Riparian restoration fosters a healthier McAleer Creek

Thursday, September 2, 2021

McAleer creek in Lake Forest Park

From the Lake Forest Park Tree Board

As you drive or walk along McAleer Creek, you’ll probably notice areas where the streambank and trees are choked with ivy. There are other less visible invasive plants, too, whose behavior threatens our local environment. 

Invasive plant species can clog waterways, increase erosion, poison our pets, and destroy natural habitat by smothering native flora. In fact, the aggressive spread of invasive species has increasingly been recognized as one of the greatest threats to biodiversity.

King County awarded the City a WaterWorks grant to fund invasive plant control, the purchase of replacement plants, and riparian restoration along the creek. The project began in 2020, and the work done so far has been a success, with a professional restoration crew having eradicated ivy and other invasives along a quarter mile stretch of the creek. This area will be planted with healthy native plants this coming fall and winter.

The restoration crew completed further invasive plant control on Monday, August 16, 2021 cleared trash and hand-removed ivy remnants from the site. On the shoulder of Perkins Way, they treated bindweed. It is not practical to remove bindweed by hand due to its ability to re-sprout from tiny fragments. The crew also treated remnant individual stalks of knotweed that have regenerated since last year’s treatment. 

Knotweed is a state-designated noxious weed: destructive, competitive, and difficult to control. Where appropriate, aquatic-approved herbicides were used.

A healthier McAleer Creek environment can improve water quality, reduce erosion and flooding, and improve habitat. It’s good for all -- people, our native plants, and our local wildlife.


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