Native plant garden at Echo Lake Elementary

Thursday, May 27, 2010

By Susie O'Donnell

Echo Lake Elementary School’s native plant garden is growing. Last spring, students, teachers, parents, and community volunteers began pulling away the thick ivy that blanketed the area, and the first installment of plants was planted by the 4th grade class.

This past winter, the School District graciously removed the remaining ivy when they replaced the School’s landscaping. By March, the 5th graders were able to replace the plants that had to be temporarily removed while the landscape work was being done.
With all the ivy removed, this year’s 4th grade had ample space to plant areas representing a variety of ecosystems found in Washington State, including conifer forest, wetland, alpine, rocky bluff, and prairie.

A trail system is still being constructed. After finishing the trails, we plan to label the plants and ecosystems represented.

Many hands went into creating this garden, from students to parents to members of the Echo Lake Community. Plants were donated by Washington Native Plant Stewards Donna Franklin and Richard Tinsley, harvested by Susie O’Donnell at King County Native Plant salvages, or bought with a grant from the Washington Native Plant Society and an Environmental Mini-Grant from the City of Shoreline.

Many of the wildflowers are already blooming. The community is invited to visit the garden, but please respect it by staying on the trails.

The garden is open to the public after school hours. Echo Lake Elementary is located at 19345 Wallingford Ave N, Shoreline 98133. The garden is between two wings of the school, on N 195th. See map.

Photos by Susie O'Donnell

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