This project will revegetate a 1.4 acre mowed field adjacent to the Green River at the City of Auburn’s Fenster Nature Park with tall native trees and shrubs that will increase the riparian forested buffer. Planting this site will extend the riparian plantings installed in 2014 as part of the Fenster levee setback project. The plantings will further enhance riparian habitat for salmon, including Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Chinook and steelhead that migrate through and spawn in this reach of the Green River.
The 2011 Green River TMDL identified the lack of shade a main driver for high summer water temperatures. The report identified the need for tall, continuous riparian vegetation to reduce high summer temperatures that sometimes reach lethal levels for salmon. The project site is located on a south-facing aspect identified by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe as a “critical” priority shoreline for planting.
In addition to the habitat benefits, this site provides a rare opportunity along the Lower Green River to engage volunteers in revegetation efforts. The site is flat and easily accessible to volunteers, providing an excellent opportunity to engage Auburn Schools and community groups in hands-on restoration work. The City of Auburn plans to coordinate its volunteer engagement with Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group and nearby Cascade Middle School to help with fall planting and learn about the value of riparian forest.