Volunteers sought for Greenway restoration project

January 27, 2009

By Jeff Richards

 

Mountains to Sound Greenway is looking for a few good men and women for restoration work at Squak Mountain State Park and the Greenway Native Plant Nursery in the coming months.Every Saturday, the group welcomes volunteers to help with two projects focused on trail maintenance at the state park and refilling the greenway’s outdoor plant nursery. 

The plant nursery, ordinarily home to almost 15,000 native trees and shrubs inside Lake Sammamish State Park, is in need of refilling.

On Jan. 17, volunteers came out and managed to plant 2,000 trees and shrubs for it.

“It was sunny weather, and they were just out there planting and chatting it up,” said Margaret Ullman, greenway volunteer program coordinator. “It’s an extremely social and enjoyable event.”

The nursery relies on a year-round volunteer force, which makes up about 95 percent of the crew.

At Squak Mountain State Park, the trails are in need of several repairs, such as rebuilding trail turnpikes and switchbacks, and installing drain dips.

The work is needed due to normal wear and tear on the trails, and it is critical to the continued use of the trails by the community, said Mike Stenger, greenway trails program manager.

“Without this work, they would deteriorate and be less usable to folks in the community,” he said. “Folks get to know each other and get a sense of community.”

He said anywhere from 10-20 people normally show up, and they are supervised by 12 crew members from AmeriCorps, who also work on the trails Monday through Friday.

Volunteers work a half-day. They are given an approximately 30-minute orientation and safety briefing before getting started.

Ullman said they see all kinds of people showing up for volunteer work, from students needing community service for school requirements to retirees looking for work to pass the time.

Volunteers need to be a minimum of 14 years old to do trail maintenance and 6 years old to volunteer at the plant nursery.

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is a nonprofit organization founded in 1991. It oversees 1.4 million acres of natural land, stretching along Interstate 90 from Puget Sound to Central Washington.

It works to preserve the land by repairing trails and supporting open land protection, among other activities.

 

If you go

9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday

Mountains to Sound Greenway

206-812-0122

Register at www.mtsgreenway.org.

 

Reach intern Jeff Richards at 392-6434, ext. 236, or isspress@isspress.com. Comment on this story at www.issaquahpress.com.

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