Green Lake cottonwoods (was: Green Lake eagles) partly off topic

Martin J. Muller martinmuller at
Wed Feb 24 08:55:14 PST 1999

Sandra wrote (in part):

> Unfortunately about a week before (cutting of the cottonwoods) I had

noticed a pair of Chickadees house hunting in the area (ie
checking out holes/loose bark etc.)...>

For the past ten years the only species nesting successfully in the
cottonwoods at Gaines Point have been European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)
and House Sparrows (Passer domesticus). Black-capped Chikadees (Parus
atricapillus), Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), and Northern Flicker
(Colaptes auratus) all checked out and foraged on the cottonwoods but nested
elsewhere in the park.

In regards to why the cottonwoods will be replaced with poplars (hybrid that
produces less cotton), Gaines Point has historical significance (a murder
took place there in 1927 and the point with its trees was named in memory of
the victim). The poplars were chosen in an attempt to maintain the character
of the area while reducing some of the disadvantages associated with
cottonwoods. For more information on the Gaines murder see the next Green
Lake News (Green Lake Park Alliance Newsletter) which will be available at
area businesses in the next week or so. For details on the vegetation at
Green Lake Park look up the Green Lake Vegetation Management Guidelines
(Seattle Parks, 1995). This document, based on the original
turn-of-the-century Olmsted design, plus state-of-the-art insight in what
does and does not work in Green Lake Park, spells out the overall guidelines
for Green Lake Park for the next "century." It contains recommended
plantings and the reasons behind them. Unfortunately someone "liberated" the
copy from the Green Lake branch of the Public Library (we're trying to find
another $ 70 copy). However another copy should be available at the
Arboretum visitor/education center unless that one was "liberated" also.

Keep in mind this is an Olmsted legacy park with many, varied, uses. Some
parts have been set aside where wildlife concerns are the guiding principle
(with native plantings), other areas not. It's a compromise.

Martin Muller, Seattle
MartinMuller at

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