The Reforestation Program (formerly Growing Green) enhances county-owned properties by planting native trees and shrubs. The benefits of this environmental enhancement program include:
- Reducing the amount of stormwater runoff into streams
- Improving water quality
- Providing shade to keep water temperatures low
- Providing bird and wildlife habitat
- Protecting fish habitat
- Controlling noxious weeds
- Improving air quality
- Increasing natural beauty on the property
Planting is done on county-owned lands by both county staff and community volunteers. They have planted 79,000 native plants on more than 31 sites, including nine parks, (122 total acres) throughout the county.
Many sites are open space properties along streams in the Salmon Creek, Whipple Creek, Lacamas, Vancouver Lake and Lewis River watersheds. The program also supports improvements to older Salmon Creek watershed stormwater facilities which are being rehabilitated to work better and re-landscaped with native trees and shrubs.
In 2018, Clark County is ramping up the program with new planting sites. Planting sites will include invasive species removal, site preparation (debris removal, soil amendments, etc.) and planting events. Each site will include an opportunity for volunteers help plant native plants. Visit this webpage in the fall for updated information about planting locations and volunteer dates.
- Curtin Springs Wildlife Habitat - This 33-acre site at the headwaters of Curtin Creek, near Padden Parkway, began restoration efforts to enhance wildlife habitat and improve the health of Curtin Creek. In fall 2018, Clark County will partner with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership to plant several acres of habitat along the Curtin Creek and the existing wetlands on site.
- Turtle Pond on the Salmon Creek Greenway - Turtle Pond is the last stop for Suds Creek before it enters Salmon Creek. This 1.25 acre pond is home to a wide diversity of wildlife, besides the abundance of turtles, including ducks, otters and fish. Song birds thrive in the various trees and shrubs around the pond. In the summer 2018, crews will start to clear out the invasive species, including blackberry, yellow flag iris and reed canary grass. Plantings will take place in the fall 2018-winter 2019 planting season. Check back for dates for volunteer planting events.
Project sites (completed)
- Salmon Creek Greenway - 18.8 acres
- East Fork Lewis River - 15 acres
- Zimmerly property - 10 acres
- Columbia Springs - 1.1 acres
- Volunteer plantings (10) - 10 acres
You can help
- Remove invasive plant species - Plants like Himalayan blackberry, english ivy and garlic mustard are considered invasive weeds and should be removed from your property. There are several ways to remove weeds including hand removal (digging up all of the roots), chemical applications and planting native cover crops with mulch. Learn more at the county's weed control web page. More >>
- Planting trees on your property - For assistance on how to pick the right tree and proper planting techniques, visit the WSU Extension web page. Trees provide shade, create oxygen, add beauty and capture a lot of rainwater. Even planting just one tree can make a big difference in our urban community.
- Plant street trees - In Felida, North Salmon Creek and West Hazel Dell, Clark County is partnering with Friends of Trees to plant street trees from 2016-2019. Visit our web page for more information and to determine if your property is eligible for a low cost street tree. More>>
- Join a volunteer planting crew - Many regional partners host numerous planting events throughout the year. Visit their websites at: Clark Public Utilities Stream Team, Watershed Alliance, Friends of Trees or Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership for dates and times for upcoming planting crews.
For more information about the Reforestation Program, please call 564.397.4345.