Art for the Garden Fence Project in 2021

A community wide celebration of the art installation was held on Saturday, Sept. 4th, 2021, 1PM to 5 PM. Community members, artists, and students celebrated the installation of our new garden art, The installation was created by students and community artists! We have 80 new pieces of art in the garden! The event featured a opening words by Port of Seattle Commissioner, Peter Steinbrueck, music, face painting, and food trucks too. Community members met the arts and program curators. Some brought lawn chairs to enjoy the music, tacos from El Centro Kitchen and ice cream from Full Tilt! Masks were required.

Anytime, from dawn to dusk - Stop by the Garden and view the art exhibit on the south and west fences. The Weed Warriors Nature Stewards Program, sponsoring the New Start Community Garden, invites all members of the community to experience art and the many amenities at their local community garden, along with the wonders of nature found in the garden. The garden features include a pollinator garden, hummingbird garden, native plant garden, Pom Pom sensory garden for kids, the Latin American Garden, rain garden, herb garden, an orchard of fruit trees, a fig forest, grape arbor, berry patches, 2 kiwi trellises, and other features. The engaging and inviting art placed on the garden fence invites community members to visit the garden and enjoy the benefits of a community garden space. This project represents art from the local diverse community. This environmentally-friendly garden educates and promotes the importance of using sustainable gardening practices, i.e., avoiding pesticides and chemicals that harm wildlife and the ecosystem, and the importance of rain gardens around Puget Sound to mitigate stormwater run-off. The garden and its community programs are positive influences that promote practices which support the overall health of Puget Sound and the well-being of community members. The garden offers a gathering place, an out-door classroom, brings the community together for events, and provides food security for the community with organically grown vegetables and fruits. The art installation is a welcoming addition to the other amenities of the New Start Community Garden.

Preview the Art Exhibit
See more about the Art for the Community Garden Fence project here.

Discover the 4 Components of a Wildlife Habitat in the "Garden for Wildlife" Series in 2020-2021

Food, water, shelter and places to raise young are necessary components to attract wildlife to your yard or apartment balcony. Incorporating native plants in the garden and using sustainable gardening practices, like not using pesticides and chemicals, are also important when establishing a haven for birds, butterflies and bees. Our native plant of the year in 2020 was the Vine Maple, acer cirncinatum, a versatile small tree known for its beautiful fall color that provides flowers and seeds for birds and other wildlife.

The Serviceberry, Amelanchier alnifolia, also known as Saskatoon, is our native plant of the year for 2021.  We've chosen this plant for its benefit to both humans and wildlife. It is is native in all Washington counties, all Oregon counties, northern California, and southern British Columbia. It's one of our most widespread native shrubs. It usually grows as a shrub, but can be a small single-stemmed tree.  It's perfect for in many landscape settings. including small yards. It likes sunny locations, but will do fine in partial shade. it prefers a moist, well-drained soil but tolerates a wide range of conditions.  The spring bloom is welcome addition when there are few other flowering trees. In 2020, our featured Plant of the Year was the Vine Maple, Acer circinatum.

This is a woody shrub with an erect to spreading form. It often grows to height of 12’ with an equal width. Leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion. They are simple, 1”-3” in length and have an oval to oblong shape. During the summer the leaves are green while in the fall they can turn a very pleasing red to yellow color. The flowers, which grow in clusters, are star-shaped with five petals.  These white fragrant flowers, arranged in racemes (3-20 per cluster), appear from April through July. Flowers morph to ½” bluish-purple, juicy edible berries which ripen in early summer. The berries taste similar to blueberries and can be eaten fresh or dried, and can be used to make jelly or wine.  It was a common food source among Native Americans, who used the berries as a component of mincemeat. The berries are popular with wildlife.  Serviceberry blossoms are attractive to bees and butterflies.  Because birds are attracted to the berries, these shrubs are a natural choice when trying to establish a backyard wildlife habitat.

