Green Kirkland’s Nona Ganz discusses the completed work and the work yet to be done at Juanita Bay Park with Ford of Kirkland and Ford Motor Company employees. CATHERINE KRUMMEY/Kirkland Reporter

Ford of Kirkland recognized nationally for volunteerism

Every year, Ford of Kirkland employees take time to give back to their community, partnering with organizations such as Green Kirkland and Attain Housing.

Their efforts are being recognized nationally as representatives of Ford Motor Company were in town last week to observe and join the Kirkland employees as they volunteered with Green Kirkland at Juanita Bay Park.

The national managers brought along photographers to capture Ford of Kirkland employees removing invasive plants, mulching with wood chips and planting five cedar trees, which were purchased by Ford. The work will be featured in the national Ford newsletter, which is distributed to thousands of Ford dealerships across the country, for an Earth Day article.

Ford of Kirkland CFO Amy Walen, who is also the mayor of Kirkland, said they have been working with Green Kirkland for a few years.

“Our team wants to volunteer, and we just need someone to organize it,” she said before joining her employees to remove ivy and do some mulching. “The outside stuff is so much fun.”

Walen runs Ford of Kirkland alongside her husband, Jim, and he praised the organization for the work they’ve done in parks throughout the city.

“It’s a real park now,” he said of Juanita Bay, referencing the invasive blackberries that once formed a wall in one part of the park. “Before, it was an overgrown mess.”

Green Kirkland’s Nona Ganz oversaw the work on Feb. 23 and gave the volunteers an overview of what the organization has done to improve the park.

“They got quite a bit of work done … and I believe everyone felt it was a productive and fun day,” Ganz said after the event.

Ford of Kirkland owner Jim Walen (right) praises the work Green Kirkland has done to restore Juanita Bay Park. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Kirkland Reporter

Green Kirkland’s Nona Ganz discusses the completed work and the work yet to be done at Juanita Bay Park with Ford of Kirkland and Ford Motor Company employees. CATHERINE KRUMMEY/Kirkland Reporter

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