In early 2018 several local Rotary groups contacted Columbia Springs to plan service events on site. The events were meant to fulfill an international initiative for each Rotarian to plant a tree that year. About half a dozen groups came out to the green spaces of Columbia Springs with shovels in hand to plant their tiny trees.

Our Volunteer Manager, Mason, explained patiently to the volunteers how to plant a tree in such a way that it would be more likely to grow up. Many transplanted trees die, but there are a few ways to improve the chances of survival. We learned a lot from Mason about how to encourage resilience.

Vancouver Rotary group (Mason on far left)

These events were special to me because my husband is an avid Rotarian. It was great to see him and his friends out in their boots and jeans getting dirty in a restoration project. The weather never cooperated with us. It was late winter and most of the service days were besieged with dark, cold rain. This didn’t dampen the spirits of the Rotarians! No one complained, except maybe my younger son. Even my little dog, Oscar, was good for the tree planting.

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Oscar Dog

Paul planting a tree

I hiked out to the East Biddle Restoration Project today to see how our little trees are doing a year later. Surprisingly, many are doing well. The Douglas firs have been especially tenacious. You can see the new growth on their tips. Ponderosa pines and vine maples are also showing signs of life. In the next few years, this once invasive-species-infested section of our property will be vibrant, green, and thriving.

The restoration of East Biddle has been an on-going project which started three years ago. Previous staff got the ball rolling, new staff keeps pushing forward. Many service groups and individual volunteers in addition to the Rotarians have got their hands dirty in the restoration efforts. The watershed and wildlife will benefit from all this hard work. Thank you Restoration Volunteers!

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East Biddle today

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