Building on long-term partnerships with Seattle City Light, Friends of the Hill at Duwamish Hill Preserve, and Alleycat Acres, and with generous funding from King Conservation District, The Common Acre is spearheading a large scale pollinator conservation project along City Light’s Creston-Duwamish transmission corridor. This is the space under high-voltage power lines the city uses to get power from its source into your outlet. Previously, it was primarily inhabited by invasive weeds.
Restoring native plants and pollinators to unused land, The Common Acre will create a sustainable habitat that can model how communities may repurpose inactive public space. It’s part of a strategy to create “hubs and spokes” of re-purposed public land that can become a “grid” with civic utility and ecological and cultural promise.
The Common Acre surveyed the Creston-Duwamish transmission lines for pollinator activity between July and September 2014, for City Light’s Environmental Leadership Initiative. Based on our findings as well as stakeholder committee feedback , City Light invited us and our partners to restore pollinator habitat along this corridor, under the transmission lines.
Early efforts include creating a native plant nursery and restoration of a one acre easement close to the Creston Substation into an interactive community green space with a focus on food-bearing native plants to benefit nearby residents. These pilot projects are funded by King Conservation district through 2018 with the long term intention of replication along the remaining 63 acres of transmission corridor.
King County is on the verge of losing its native plant heritage – this is particularly true for native prairie plants – and the problem is compounded by a distinct lack of diverse, native herbaceous plant species available from local suppliers. Working together with Duwamish Hills Nursery, the Green Line is sourcing plant material from within the corridor for propagation – the first of which will be planted in our pilot acre October 2017.