Flipping through Facebook last Thursday and Friday, it felt like a series of pictures of downed trees and branches.
I talked to Joe Brady, Metro Parks' Natural Resource Manager, about how Metro Parks did since we, you know … have a lot of trees.
Our developed parks came through it pretty well. Some downed branches, of course, but no major issues that we've discovered so far (and assessments are still ongoing).
Metro Parks regularly prunes its trees in the developed parks–and by developed I mostly mean the parks with a lot of grass, playfields, Wapato Lake, Wright Park, etc.–so many of the limbs that were likely to fall had already been taken care of. Still, there were plenty of branches on the ground, as I noticed in Wright Park on Saturday, and crews are actively cleaning up those parks.
The assessment of the natural areas–Point Defiance, the gulches, the forest at Titlow, Swan Creek–is also still ongoing, but right now it looks like we lost a lot of trees. This is probably to be expected. Those trees are not individually managed like the ones in the more developed parks. They are part of nature, and last week, nature knocked a lot of them down. As Joe told me, it is "normal ecological behavior" to lose trees weighed down by ice.
It's important to note that some of these downed trees are in "critical areas," which means because of their proximity to the Sound, to a stream, wetlands, or some other important environmental issue, Metro Parks has certain regulations it has to comply with before doing anything to the downed trees.
So if you're going into one of the forests, exercise a lot of caution, and have a little patience as we clear things up.
If I learn of anything new at the board meeting tonight, I'll update this post!