Honor Ruth Kees during creek cleanup Sunday

May 27, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. May 27, 2009

Save Lake Sammamish will honor late Issaquah environmentalist Ruth Kees with a workday along the creek that bears her name. Volunteers will gather May 31 to clear invasive plant species from the banks of Kees Creek in south Issaquah.

Join Save Lake Sammamish volunteers at Southeast 98th Place on 238th Way Southeast between 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tools, gloves and refreshments will be available. Organizers said they would appreciate for volunteers to RSVP, but it’s not required. RSVP by e-mailing bshelton27@comcast.net.

Kees died May 6 after suffering a broken hip several days earlier. She was 84.

Kees gained acclaim for her efforts to maintain the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery and create the Tiger Mountain Natural Resources Conservation Area. But her biggest accomplishment was her yearslong effort to preserve the Issaquah Creek watershed. A stream along the lower slope of Tiger Mountain was later named for Kees.

In an e-mail to group members, Save Lake Sammamish Vice President Frank Lill said Kees asked his group to apply for a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant six years ago. The grant money was used to enhance Kees Creek. Save Lake Sammamish workers replaced a culvert, cleared invasive plant species and planted native plants in their place.

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