Restoring a section of McAleer Creek with herbicides and physical removal of invasives

Monday, November 30, 2020

Hand removal and pesticides were used to clear invasives from a section next to McAleer Creek.
Photo courtesy City of Lake Forest Park

The Lake Forest Park Tree Board has recognized invasive species as one of the detriments to the health of our urban canopy. English Ivy for example, suppresses and excludes vegetation better suited for wildlife and native plant species.

In fall 2019, the Lake Forest Park Tree Board applied for and received a grant for $45,000 from the King County Council, administered by King County Waterworks.

The goal of the grant is to restore a section of McAleer Creek along Perkins Way to improve the creek’s water quality and aid in the restoration of Kokanee salmon. 

The grant was officially awarded in May 2020, and the project started shortly after. The grant-related work must be completed by December 31, 2022.

After grant approval, the Tree Board and City contacted the affected landowners to obtain permission to access their property for the proposed work. These permissions were all granted by August 2020. 

During the summer, five ecological restoration companies were invited to bid on the project. Applied Ecology was selected to perform the removal of the invasive plants along the Creek.

Applied Ecology treated invasive plants for four days in August, using both physical removal and targeted herbicide applications. 

Invasive larger trees and/or shrubs such as English Holly and Laurel were injected with pellets of herbicide. 

Aquatics-approved herbicides were employed on the ground surface, and care was taken ahead of their use to isolate and protect native plants already in the area.

Those invasive plants overhanging or right beside the creek were not sprayed but were left for later removal by hand. The company conducted this hand removal over a three-day period in November.

Further invasive removal is scheduled for summer 2021, followed by native plant restoration plantings in both fall 2021 and in winter and fall of 2022.


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