Welcome to “Backstage @ Bloedel,” a new monthly feature on our blog. On the first of each month we will post a behind the scenes entry highlighting just what it takes to keep the Reserve in such tip-top shape.
Creator and all-star volunteer Elliott Green came up with the idea to spotlight the grounds crew’s expertise when he worked with them across the property.
“I was thoroughly impressed by how much work it takes to maintain the Reserve,” Elliott said. He believed others would enjoy learning the ins and outs as well, and documented the work in a series of photo essays.
So without further ado, let’s go “Backstage @ Bloedel”:
In December 2012, a wind storm blew over an alder in the bog that landed on a corner of the boardwalk necessitating repair.
The Boardwalk as seen in December 2011:
This view, looking up the Boardwalk in late December 2012, was taken after a red alder fell and damaged it:
This photo shows where the Boardwalk suffered the most damage. At this time the extent of damage was not known, but it was thought that it might be considerable:
This uphill view was taken in early January 2013 after the tree was removed. Removing it was about a day’s work for a crew of four:
This closeup shows that the falling tree has broken the cap, and splintered a lower member. From this side the damage does not appear too serious:
This downhill view is revealing. It shows the extent of the damage much more clearly. The falling tree broke some stout boards. What is not visible in this photo is an additional damaged horizontal support beam, which
also had to be replaced. It came to light only after the structure was opened up:
With the amount of damage that had occurred, an entire section of the Boardwalk had to be replaced:
In this photo you can see the preparation of one of the end shapes. This was necessary to preserve the design integrity of the structure:
This photo shows several of the new boards. The holes bored in the sides are for the wood preservative used to extend the life of the structure:
After the preservative was inserted and the holes plugged, the boards dried for several days:
With the new material prepared, dis-assembly of the structure could proceed. Here, the team is part way through removing the old cap and section:
Here the cap has been removed, showing the damage to the underlying section:
This uphill view shows the structure with the cap and damaged section replaced:
This downhill view shows the structure with the ends of the new boards in the replaced section visible:
Joe Demaio, Horticulture Staff
Joe Piecuch, Director of Grounds & Facilities, Bloedel Reserve
Gary Bella, Contractor