sure to grab your rain gear and continue to partake in natural adventures and connect with the endless public lands that we own, love, and care for.

Cascade Pass Subalpine Revegetation
Whatcom County Co-op Day of Caring at Native Plant Nursery in Marblemount with Bellingham REI staff preparing aquatic plants for Ross Lake
NC Wild spring day trip preparing the Native Plant Nursery for the summer season
NC Wild removing the invasive specie Burdock at Buster Brown Campground
Students from Western Washington University’s club LEAD (Learning, Environment, Action, Discovery) celebrating the removal of the invasive plant Stinky Bob at Colonial Creek Campground
Students from Sunnyland Elementary celebrating a hard days work of invasive removal by demonstrating their best “Stinky Bob” faces
Staff from Sustainable Connections with their pile of invasives and collected native seeds from the ELC campus

 By Matt Kraska, Stewardship Coordinator at the Learning Center

top photo: Cascades Climate Challenge stewardship at Anderson-Watson Lakes Trail in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (MBSNF)

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