Along with our more visible tasks doing habitat restoration and monitoring the colony – we have many behind-the-scenes accomplishments.
Mike Marsh and Debbie Jacobsen monitored their second heron-breeding season at the Commodore Park Heron Colony. Data is supplied to WA Department of Fish & Wildlife and other interested organizations.
- 70 nests were available. Herons incubated in 63 nests with an 84% fledging success rate. 117 herons fledged. Eagles attacked more often this year; we estimate that over 30 chicks were taken.
- 72 nests were available. The success rate was 81%. 96 herons fledged.
Smith Cove Park
HHH participated in three public meetings to assist in designing Smith Cove Park (opening slated in 2018). We advocated that wetland areas be restored so herons and other shorebirds could thrive. We also asked to preserve Smith Cove as a passive shoreline park with beach access for walkers, nature and bird lovers, and with wheelchair access. HHH wrote a letter advocating for the above on May 13. – see photos and information on Facebook. Heidi and Debbie attending meetings.
Updating Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) Revised Great Blue Heron Director’s Rule 5-2007
HHH submitted comments to DPD to assist in revising the Great Blue Heron’s Director’s Rule. We proposed extending the protective land zone to include staging and feeding areas. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission supported our decisions. DPD has not replied yet.
Urban Bird Treaty City designation meetings
HHH and four other organizations are working at designating Seattle as an Urban Bird Treaty City. Walter and Donna attended meetings during the first stage of the process.
Heron Habitat Restoration
One of HHH’s main goals is to restore and protect habitat invaded by non-native plant and animal species. HHH sponsors and partners with other organizations in many habitat restoration events and work parties throughout the year. We participated in the following work parties:
- United Way of King County’s Day of Service in January
- United Way of King County’s MLK Day of Caring in September
- Green Seattle Partnership twice/year
- Seattle Works in June
- Heron Habitat at Kiwanis Ravine – several Second Saturdays throughout the year
2015 Native Plant Sale
HHH sponsored a native plant sale on October 10 and 11 at the Kiwanis Overlook in cooperation with GoNatives!, a native plant nursery owned by Don Norman.
- Website Update – Hired Kim Halvorson of Halvorson Media Arts to design, update, and transfer our website www.heronhelpers.com to WordPress, making it easier for us to update the site – and offering an simpler and more engaging face to the public.
- Webcam Plan for Commodore Park -Initiated a plan to install a webcam in a fir tree adjacent to the heron colony. Webcam to be in place for 2017 season.
- “Meet the Herons” Event at Commodore Park colony –first annual on April 4. Many community members enjoyed viewing herons through telescopes and asked many heron questions.
- Birthday Party for Heron Chicks at the colony with birthday cake – first annual for the community – May 30 – highly successful.
- Discovery Park Learning Center (DLC) heron presentation. Debbie presented HHH and heron info to volunteers, walked with a group to colony, and shared monitoring info. April 4.
- Elementary School Field trips to colony – Pacific Crest and Lawton Elementary schools field trips to colony led by Mike Marsh.
- Landmark Senior Center heron bus tour to colony on March 8 – Heidi “showed and told” about the herons
- Greenwood Senior Center field trip to colony – May 7
- Quarterly Newsletter to members produced by Marla
Election of Board Members and New Treasurer
We recruited for a new treasurer since Craig Purkey completed his 3-year tenure. Walter Friesen was sworn in and welcomed as the new HHH Treasurer for three years. Other Board Members were approved by acclamation:
Marla Master two years
Mike Marsh two years
Craig Purkey one year
Debbie Jacobsen two years
Heidi Carpine & Donna Kostka – lifetime honorary board members
Goals for 2016:
- Assist Parks in removing invasive plants from Commodore Park (CP) nesting trees and area
- Continue working on installing webcam at CP
- Increase membership and membership activities/events/assistance
- With new members, increase knowledge of other heron colonies in Puget Sound areas
- Increase corporate donations
- Consider partnership role with Audubon
- GPS project of other heron colonies in area
- Continue assisting in Seattle as Urban Bird Treaty City
- Continue researching grant & funding possibilities
- Consider assisting in King County tree protection
- Plan Art Fair/Auction online and/or during event
- Plan Heron Social
- Sell Heron Photography via Etsy, Facebook, and/or website