Tag Archives: plants

Alien invaders spotted at Fire Station #13

Broom is pretty, but it's bad news. Photo by zeevveez.
An alert neighbor contacted King County Noxious Weed Control after she spotted Spanish broom growing in the back lot of Fire Station #13.  Because it aggressively replaces native plants, Spanish broom is a Class A Noxious Weed, meaning that eradication is required. Fire Station staff promptly eliminated the plants.

Spanish broom looks much like its close relative Scotch broom. Both are medium-sized evergreen shrubs growing 6-10 feet high with small yellow flowers. Scotch Broom is not native to our region, but it is a “non designated noxious weed” and control is not required in most of King County, though it is recommended.

How to spot the difference:

  • Spanish broom flowers are very fragrant; Scotch broom flowers are not.
  • Scotch broom has ridged stems; Spanish broom stems are round and smooth.

If you find Spanish broom on your property (or notice it somewhere else) or have questions about another invasive or otherwise noxious plants, contact the King County Noxious Weed Control Program: 206-296-0290 or via email at noxious.weeds@kingcounty.gov. You can also report infestations of broom or other noxious weeds by using the online form.

Be sure to visit the Noxious Weed Control website to learn about the Weed of the Month, volunteer as a Weed Watcher, or get tips on safe ways to handle potentially dangerous plants like Giant Hogweed. You can also review the complete Noxious Weed list for ideas about what not to plant in your garden. Butterfly bush, for example, is considered a Class B Noxious Weed in Washington State and a non-regulated weed in King County. This means that gardeners are encouraged but not required to remove it.

Volunteer opportunities a-go-go

A volunteer at work on the Hanford Steps last year. Photo by Jason.
A volunteer at work on the Hanford Steps last year. Photo by Jason.
The Hanford Stairs Weed Busters need you! Susan Fairo is seeking teams of two people (volunteering together or matched up individuals) who can put in 2-3 hours four times a year to help keep weeds from taking over the new native plants at the public staircase near 25th and Cheasty. Rookie Weed Buster team volunteers will receive instruction on what to remove and what to ignore, and use of tools, watering, plant disposal, etc. If you’re interested or have questions, contact Susan at susan.fairo@gmail.com or call 206-349-7285.

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Noticed an increase in airplane noise? Patty Fong is organizing neighbors in Beacon Hill and the Central District to address the issue with the FAA. See this comment on a previous Beacon Bits for more details, including contact information.

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Teens can earn service learning credit at the library. In addition to free SAT prep and online tutoring, the Seattle Public Library is also running a teen advisory board this school year. If you know teens wishing to earn service learning credit by writing book reviews, helping at teen programs, or writing for the SPL blog, contact Jennifer Bisson at Jennifer.Bisson@spl.org or call 206-615-1410.

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Catholic Community Services is looking for tutors. Their Youth Tutoring Program is an after-school educational enrichment program for at-risk students in first through twelfth grade. Volunteers offer academic support and also serve as positive role models to students, helping strengthen their sense of self-esteem and self-respect. Tutors help students with reading, homework (all subjects), math and language arts skills. Resources are available for those subjects you might not remember quite so well, and no specific background is necessary aside from a high school diploma. Tutoring Centers located nearby in NewHolly and Rainier Vista are open Monday-Thursday from 4:20-7:40pm, and tutoring would be for 1-3 hours per week on the same night every week. You can apply online at http://www.ccsww.org/ytp.

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Flash Volunteer offers many more volunteer opportunities. A non-profit startup run by Brad Wilke, a former Development Director at Denise Louie, aims to link people and neighborhood-focused volunteer opportunities. Check it out at www.flashvolunteer.org.

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A South Beacon Hill neighborhood watch is coming together. Mike Cheney, working with SPD Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon’s encouragement, is trying to bring together South Beacon Hill neighbors to form a neighborhood watch group. Perhaps you read the recent Wall Street Journal article “Civilian Patrols Grow As Recession Puts Citizens on Guard” and it piqued your interest, or maybe you’d just like to make your block a safer place to live. If you’re interested, email Mike at redboneshadow@yahoo.com.

Crime notes: bikes, racks, plants gone missing

More plant pilfering in the neighborhood reported on the mailing list. From Erin on 15th between Plum and Holgate:

Sometime between Saturday, Sept 5 noon and Sunday, Sept 6 6.00 PM someone stole a small Japanese maple tree from our driveway. We have a common/shared driveway not visible from the street.

And last night, Destiny near 14th and Spokane had a bicycle stolen, and it wasn’t even hers:

My husband just got back from Burning Man, and washed off the bike we borrowed from a friend: a Maroon Trek mountain bike. He set it on the side of our town house to dry, and someone STOLE it our of our little yard while it was drying last night. Now we own my best friend $700.

Please be on the lookout for a maroon Trek Mountain bike with straight handlebars. It’s a few years old but in great condition.

Justin on 20th between Hanford and Stevens followed up:

Maybe they needed a rack to go with it. Somebody ripped my Yakima rack off my car last night…

If you’ve got any tips or information for Erin, Destiny, or Justin, drop us a line and we’ll get you in touch.

Beacon Bits: Tunnel views, golf memories, and closed wading pools

Plant thieves target Lewis Park

Pink flags marked new plantings in Lewis Park a few weeks ago. Photo by Wendi.
Pink flags marked new plantings in Lewis Park a few weeks ago. Photo by Wendi.
Native plants and shrubs were recently stolen from Lewis Park, a small park at the north tip of Beacon Hill near the PacMed/Amazon building and the Jose Rizal Bridge. The plants were planted by volunteers who have been reconstructing this park recently, with support from the City.

Vinh Nguyen has been spearheading this project, and reports that on May 28, volunteers found that more than a dozen plants had disappeared from the park, including lady ferns, red flower currants, and evergreen Oregon irises. While parks are public property, the plants within them are not free for the taking, and stealing them is a crime. If anyone knows anything about this crime, please call 911.

If you would like to help with the reconstruction of the park, please join other volunteers at the Friends of Lewis Park work party every Sunday, 9:00 am -1:00 pm. Tools and gloves are provided.

MLK Day planting party at Hanford Steps

Hanford Steps under renovation - Photo by Jason
Photo by Jason
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 19th, a planting party will be hosted by the neighborhood group SONG at the Hanford Steps at South Hanford Street & 25th Avenue South.

Party participants are encouraged to bring gloves, shovels, trowels, raingear (just in case), and snacks!

If you can spare some time and labor sometime between 10am and 5pm (particularly between 2 and 5), the Steps and your neighbors near them would be mighty appreciative.

The original invitation mail from Jorji and a map is after the break.
Thanks, Jorji!

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