Celebrating natural areas at Sehmel Homestead Park

Photo of people walking on trails at Sehmel Homestead ParkOur friends at Great Peninsula Conservancy (GPC) will hold a potluck picnic and guided trail walk for GPC members and friends at Sehmel Homestead Park on Sunday, August 27. The potluck starts at 1:30 p.m. at Volunteer Vern Pavilion, followed by a guided walk of the park’s natural areas at 2:30 p.m. Please RSVP to mary@greatpeninsula.org.

As you explore Sehmel Homestead Park, please take a look at the new interpretive signs. Engage Northwest previously developed an interpretive sign plan for Sehmel Homestead Park’s natural areas. Joanne Tejeda is the artist (please see the Instagram post below):

For more information, please see GPC’s Facebook event. Check out activities and events at Sehmel Homestead Park and other Gig Harbor parks at PenMet Parks.

Returning a trail back to the forest at Sehmel Homestead Park

Photo of volunteers at Sehmel Homestead Park

Volunteers take care of the trail at Sehmel Homestead Park.

Thank you to the volunteers who replaced an unwanted trail with rocks, branches and trees and planted new plants at Sehmel Homestead Park on Saturday. This “Art of Wilderness Gardening” returned the old trail back to the forest.

Photo of volunteer

Volunteers made a difference and had fun, too!

Great Peninsula Conservancy organized this “trail decommissioning” event and partnered with PenMet Parks, Pierce County Master Gardeners, WA Native Plant Society, and Gig Harbor High School. Thank you for your time and for making a difference in our parks and natural areas!

More pictures of the Nov. 7 trail stewardship day are available on Flickr and YouTube.

Disclaimer: Engage Northwest is a communications consultant for Great Peninsula Conservancy on this project.

Learning about nature at Sehmel Homestead Park

Photo of walking tour

Exploring and learning about plants, trees and animals at Sehmel Homestead Park

Families and neighbors learned more about Sehmel Homestead Park at a September 27 talk and tour. Great Peninsula Conservancy organized this event to encourage people to explore the park’s natural areas.

Photo of Bill Sehmel

Bill Sehmel talks about his family’s homestead

Several speakers explained how local government and community organizations came together to acquire the 120-year old homestead, making this 98-acres the “diamond” of PenMet Parks.

We visited a demonstration garden (even saw a tomato-potato plant!) and walked along meadows, wetlands and a mature forest. Kids looked for different leaves and pinecones, trying to identify plants and trees.

Active recreation and natural areas

Sehmel Homestead Park in Gig Harbor includes 22 acres of active recreation, such as top-notch soccer and baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground for kids of all abilities.

In addition, the park features 75 acres of natural areas protected by a conservation easement. Great Peninsula Conservancy holds this conservation easement, and encourages neighbors to connect with nature close to home.

Trail project: November 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Help take care of Sehmel Homestead Park by restoring an old trail back to nature. In this “Art of Wilderness Gardening,” Great Peninsula Conservancy will show how to replace an unwanted trail with rocks, branches and leaves. We’ll also plant new plants. After we’re done, this “decommissioned trail” will be part of the forest again. Contact Kate for more information or to RSVP at (360) 373-3500 and kate@greatpeninsula.org.

See the flyer for the Nov. 7 trail stewardship day.

More pictures of the Sept. 27 nature walk are available on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/engagenorthwest/sets/72157656111652434

Disclaimer: Engage Northwest is a communications consultant for Great Peninsula Conservancy on this project.

Farmland conservation in Pierce County

Matlock Farm-12-3-14In February, Forterra and Pierce County collaborated with local farmers to complete the largest farmland conservation project in Pierce County’s history.

Lots of people benefit from conservation easements — farmers, developers (who can purchase development rights and use them in urban areas), and people who appreciate rural character and want fresh food. Fish and wildlife benefit, too.

You can learn more about conserving the 153-acre Matlock Farm from King 5 news coverage and the Pierce County press release.

While working for Pierce County, I played a small role on this farmland conservation project – writing a press release about obtaining a Floodplains by Design grant and taking a reporter and the funders on a project tour. The project tour resulted in an article about restoring floodplains to reduce flooding and provide habitat.

Exciting news! I hope to be involved in more of these partnerships.