Fourteen volunteers with the Northwest Watershed Institute made their way to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve in Quilcene in mid-November to set up more than 130 protective cages to preserve local …
Fourteen volunteers with the Northwest Watershed Institute made their way to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve in Quilcene in mid-November to set up more than 130 protective cages to preserve local trees.
Participating in the watershed institute’s Dabob Days monthly volunteer program, community members of all ages helped install protective cages around Pacific crabapple and vine maple trees in the wildlife preserve to halt deer from eating the trees.
While November is typically one of the wettest months of the year, the volunteers encountered sunny skies when meeting up on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Student-leaders from Port Townsend High School’s Students for Sustainability group joined the volunteers.
“These trees were planted around 10 years ago, but consistent nibbling from deer has stunted their growth,” said Wesley Meyers, stewardship director of the Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI). “Their root system is well established and they should take off now that they have some protection.”
Volunteers also helped to remove more than 30 tree protectors from larger trees that are now well established on the preserve.
“We install these plastic sleeves around the seedlings when they are first planted to keep voles from munching the stems,” Meyers said. “Now that the trees are growing well, we can remove them.”
Megan Brooks, NWI’s education and outreach director, was happy with the kickoff event.
“I am inspired by the enthusiasm and passion of the volunteers, especially the young leaders from Students for Sustainability,” Brooks said. “I’m already looking forward to our next project in December.”
“Performing regular maintenance on restoration sites is critical to their success and NWI is immensely grateful for community support,” Meyers said. “We are excited that the Dabob Days program will address a backlog of stewardship tasks for the preserve while increasing opportunities for everyone to enjoy this special area.”
The Northwest Watershed Institute plans monthly Dabob Days volunteer projects in collaboration with student leaders, school partners, and community members of all ages. To learn more or get information about future Dabob Days events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gloves for youth participants were donated by Henery Hardware and snacks were donated from The Food Co-op and Pane d’Amore. Funding to run Dabob Days is made possible by the Clif Family Foundation and Washington state’s No Child Left Inside grant program.
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