While many enjoyed a day off on Monday to observe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, some people took a “day on” and joined Rep. Susan DelBene (WA-1) to clean up local parks.
Green Kirkland hosted five volunteer events to remove invasive plant species from local Eastside parks. DelBene helped volunteers remove blackberry bushes that were taking over North Rose Hill Woodlands Park.
“This is a beautiful park, and if we can clear out blackberries and ivy and put native species back in, we’ll help our trees, help people have access and turn it into something that the whole neighborhood and broader community can enjoy,” DelBene said.
About 30 volunteers joined DelBene, Green Kirkland staff and seven students from the Restoration Ecology Network’s University of Washington chapter to give back to the community and honor King.
“I think in his memory, having a day of service really is appropriate because we get to be a part of a community and make a difference in all sorts of ways,” DelBene said. “So this is part of our day on…a few hours here will make a big difference.”
Alec Roseta, a UW student who helped lead the event, said he was amazed at the progress they had made after only one hour.
“We’ll have to double our plant count probably, which is great,” he said.
Each student supervised local volunteers and taught them how to properly remove the invasive plants.
Sam Hopkins, another UW student, said their group has spent the past few months planning the restoration. Most of the students are environmental science and resource management majors and organized the project as a part of their capstone project.
The students worked over the following days to reintroduce native plant species and replace the blackberries.
“It’s been fun,” Roseta said on Monday. “It’ll be a great next three or four days and we’ll see where it goes from there.”