This week, students in the Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program got to learn how to make pine needle baskets as well as learning vital skills of habitat restoration and forest stewardship. Here are some photographic highlights for the class days.
On the following class day, the same students learned a ton about habitat restoration and forest stewardship. Then they went out on to the Alderleaf property to implement what they had learned. They checked on the previous years' native plantings. Then, they located spots to plant more native species. Once they found a good location, they trimmed back the invasive Himalayan blackberry and set to work getting the site ready.
Here Alderleaf students Andrew and Artie work together to cut back blackberries, dig a hole and plant a shore pine (Pinus contorta contorta). Once the tree is in the ground, and dirt is filled in around it, a ring of mulch is created to help trap water and retain moisture around its roots.
This native pine tree is an excellent tree to have at the Alderleaf property, and will provide vitamin-rich needles for tea, shade during the summer, cones and nesting habitat for food and shelter for a variety of local wildlife.
Our other cohort of students will be returning from a trip to the shrub-steppe habitats of central Washington. Watch for a update on their trip very soon!