Greenway needs volunteers to plant trees at creekside park

October 4, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 4, 2010

Mountains to Sound Greenway needs volunteers to plant trees as part of a massive habitat restoration project along Issaquah Creek.

The planting is scheduled for from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Oct. 16. Pick a shift, or enroll in another greenway volunteer event, here. In addition to planting, the event will feature food, music and vendors.

The planting at Squak Valley Park North serves the kickoff to a campaign to plant more than 25,000 trees and shrubs in natural areas throughout the greenway. The greenbelt stretches along Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront to Central Washington.

The park sits in the valley between Squak and Tiger mountains along Issaquah-Hobart Road Southeast, and across Issaquah Creek from the Sycamore neighborhood. Flora at the park includes alder saplings, salmonberries and willows.

The city and greenway volunteers already removed invasive Japanese knotweed and Himalayan blackberry as part of the restoration effort.

The project aims to restore salmon habitat and allow Issaquah Creek to adopt a more meandering course through the park. Work at the site started in late July and is due to conclude by the planting event.

Crews breached a Depression-era levee at several points, and added tree trunks and other woody debris to the creek, to create off-channel pools for salmon and other fish. The levee stretches about 800 to 1,000 feet along the creek bank.

The price tag for the project totaled $1.4 million. The city contributed about $350,000 and cobbled together grants and money from other sources to fund the remainder.

The project is among the largest habitat-restoration projects in city history.

In the late 1990s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed a habitat-restoration effort similar to the current project, but funding problems and delays scuttled the plan.

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