Update on Edmonds
Jennifer Leach, Environmental Education & Sustainability Coordinator
City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department

HuttIf you’ve visited Hutt Park lately, you’ve probably noticed a remarkable transformation thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers. Gone are the vast swaths of ivy that carpeted the forest and climbed high into the trees. Now visitors to the park can enjoy stunning views of the ancient trees that define the last patch of old growth forest in Edmonds.

Located off 187th St. SW in the Seaview neighborhood, Hutt Park consists of 4.5 acres that was settled by the Hutt family, who built a house and cabin in the middle of the property. While most of Edmonds’ forests were cleared for timber, Hutt Park was never logged. The land was deeded to the City in 1967, and the house and cabin continued to be leased to tenants until 1990 when the structures were torn down and the property was set aside as open space.

Hutt Park is the last remaining patch of old growth forest in Edmonds. Eighteen different species of trees have been cataloged in the park, and some of the Douglas fir and Western Red Cedars are more than 150 feet tall and 600 – 700 years old. Some tree species found in Hutt Park –the Pacific Yew, for example - are rarely found outside of old growth forests.

For many years, the forest at Hutt Park has been covered by English ivy, an invasive vine that forms a dense carpet and prevents other plants and trees from growing. If the ivy isn’t removed, there won’t be any young trees to replace the old ones when they reach the end of their lifespan. English ivy can also kill existing trees when it climbs into the canopy, smothering leaves and blocking sunlight needed for photosynthesis. The added weight from so much ivy also makes the trees more susceptible to breaking and toppling during high winds.

Restoring a self-sustaining forest at Hutt Park is a long-term project that will require many years. The restoration effort is being led by volunteer Puget Sound Stewards from EarthCorps, who are often joined by local residents. Restoration work follows an annual cycle. During the spring and summer, the group focuses on removing English ivy and other invasive weeds, then applies a 3 inch layer of bark mulch to prevent weeds from growing back. In fall and winter, native forest plants are installed in the areas that were once covered with weeds.

Work parties occur throughout the year on the third Saturday of each month, and everyone is welcome! If you want to experience the true grandeur of the ancient tress in the park and help plant the next generation of trees, you’re invited to join this year’s fall planting event on November 23rd from 10am to 2pm. Signup and more detailed information can be found here.

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