Here’s an excellent essay The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance describing how plants and birds reciprocate in their offerings to each other, and how humans can learn from the reciprocity. It’s by indigenous botanist, author, and professor Robin Wall Kimmerer:
She says: “I want to live in a society where the currency of exchange is gratitude and the infinitely renewable resource of kindness, which multiplies every time it is shared, rather than depreciating with use.” And “Thriving is possible...only if you have nurtured strong relations with your community.”

On-line Workshops in the Garden for Wildlife Program

Learn how sustainable gardening techniques benefit both people and wildlife.

Adding native plants and perennial flowering plants to a community garden, a public park, or your home garden contributes a greater impact to the overall health of wildlife around Puget Sound. Gardens for Wildlife program addresses the need for wildlife habitat through a combination of education and stewardship activities.  The knowledge gained trough the Zoom workshops and a restoration event in a community park or community garden enables participants to successfully garden for wildlife in their own yard, garden, or apartment balcony. The events and Zoom workshops were free and open to the public.

"Garden for Wildlife" Zoom workshops topics included:

    • 1.  Identify and control invasive non-native weeds.  We hosted 10 events during the summer of 2020, including three Zoom workshops on Invasive Weeds, how to control them and restore a garden, yard, or area to a wildlife friendly habitat. We also hosted a Graduation Ceremony in the summer of 2020 for the members of this program.
      2.  Composting, mulching  was delivered in January of 2021.  This program was currently running with a Zoom instructional workshop and hands-on practice in composting techniques at the New Start Community Garden in Burien, WA.
      3.  A Wetlands workshop was delivered in February 2021 on various types, the importance of wetlands as habitat for wildlife. This class was delivered via Zoom with Instructor Lauryn Duoto, WHIT Wetland Certification. Attendees were invited to participate in a wetland restoration project the same week.
      4.  Sustainable Gardening Practices with Taryn Koerker was scheduled and took place via Zoom on April 11th, 2021.
      5.  Garden 4 Wildlife  "Zine" coloring book, suitable for all ages, featuring native plants, garden favorites, and facts about noxious weeds, was created by  local artist and gardener Amber Raven Nichol of Normandy Park and printed and distributed with water color paints and/or crayons in the summer of 2021.

Components of this program were funded by a grant from the Port of Seattle Airport Community Ecology (ACE) fund, and produced in partnership with National Wildlife Federation, New Start Community Garden in the Highline School District, also called the "Shark Garden" after the school mascot,  City of Burien, students from all around Puget Sound and volunteers like you.

Of course, during COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, our project's social dynamic in restoration events with students and community members will be different from past events with no large group interactions.  Social distancing protocols and face coverings are followed to ensure the safety of all involved.


Check out the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife program for attracting Birds, Butterflies and Other a Backyard Wildlife to your yard or apartment balcony.   Many communities around Puget Sound are a registered Community Wildlife Habitat communities that have schoolyard wildlife habitats, native plants gardens, and other features that count toward city certification as a Wildlife Habitat Community. The New Start Community Garden at the New Start High School in Burien, is a certified Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat.  Burien, among other cities, are working toward full certification with the National Wildlife Federation. Please consider registering your yard or balcony, as this helps your city become a Wildlife Habitat Community.

Support for Invasive Weed Species Removal near Myers Way Wetlands Phases 1 and 2  is provided by the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, a grantmaking fund enabled by Puget Soundkeeper Alliance's Clean Water Act enforcement program, which protects the health of Puget Sound and its residents by enforcing federal water quality laws against serious violators. The Fund's goal is to mitigate past pollution runoff by supporting community­ based efforts to protect or improve the water quality of Puget Sound. The Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment administers the Fund to enable community-based watershed stewardship in close nexus with the specifics of the enabling settlements.

Myers Way Wetland Restoration Project, 2020 - 2021

In Phase 1, in 2020, Weed Warriors removed invasive blackberries from 33,000 square feet wetland.  The pile of blackberry canes and root balls was approximately 5,000 cubic feet.
Phase 2, in 2021, consists of more root removal, followed by a planting of native wetland appropriate trees and shrubs. In February of 2021, we planted over 50 wetland trees.

Invasive Himalayan blackberry roots.