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Who is the Griffin Neighborhood Association?
The Griffin Neighborhood Association (GNA) is registered with the State of Washington as a non-profit organization. We are a nonpartisan group of neighbors living within the boundaries of the Griffin School District, Thurston County, Washington.
Any person owning property, a business, or residing in the Griffin area is eligible to become a member and participate fully in the Association. Membership is also open to community groups and students of the Griffin School District. If you live or work in the Griffin neighborhood or Steamboat Peninsula, the Griffin Neighborhood Association is you.
Originally organized as the Oyster Bay Neighborhood Association in 1990, we were registered with the State of Washington as the nonprofit Griffin Neighborhood Association in December, 1995.
The mission of the Griffin Neighborhood Association is to help build community consensus on major issues confronting the Griffin area, including growth, land issues, habitat, water quality, transportation and school planning. When appropriate, we research issues as honest brokers of information, provide forums for debate, attempt to arrive at community consensus and issue resolution, and present this consensus to appropriate decision makers.
The Griffin Neighborhood Association also undertakes and supports projects that benefit our community, help to build a sense of community, and educate the community on topics of interest.
Our Board and Officers
Our Board is comprised of current members of the Association, elected by members of the Association present at the Annual Meeting. Officers are elected from Board membership by members of the Board.
Our Upcoming Events
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Local residents: Join Nextdoor to see GNA events, plus many more goings-on here in our neighborhood!
Every year, around this time, all those yellow flags – those scotch broom flowers – come out to wave. Next will come the seeds and, next year, more scotch broom. There are noxious weeds and then there’s scotch broom. Now is an excellent time of year to get serious about reducing the amount of scotch broom on your property.
So, responsible rural property owners want to know: What makes scotch broom so bad?
Scotch broom is a prodigious seed producer. The seeds have hard coats enabling them to survive in the environment for up to 80 years. Once established, scotch broom forms dense brush fields over six feet tall. The brush fields diminish habitat for grazing animals, such as livestock and native animals. Areas of dense brush shade out and kill native grassland plants in invaded areas, and favor invasion by other woody, non-grassland plant species.
Scotch broom prevents reforestation, creates a high fire hazard, renders rangeland worthless and greatly increases the cost of maintenance of roads, ditches, power and telephone lines. Wildlife suffers as the growth becomes too dense for even quail and other ground birds to thrive. Being slightly toxic and unpalatable it is browsed very little by livestock.
If you cut your trees, so that a lot of sunlight reaches the ground, you’ve probably now got scotch broom to cut.
There are two schools of thought, those who say pull out the whole plant and those who will tell you, if you’re clever and your timing is right, all you need are a pair of lopping shears.
From the School of Pulling Out the Plant, we get these instructions:
Pull out the entire plant, including roots. When the soil is moist, small plants can be pulled easily by hand. Winter and spring are good seasons to do this.
Larger plants must be removed with a tool such as a Weed Wrench. Be sure to remove the entire plant. Broken stems re-sprout and are much harder to remove for the next person. Plants can be left where pulled.
One of the benefits of being a member of the Griffin Neighborhood Association is members can rent our Weed Wrench.
Not yet a member of the GNA? Dang, what are you waiting for?! Click here to join online.
From the School of Cutting Broom in Bloom, we get these instructions:
First, cut broom in bloom. Use loppers or small saws and cut broom right at ground level.
Broom puts all of its energy into making flowers. If you cut it while in bloom, it will most likely die in the summer’s dry heat.
If you have to make a choice, go after single plants and small infestation to prevent its spread.
If the broom is huge, cut off as many of the branches as you can. If the broom is small and not blooming, you can return and cut it next year when it blooms.
It is most important to not let the broom go to seed! Cut before June 17 (this date is from Vancouver Island’s “BroomBusters” web site, so it’s probably earlier, down here in the South Sound).
CUT DOWN ALL YELLOW FLOWERS so that they can not turn into seeds. Each scotch broom plant can produce 2,000 to 3,500 seed pods – which burst open, shooting seeds into adjacent soil. If you cut them while in bloom – no seeds!
HERBICIDES applied in the spring when new leaves are present are another effective control tool, but always remember to read the labels carefully and exercise extreme care when applying chemicals, especially near waterways.
DO NOT BURN SCOTCH BROOM! When exposed to fire, its seeds burst from their seedpods. Also, the smoke from burning scotch broom is actually toxic and may seriously irritate the respiratory tracts of you, your family, or your neighbors.
TAKE SCOTCH BROOM TO THE DUMP. The best way to get rid of scotch broom, once it is cut, is to take it to Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center. Scotch broom cannot be disposed of as garden waste – you need to dispose of it as garbage – and it’s not eligible for free disposal. This stuff is the worst.
The Thurston County Noxious Weed Control Agency offers the following information and services to the public: Educational presentations, plant identification especially those that may be noxious weeds, consults on your property, prescriptions for specific noxious weed problems and what the county approves for its own use, free disposal of designated noxious weeds at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery centers, and limited use of a manual removal tool called the wrench. Also available are many informational brochures and pamphlets as well as several videos.
