Written by Jane Hutchinson
The past three months at Paradise Farm have been very busy as Farmer Frog appreciated volunteers at July’s potluck, the Black Bear family grew and thrived, and people planted, harvested, and ate food together. Potluck attendees took a tour of the farm to see how Farmer Frog is bringing the farm site back into agricultural use with practices that support the Paradise Valley ecosystem.
The Paradise Valley Conservation Area contains nearly 700 acres of undeveloped land set aside for protecting the biodiversity of the headwaters of Bear Creek, one of the largest wild salmon producing streams in the Sammamish watershed. Habitat connectivity is one of the core tenets of conservation efforts, defined as “a measure of the extent to which plants and animals can move between habitat patches.”
Connectivity helps plants and animals maintain diverse, resilient populations and provides space for migration as they adapt to a changing climate. Placing cameras in the tree lines around the pastures assesses wildlife interest in crops, how they are moving about the farm, and who is living on the site. This knowledge is helping Farmer Frog make sure site management decisions support larger conservation goals and ecosystem sustainability.
Through camera trap data and wildlife tracking, habitat surveys, and on-site observations Farmer Frog is continuing to build a base line inventory of wildlife and plant species that call Paradise Valley home.
Becoming Wildlife Friendly Certified is Farmer Frog’s goal. Through the combined use of human presence, electric fencing, livestock guarding dogs, and the cultivation of food forests, Farmer Frog intends to protect wildlife habitat and keep livestock safe from predators, using sustainable agriculture methods that will maintain the ecological health of the Paradise Valley region for future generations.
How can you get involved?
Upcoming Events at Paradise Farm – 23210 Paradise Lake Rd, Woodinville, WA
Volunteer Work Party – Saturday, September 30, 2017, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Volunteers will be installing wildlife fencing and other natural features to start gaining Wildlife Friendly Certification and to prepare for herding & livestock guarding dogs to move on site Spring 2018 with their goats and chickens. Come chat, see what’s going on, pitch in if you have some time.
Autumn Celebration Potluck – Saturday, October 14, 2017, 2:00pm-7:00pm (or until the bears send us home.)
Stop by and appreciate Farmer Frog volunteers and the 1,170 hours of service they have given to the Paradise Farm location over the past year. We will be saying “Thank You!’ and showing off the first major transformation of Paradise Farm, thanks to our many dedicated partners. Come, eat, and join the fun.
Donate HERE and specify that funds go to the “Wildlife Friendly Paradise Farm Project – Livestock Herding / Guarding Dogs.”
Stay tuned to the Frog Blog for more information about this and other projects.
Sign up HERE for other opportunities across the Puget Sound to “sprout simple change” with Farmer Frog.
To report a wildlife sighting or if you have further questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Paradise Valley/Bear Creek Headwaters Protection Project Fact Sheet, 2012 Snohomish County.
2. Paradise Valley Conservation Area Adaptive Management Plan, 2004, Snohomish County.
3. Safe Passages: Highways, Wildlife, and Habitat Connectivity. Edited by Jon P. Beckmann, Anthony P. Clevenger, Marcel P. Huijser, and Jodi A. Hilty. 2010, Island Press, Washington.