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Conservation crews rid park of poplars

December 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment

Chris Stevens in a compact excavator, gathers up felled poplars. The waste will be taken out and mulched.


Poplar stumps are treated with a chemical that kills any potential of future growth.


If you’re out at Discovery Park you might notice crews doing what appears to be a little clear cutting.
Over at the south entrance, a two-man team at the Seattle Conservation Corps (SCC), led by Chris Stevens were isolating and downing non-native poplars, part of a year-long project that will continue through the new year.
The proliferating poplars kept native plants at bay so Seattle Parks and Recreation bring on the SCC to thin them out.
The survival instinct of the poplars is so strong, Stevens said, pointing to a pile he helped hew, that even felled branches or trunks will sprout in search of purchase.

Chris Stevens of the Seattle Conservation Corps says the invasive poplars are so tenacious that even felled branches could take root again.


The SCC is year-round employment program with the parks department that has an annual budget of about $4 million. Many of the SCC jobs involve urban forest restoration, repair of sensitive riparian areas, erosion control and the installation and maintenance of trails. The program also provides the homeless or troubled to learn new skills and get paid a living wage.

A poplar stands near Discovery Park's south entrance.

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  • Jill

    The Seattle Conservation Corps Rocks!