So, responsible homeowner, get out there and cut your scotch broom!
“Integrated pest management” (IPM) is a low impact approach to limit damage caused by pest infestation. An important core concept that differentiates IPM from more conventional methods is that IPM seeks to reduce levels of infestation to an acceptable threshold, rather than focus on total eradication. Focusing on reduction to acceptable levels allows for more judicious use of pesticides. Often times, the negative effects of a specific variety of pests are associated with a specific stage in the pest’s lifecycle. Monitoring the lifecycle of an infestation and applying appropriate controls that targets the pest only at the applicable point in its lifecycle allows for further reduction in the amount of controls required to prevent damage due to infestation. These concepts, combined with other light touch approaches, make IPM an effective low impact alternative to conventional pest control methods.
In this article we will focus on how to use IPM as a practice in in indoor environments, but these principles can also be applied to outdoor operations.
Identification and Monitoring
Monitoring is the most fundamental yet most often neglected activity in an IPM program. Monitoring involves documenting and observing the history of pest problems, past control measures (including their timing and effectiveness), and other pertinent information, such as weather conditions that will help you understand the context within which a certain pest problem is occurring. It is also important to know how a pest develops, i.e., its life history, because different life stages may be monitored and managed in different ways. Careful monitoring allows controls to be implemented only when and if required, which helps mitigate the harmful effects to humans and wildlife associated with overuse of pesticides.
After monitoring and considering information about the pest, its biology, and environmental factors, the next step is determining a course of action. Setting action thresholds will help determine if a pest is a nuisance, health hazard or economic threat, and whether a pest should be tolerated, contained or removed/killed.
Management and Control
The mains actions generally taken to control pests include mechanical traps, biological controls, chemical controls or behavior change. Mechanical traps range from rat pedal traps to cages that traps the pest after it enters it. Biological controls largely include the use of parasites, predators and diseases, including organisms such as a family cat to kill rodents or a parasitic wasp. Chemical controls include a multitude of compounds and range in toxicity. Behavior change can include tasks such as fixing a leak in the home to sealing holes in a wall. All of these methods are essential in IPM, with sometimes only one of these actions being necessary and sometimes all four (potentially more).
If all of these steps are ineffective, in may be prudent to hire a professional. If hiring a professional, make sure to inquire about the types of chemicals used, and ask for an msds sheet. Another resource when using pesticides or consulting with a company is ewg.org, which grades typical chemicals found in retail stores. This helps keep yourself as well as those around you safe.
After an infestation has been mitigated through monitoring and targeted application of controls, prevention can help limit recurrence of the problem. For instance in a residential context, after an infestation of ants has been exterminated, practices such as caulking and weather sealing, combined with removal of substances which might act as an attractant can help prevent further infestation.
Why IPM Is Important
IPM recognizes both the importance of pest management, and the harmful side effects that can come with indiscriminate use of pesticides. Through the use of IPM we can limit both harmful pests and exposure to pesticides to achieve an optimal result in terms of the safety of our homes, waterways, agriculture, and the environment at large. It is easy to brush aside the risks and consequences that come with overuse of pesticides, we have all been tempted to spray an entire can of bug killer when faced with an infestation of ants or spider. But, it is important to remember that these substances can and do end up in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. Through IPM it is possible to achieve the pest control we need while limiting harmful consequences to ourselves and the environment around us.
Are you interested in recommendations about how to manage specific pests in your home or around your property? Click here to download some integrated pest management recommendations.
The text of this article was provided by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. The PPRC “is a nonprofit organization that is the Northwest’s leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention (P2) information. PPRC works collaboratively with business, government, non-government organizations, and other sectors to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention. PPRC believes that environmental and economic vitality go hand in hand, and that both are necessary to protect the high quality of life enjoyed in our region.”
In recent years we’ve been fortunate to see a series of plant sales, most for the benefit of Feline Friends and related organizations. This year is no different. If you like plants and are looking for some great sales that benefit some terrific organizations, you’ll want to mark these dates on your calendar.
If you would like to get great perennials, beautiful dahlias, herbs, some vegetables, or choose from a large variety of unusual plants at great prices, these sales are for you. Diane Jacob, of Cameron Gardens, says, “You will be helping dedicated organizations in Thurston/Mason Counties in the never-ending quest to spay and neuter all pets to save hundreds of lives every year.” Cameron Gardens and other local gardeners are the source of these plants.
Feline Friends Plant Sale
Saturday, May 5th
9 AM to 2 PM
6530 33rd Ave, Olympia
Adopt-A-Pet Plant Sale
Saturday, May 12th
9 AM to 3 PM
Our Community Credit Union parking lot
2948 Olympic Hwy N, Shelton
Close Out Plant & Garage Sale – a benefit for Feline Friends
Saturday, June 2nd
9 AM – 2 PM
6530 33rd Ave, Olympia
For the Close Out Plant & Garage Sale, please bring saleable items to Griffin between 6 PM and 8 PM Friday, June 3rd or call (360) 866-1909.