Roxhill Bog Headwaters of a Legacy

Seattle, Washington

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Bogs get a bad rap. Typecast as boot-enveloping muck factories suitable for mosquitoes and little else, the expression “bogged down” does little to improve this reputation. But bogs and fens (close cousins) fill a unique biological niche. They are uncommon in King County, and rarer still in the city, where wet areas are generally filled in for development. As one of the last remaining significant peatlands in the city, you could say Roxhill Bog deserves old growth status. Like other wetlands, bogs can help prevent flooding, cleanse polluted water, and provide habitat for birds and animals. What sets them apart is that bogs are comprised of peat, organic soil that develops where plants grow more quickly than they can decay. Year after year, dead plants pile up, compressed by the weight of decades of growth—these partially or incompletely decomposed plants form peat. Bogs take thousands of years to form, and one wetland biologist estimated that Roxhill’s 6 to 10 feet of peat took 10,000 years to accumulate.
Nature in the City: Seattle

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Nature in the City: Seattle

by Maria Dolan & Kathryn True (The Mountaineers Books)

Bogs get a bad rap. Typecast as boot-enveloping muck factories suitable for mosquitoes and little else, the expression “bogged down” does little to improve this reputation. But bogs and fens (close cousins) fill a unique biological niche. They are uncommon in King County, and rarer still in the city, where wet areas are generally filled in for development. As one of the last remaining significant peatlands in the city, you could say Roxhill Bog deserves old growth status. Like other wetlands, bogs can help prevent flooding, cleanse polluted water, and provide habitat for birds and animals.

What sets them apart is that bogs are comprised of peat, organic soil that develops where plants grow more quickly than they can decay. Year after year, dead plants pile up, compressed by the weight of decades of growth—these partially or incompletely decomposed plants form peat. Bogs take thousands of years to form, and one wetland biologist estimated that Roxhill’s 6 to 10 feet of peat took 10,000 years to accumulate.

©  Maria Dolan & Kathryn True/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Nature Trips
Nearby City: Seattle
Season: Year-round
Driving Directions: Directions to Roxhill Bog: Headwaters of a Legacy

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