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                                                From Pasture to Forest and Meadow; a Transition in Progress

Field trip June 1, 2024 

About 20 people came out to learn about a pasture-to-meadow restoration project near Ocean Park last weekend. Pat Welle explained the many processes she has used in the past three years to convert a horse pasture into a new forest and meadow for bird and wildlife habitats.

Plant selection, planting methods and planting timing were some of the many topics, along with where to purchase plants, how to deal with persistent clover and grasses, and how different trees and shrubs can be used to bring diversity to an area.

Kirsten Brennan, a staff biologist from Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (a partner in the project), also answered many questions on plant sourcing and selection.

A key point of the day was encouragement to try different methods and plants, starting small, and fitting things to your property. And patience Ð this is a long-term, but very rewarding effort!

From Pasture to Forest and Meadow; a Transition in Progress Project Notes

By Pat Welle

This Ocean Park project began simply as a way to reduce noise from Sandridge Road and create visual barriers from adjoining properties. I became interested in how I could reduce our lawn, increase bird habitat, and learn about local vegetation. A few trees… maybe a wildflower meadow… then I got support from the Wildlife Refuge, and the ‘project’ became a real “Project”. And as a retired Project Manager (of water quality and stream restoration projects), this became a challenge I thoroughly enjoy.

A golden-crowned sparrow overseeing the process.


Fourth Corner Nurseries: Bellingham, WA;

PT Lawn Seed: Portland, OR;

Northwest Meadowscapes: Port Townsend, WA;

Washington Native Plant Society:

River Refuge Seed Company: Brownsville, OR;

Greenhouse Megastore (fabric, posts, fencing):

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