Celebrate, dedicate and move forward

By Janet Carroll | Feb 22, 2012

The Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project will be officially celebrating the certification of Mukilteo as a Community Wildlife Habitat on March 24 and dedicating the Library Wildlife Garden. We invite you to join us at this event. It is from noon to 3p.m. at the library.

Now that we have met the goals for certification, our team is going to move on to other activities.

Since we no longer have the pressure to get homes, schools and public places certified, we will focus on programs that will increase and improve wildlife habitat in our community and connect people with nature.

We still want to get more homes certified; so if you have a wildlife friendly home and it is not certified, go to our web site at www.mukilteowildlife.org and find out what certification entails.

These are some of our thoughts:

The loss of amphibians on our planet is scary. In Edmonds, amphibian expert Thayer "Frog Lady" Cueter, of the Just Frogs Toads Too! Foundation, has a program that teaches how to collect and record information about frog and toad populations in Washington state.

It would be great to determine the status of amphibians in our city and at the same time add to information collected by a multitude of groups around the world. This would be a great project for kids, as well as adults.

As gardeners, we can also support pollinators. Because we have reduced the amount of native habitat, pollinators do not have plants with the chemical composition and nutrients to thrive. We could focus our attention on pollinating insects to help increase their numbers.

The city did a study of the Mukilteo forests and determined that the quality of the forest could be enhanced by planting conifer trees and by educating residents who live adjacent to these forests to use plants that are not invasive. These projects are needed in our community and would enhance wildlife habitat.

We would like to see the use of native plants as part of gardens and other property in Mukilteo. As gardeners, the challenge would be to design a native plant community that fits in with the other landscaping. We might be able to come up with several designs based on different site conditions – availability of sunlight, soils and water – that would give residents the assistance they need to do this.

Of course, many gardeners may want the challenge of creating this type of plant community on their own. We want our Library Wildlife Garden to be helpful in encouraging gardeners in this direction.

Some of our members, including myself, are taking a class that will help us set up National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards Training in the near future. Many of the above mentioned activities could be topics for the training.

We hope to meet many of the people who have certified their property as wildlife habitat and hear what you think about these ideas and give us suggestions for other activities we can do to further support wildlife in Mukilteo.

See you at the library on March 24!

Janet Carroll is a member of the Mukilteo Wildlife Habitat Project. For information on the project, go to www.mukilteowildlife.org. If you would like to join the project team, call Janet at 425-267-0448 or email the group at mukilteowildlife@gmail.com.

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