Campus Sustainability Fund Project

Kincaid Ravine Restoration Project

Amount Awarded:
 $70,179
Funding Received:
 2012-2013

Executive Summary

Overview

We seek to restore Kincaid Ravine, a 2.2 acre urban forest in the northeast corner of campus. Our project will transform this neglected ravine from a declining and unsafe area to an ecologically healthy campus forest. This work will increase native species biodiversity, and enhance the ravine’s ability to perform important ecosystem services. It will also create an upland forested outdoor laboratory for academic exploration on main campus, as well as a space for students to engage with the natural world just steps from their residence halls.

Project Goals

1. Ecological restoration of Kincaid Ravine through removal of invasive species and re-establishment of appropriate native plant communities.

2. Engagement of students and academic units in both the initial restoration and long-term stewardship in order to create learning opportunities and environmental awareness.

Key Stakeholders

This project is being designed as a partnership between Martha Moritz (student project manager), Howard Nakase- UW Grounds (land manager), UW Botanic Gardens (faculty/administrative sponsor unit), and EarthCorps (outside expertise on restoration and major volunteer event coordination). Other project stakeholders in support of the restoration efforts include: Kristine Kenney,(Campus Landscape Architect), Josh Kavanagh (UW Transportation), Mike Ward- Seattle Department of Transportation (adjacent land owner), Kern Ewing and Jim Fridley (UW faculty members), the UW Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration, Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity (key volunteers), and a variety of other Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).

 

Project Phases

Planning - Spring and summer of 2013. We will lay the groundwork for success by: cementing important partnerships and conducting critical outreach with UW staff, academic units, RSOs, and other stakeholders for the initial restoration and long-term site stewardship; developing a restoration design; conducting baseline ecological monitoring; and preparing to launch the restoration work beginning in Autumn 2013. Prior to beginning the restoration efforts, the homeless encampments will be addressed in partnership with the UW Police Department, the Seattle Police Department and UW Grounds to remove any trespassers and clean up the associated debris.

Phase I - Autumn, Winter, Spring of 2013-2014. The work will involve major removal of invasive species, installation of hundreds of native plants, and other restoration work (e.g. slope stabilization, installing mulch, and creating maintenance access). This will involve EarthCorps crews and hundreds of student volunteers.

Phase II - Summer 2014-2016. The work during this time involves two to three years of maintenance, including ongoing invasive species monitoring which will guide continued removal of undesirable species regrowth, care for installed native species, and replanting when necessary. This phase will be performed in partnership with UW Grounds, EarthCorps, and student volunteers from academic units (e.g. UW Botanic Gardens) and RSOs.

Phase III - 2016 and on. The primary task will be minimal and ongoing invasive species maintenance. Based on the knowledge gained from decades of restoration experience in Seattle parks, we believe robust stewardship during the two years of Phase II will set the site on a trajectory for success and minimal maintenance in Phase III.

Primary Contact:
Martha Moritz
moritzms@uw.edu