Students from Tacoma Science and Math Institute (SAMi) partnered with Metro Parks this month to save a number of native plant species as preparations get underway for the new Point Defiance Park entry road to Owens Beach.
Besides increasing their knowledge about regional plant varieties like ferns, huckleberry, and Oregon grape, the youth’s efforts go a long way in conserving important elements of the park’s ecosystem.
“Keeping plants on the footprint of the park is a big part of stewardship,” said Head gardener Ross Wilton in a release. “Whether it’s reusing dead trees as mulch or salvaging these ferns, which could be up to 30 years old. It helps to draw water, helps protect the whole ecosystem of plants, animals, fungi and micro-species.”
The construction of the wider roadway will not only accommodate two-way vehicle traffic, but create more visibility for bikers and pedestrians. The former road will remain in use for non-motorized visitors.
In anticipation of Owens Beach reopening after renovations that began in February of 2021, the beach and safer road access should all be ready just in time for summer.
Find out more about the projects here.