How do you restore a 50-acre native wildflower meadow for bees on an island in the middle of the Columbia River?
It’s simple. Working with the Port of Portland, and seed company Pacific Northwest Natives, we loaded up a barge with a tractor, a truck, a drill seeder, hundreds of pounds of seed, and half a dozen tough farmers, then we floated out to the island and started planting.
Special credit goes to our fantastic crew, contractors, plant ecologist, and pollinator ecologists, who between them can calibrate a 1,000-pound drill seeder, get us unstuck from sandbars, make emergency welds and equipment repairs in the middle of nowhere, and formulate complex seed mixes designed to support dozens of local species of bees and butterflies.
In addition to the seeding done by Tenbusch Farms, Port of Portland staff carefully planted by hand 2,000 camas lily bulbs.
Stay tuned for future updates on this project, and expect a massive wildflower show in spring 2016!
(photos by Xerces Society / Jim Eckberg)