by Brady Raymond
photos by Daniel Winkler
The Bridle Trails Survey is underway and shaping up to be a unique opportunity, not only to hone your mushroom identification skills, but also to participate in a bit of citizen science to better understand our region’s funga. The two main goals for this project are to hopefully christen the next generation of mushroom identifiers and to preserve specimens for the herbarium.
A lot of work has to be done before this project can fully take flight, this includes creating a custom voucher sheet for the study as well as a system for filing of specimens. Linking all the data to specimen photographs and making it available online needs to be figured out as well. Creating a curriculum and a way of testing knowledge is also important in churning out the next generation of identifiers.
Project Leader and PSMS Vice President Daniel Winkler has high hopes for this project, many of our region’s mushrooms have not yet been properly identified via DNA and some species have yet to be photographed from our region. Hopefully with the help of interested folks we can start to shed some light on the shadowy world of PNW mushrooms and teach some skills along the way.
Bridle Trails State Park is an ideal setting for a study like this. It is situated on 482 acres and has 28 miles of trails. Nestled right between Bellevue and Kirkland just off the 405 it is a fairly close destination for most. This is a beautiful and densely forested park primarily used for hiking and equestrian riding. It offers a lot of ground to cover and is host to Douglas-fir, Hemlock, Red Cedar, Maple, Alder, Madrone and Cottonwood. This should be enough to offer significant fungal diversity for our region.
If you’re interested in participating stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks, once the details get hammered out this project is going to soar like a spore on the breeze.