Meet: Jesse Curran, Edmonds Parks
Meet Jesse Curran: Edmonds Parks lead supervisor, horticulturist, and one-person crusader against invasive weeds.
Jesse has spent the better part of 20 years with Edmonds. He leads teams that plant street trees, woodland trees in Yost, Pine Ridge, Hutt Park, among others (100+ a year to maintain that Tree City USA designation).
His team clears storm damage, finds perfect native plants, manages spectacular growth in the spring and tidies up in the fall all to make sure we have the best possible experience at our 62 Edmonds Parks which include Yost, the dog park, the fishing pier, shelter spaces, and the waterfront, just to name a few.
“Our team wants it to look freshly maintained. That’s what people expect,” says Jesse who take tremendous pride in his work and staff. He loves growing new and interesting plants too!
This is a pineapple lily, one of Jesse's newest projects.
This year has been tough on Jesse’s team. With COVID, local parks use is way up. More garbage. They also deep clean restrooms twice a day.
“Between the garbage and the restrooms, it used to take one full time person. Now it takes three. And I don’t have the seasonal employees or the same level of volunteer support due to social distancing. By my calculations, I lose about 240 park-hours a week now.”
Jesse says Edmonds Parks have great support from residents. He gets calls every week from folks who want to get back to work pulling out invasive weeds. Seriously! How cool is that! But, for now, they are on hold.
Jesse is a wealth of knowledge, sharing the upside of our location (the trees, the water, the plant species!) as well as the downside. He says the rail corridor has an impact on parks that you might not expect.
The trains carry containers from ports near and far. Those containers carry tiny weed seeds that love our tidal marsh. When those tiny invasive weed specks drop from containers passing over the salty pools, we have an invader and a problem.
Invasive species like Japanese knotweed and a new one from Africa/Eura-Asia called phragmites (frag-MY-tees) are now crowding out native species. There are no natural predators.
This is what Jesse is thinking about these days. So when you enjoy our parks, think about Jesse’s crew that is working hard to keep them beautiful and about Jesse who is tapping into his crusade against invasive species to keep our community spaces healthy.
The Parks Door at Edmonds City Park is always open!