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Invasive to Native – Before and After

What started out as an eyesore on a neighborhood street corner in Kenmore, WA, is becoming a vision of restoration due to the hard work and dedication of a local youth.

Ethan Karlinsey, a Life Scou​t working on his Eagle Scout* project, cleared a large area of invasive blackberry bushes over the summer months, leading to several phases of planning, designing and planting native species, culminating in the creation of a native garden area.

Ethan, an Inglemoor High School student, contacted Olympic Nursery late this fall asking owner, Tom Quigley, for some technical advice and assistance. Having cleared the garden with his team of volunteers and creating a planting schematic, the next phase was focused on the restoration.

Quigley, not only provided his expertise, but also agreed to help the project along with a generous donation of evergreen trees and native shrubs. According to Quigley, “Assisting Ethan in his service project is just one way that Olympic Nursery gives back to our community. And the opportunity to help him create a more beautiful garden space is an added benefit!”

Enhancing the streetscape was the priority, but it wasn’t without some complications. Ethan needed to determine how to structure his plan to work around a ravine with a small stream running through it. He also had to do it all in a timely manner to avoid the coming days of freezing temperatures.

The final planting and mulching is currently being completed. Check out these ‘before’ photos and we’ll provide an update with the ‘after’ soon.

*Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Click here to read more.


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