SDOT Gardeners spruce up West Government Way

Gardeners load brush pruned from median

Last week SDOT Urban Forestry gardeners responded to neighborhood safety concerns and conducted a work party on the West Government Way medians in Magnolia from 34th-36th Ave W-with excellent results.  The median is home to a variety of plants including maples, arbutus, hawthorns, viburnum, salal and ferns.  The medians soften the streetscape, provide a transition into Discovery Park, and provide food and habitat for birds.

Due to limited resources, SDOT Urban Forestry only maintains this median in response to unsafe conditions.  We rely on community members to alert us to blocked visibility and we respond as needed.  Some plants had overgrown the median and were blocking views of oncoming traffic and pedestrians, so the gardeners pruned trees and shrubs and removed weeds.  Gardeners pruned and thinned the larger trees to improve views under the canopies, and reduced the height of shrubs so drivers can see over the lower vegetation.  While median maintenance doesn’t traditionally generate headlines, it is critical to street safety and aesthetics.  It is also labor intensive-the landscape crews closed the parking lanes to redirect traffic while they worked, pruned, weeded, and hauled many pickup loads of plant material off-site.  As anyone who has tended a garden knows, even low-maintenance plants need care to keep them growing where and how we want.   While the gardeners worked, several neighborhood residents thanked them for their efforts.