New for 2015: Signboard, Trails and Trees

So much work was completed in 2014: the new deluxe signboard at our entrance, the two gravel trails, and the planting of many hundreds of plants and trees throughout Licorice Fern Natural Area.

We will be adding a big map and other materials in the signboard, so do take a look as you walk by.IMG_3112150112_005

Our new trails are complete now.  The level one on NE 130th Street ends at an overlook of the west end of the natural area. The yellow markers show the hundreds of smaller plants lining the trails.

The main “Homestead” trail leads to an overlook of the center of the park.  Both trails are free of mud, so you can listen to the birds without messing up your clothes.

150112_003 IMG_3118

Do walk the trails any time, Licorice Fern is always open!

We will be conducting tours soon, with ecologists and bird experts to add to your enjoyment.  Watch for the announcements.

Friends of Licorice Fern Natural Area deeply appreciate the financial support we received in 2014 for improvements to the Natural Area.. Funding and Project support came from:

City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Neighborhood Matching Fund  Logo - Dept of Neighborhoods - Colorful

  • King Conservation District  Logo - King Conservation District - Black and Gray against white
  • City of Seattle Department of Parks and RecreationLogo - Parks Dept

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Help us Plant — Two Saturdays

Hello Neighbors,

Do come down and work with us:

WHEN? Saturdays March 1 and March 8 10AM-1PM we’ll be working on planting trees and shrubs, and placing wood chips around our plantings to control weeds and hold moisture for the coming dry summer.

WHY?  We have about 100 potted plants and trees that need to go in the ground this Spring. They will grow for tens to hundreds of years creating a new native forest for us and the wildlife.

HOW?  We have all the tools, and we know where the trees and shrubs should be planted.  You come with your energy, no experience needed.

WHERE?  1100 NE 130th Street, 2 blocks off 15th Avenue NE. The trail entrance is at the bottom of the hill on NE 130th Street, 1 block from the top-of-hill parking.   Maps here.

PRE-REGISTER — Not required, we just want your participation.  For Saturday March 1 register here.  For Saturday March 8 register here.

I look forward to working with you.

 Dass Adams     Chair, Friends of Licorice Fern Natural Area on Thornton Creek

206-227-3864   LFNA entrance in June

2012 Year in Review — Licorice Fern Natural Area


The Friends of Licorice Fern Natural Area’s purpose is to re-forest this 8-acre canyon after its traumatic logging in the early 1900’s and the invasion of exotic plants that prevent big trees from starting.  We are guided by the techniques and support of the Green Seattle Partnership and the Parks Department.  Our long-term plan document guides our work.120921_011


We progress toward the long-term goal through volunteer service.  Our workparties are open to the public, usually second and fourth Saturdays.  In 2012 we held about 18 workparties.  Our University Prep School work parties had 30-40 young workers, and the United Way Day of Caring workparty had about 30 adult volunteers.  Many of our announced workparties attracted only 2 or 3 volunteers.

Clearing and Planting

Clearing invasive ivy and blackberries occupied many of those volunteer hours.  Once an area is cleared, we plant native shrubs and trees that will be the basis for the new “natural” forest  In 2012 we planted about 200 including about 40 trees (Douglas fir, western red cedar, and Sitka spruce) and 120 native shrubs such as indian plum, ninebark,  snowberry, Oregon grape.


Trail maintenance is important to give access to areas for work. Visitors need walkable trails for exploring. In wet winter months the trails near the creek are very muddy in spots, with logs or boards to walk on.
For summer months, newly planted shrubs and trees in the drier areas need hand-watering for at least the first summer.  The Parks Department has supplied us with an 1100 gallon plastic water cistern.  The piping needed to get the water to the plants will be installed for the 2013 summer.
Tool storage is convenient in the large steel JoBox toolbox that the Parks department has installed on site.


We are a small core of workers and supporters (see the Steering Committee list on the website ).  We were supported in 2012 by a $500 anonymous contribution, which bought plants and trees, refreshments, tools, and paid for many trips to the hardware store.  This tiny budget does not allow for hiring specialty crews, posting proper signage, or purchasing larger numbers of plants and trees.


Thanks to all the loyal volunteers and workparty attenders for a good solid year of accomplishment.

First Fall Workparty – Second and Fourth Saturdays

Please join us 10AM -12PM September 8 Saturday for our First Fall Workparty and Tour at Licorice Fern Natural Area in North Seattle.  Thornton Creek flows through this Natural Area which is near Jackson Park Golf Course.
We’ll gather to assign crews to projects — spreading wood chips, pulling out ivy, watering our little trees, strengthening a bridge, pulling weedy vines out of the creek. Or just walk the trails and see what we’ve done. Take a short or long break by the creek and chat with neighbors.  All ages welcome, bring the kids!
We will have some snacks and water out on the table. Wear your grubbies and sturdy shoes. We provide all tools, but you could bring your favorite gloves, pruners, shovel, etc.
1100 NE 130th Street (2 blocks off 15th Avenue NE)
The trail entrance is at the bottom of the hill on NE 130th Street, 1 block from the top-of-hill parking.
At the top of the hill on 12th Avenue NE or NE 130th Street.
There is no parking space down by the entrance.
Dass Adams, Chair, Friends of Licorice Fern Natural Area on Thornton Creek

Winter and Spring Progress at LFNA

Our Friends group is small but progressing on our goal of re-foresting these 8 acres.  With a number of small workparties in the rainy months we have cleared a lot of ivy and blackberry thorns, improved the paths so they are rarely muddy, and planted about 250 plants and trees.  Now as we move into nicer weather, we’re planning on more ambitious projects, moving out into new areas, tackling the control of the most rampant weeds, faithfully watering the new plants and trees, and drawing in more neighbors to enjoy our beautiful green paradise by Thornton Creek.

Site Tour Saturday 10AM-Noon

Join us for a short tour of the Park May 21, based from the South side.   Friends of Thornton Creek Park #1 Steering Committee members will point out natural features and discuss stewardship ideas.

When: May 21st, 10 a.m. – noon
Where: Park entrance at 1100 NE 130th Street
Wear: Clothing and boots suitable for wet, \muddy conditions

Meet at 1100 NE 130th Street,  approach via 15th Avenue NE.  Parking is allowed along the sides of the streets where there is room.

High water in Thornton Creek – photos

 A heavy rainstorm the night of December 11 made the creek wide and muddy:

December storm

click on the image for the album