Habitat Stewardship Program
Green Puyallup Partnership - Habitat Stewardship Program
Interested in caring for the city’s natural resources? Volunteering with the Green Puyallup Partnership Habitat Stewardship program is a great way to give back to your community, get outside, and improve the health of a local park or open space.
Whether you are looking for a fun way to spend a few hours, want to complete a service requirement, or just love being outside, we invite you to join in our work restoring Puyallup's native open spaces. The goals of the program include reducing invasive plant species in our natural open spaces and establishing native plants.
The program is a partnership with Pierce Conservation District (PCD), which helps to administer and oversee the program's habitat stewards. See their webpage here for more information.
What Is the Habitat Stewardship Program?
The program allows interested citizens to adopt their favorite park or open space area to remove invasive plant species – such as English ivy, blackberry, scot’s broom – and establish native trees and shrubs and caring for those new plantings. The Habitat Stewardship program is also for those interested in simply volunteering instead of taking on the commitment of adopting a site on a monthly basis – volunteers are essential to the program success! The stewards also monitor the park for unusual or illegal activity, pick up litter and maintain trail areas – there are many tasks volunteers can take on.
Why Native Plants
According to the US Department of Agriculture, native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions where they naturally occur. These important plant species provide nectar, pollen, and seeds that serve as food for native butterflies, insects, birds and other animals. Unlike natives, common horticultural plants do not provide energetic rewards for their visitors and often require insect pest control to survive.
Native plants are also advantageous, because:
- Native plants do not require fertilizers and require fewer pesticides than lawns.
- Native plants require less water than lawns and help prevent erosion.
- The deep root systems of many native Midwestern plants increase the soil's capacity to store water. Native plants can significantly reduce water runoff and, consequently, flooding.
- Native plants help reduce air pollution.
- Native plantscapes do not require mowing. Excessive carbon from the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming. Native plants sequester, or remove, carbon from the air.
- Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
- Native plants promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.
- Native plants are beautiful and increase scenic values!
King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks has a useful guide when searching for local plant types, assistance when creating landscape plans, and helpful how-to guides. For more information, please view the website here.
Interested in volunteering? See the following sites with active stewards already or contact the city via e-mail to learn how you might work in partnership with the city to start a new Habitat Stewardship site.
Current Volunteer Opportunities
For current opportunities, see our partners at the Pierce Conservation District who manage the Habitat Stewardship Program.
Contact Melissa Buckingham for information about scheduled work parties:
Phone: (253) 325-8821
City of Puyallup Seeking New Habitat Stewards
Puyallup is developing a 20-year plan to restore its natural open space areas – the city’s goal is to recruit two (2) new stewards per year to adopt a site for long-term habitat stewardship.
The city is seeking interested citizens to adopt the following priority habitat sites:
- Dead Man’s Pond
- Bradley Lake Park