Stewards of the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary in Madison Park have launched this year’s Adopt-a-Plant program to provide needed watering during the summer.

There’s been a pattern over the past three years of wetter winters followed by months without adequate precipitation. Gene Brandzel, who began working on improving the natural area at the street end of 38th Avenue East a decade ago with his wife, Liz, tells the Madison Park Times the past six weeks of dry weather led to an earlier than expected launch of the program.

At the height of summer, it can cost $400 a week to keep plants adequately watered, that water having to be trucked in because the Department of Ecology won’t let volunteer stewards use Lake Washington.

The Beaver Lodge Sanctuary has two stainless steel milk tanks on site with a 1,300-gallon capacity for the drip irrigation system. Last year buckets were put out for people to adopt plants that needed additional watering.

There are numbered flags next to thirstier plants, and those wishing to participate in the Adopt-a-Plant program can put their name on a sign-up sheet next to the number that corresponds with the plants and trees they want to water. Adopters watering specific plants means less impact on overall water usage and the cost of having more water delivered, Brandzel said. The Adopt-a-Plant board in the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary also includes information on how to provide financial support.

People can reach the Beaver Lodge Sanctuary by following East McGilvra Street to where it ends just past 38th Avenue East.

Brandzel can be reached at genebb@gmail.com.