Hosted by the city of Kirkland’s Green Kirkland Partnership and Seattle-based nonprofit EarthCorps, the city’s Earth Day celebration at Edith Moulton Park was a showcase of environmental care as volunteers from all over the Eastside dedicated themselves to a day of forest restoration.
Held on April 20, the event welcomed a total of 149 volunteers — 90 adults and 59 youth — who spent the day improving new areas of the 26-acre park. The team removed ivy and blackberry brambles from an area spanning roughly two-thirds of an acre, spread four truckloads of mulch and hauled countless loads of debris, contributing a total of 604 volunteer hours.
City Councilmember and former park board member Kelli Curtis attended the event and praised event organizers and volunteers for giving up their Saturday to care for the park. Thanks to the city’s thriving volunteer population, continuous emphasis on sustainability and consistent level of environmental advocacy, Kirkland celebrates Earth Day every day, Curtis said in a press release.
“In 2018 volunteers spent 10,000 hours in restoration work in 23 parks, planting 4,000 native shrubs, trees and ground cover,” she said in the release. “The work that [volunteers] do is so hugely important, and we really are grateful.”
Many volunteer groups engaged in the effort, including Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering, the Kirkland Youth Council, Kirkland Cub Scout Packs 428 and 550, First Tech Credit Union, Columbia Bank, Girl Scout Troop 41282, Evia Unite, GEICO Cares, PCC Community Markets and the Wildcats, an environmentally motivated group of fourth grade girls from Canyon Creek Elementary School.
According to the release, ICERV volunteer Tasnim Rehamani loved the opportunity to make a difference in the Kirkland community, where ICERV has been volunteering since about 2014. EarthCorps and Kirkland city leaders welcomed the ICERV team with open arms and made them feel proud to be part of such an important effort, she said in the release.
“Our ICERV volunteers really enjoyed learning about all of the different plants and trees and what they mean to the environment. We were also appreciative of the local businesses that donated snacks and beverages to keep everyone energized throughout the day,” Rehamani said in the release. “As an added bonus, we got to see a whole new side of the park. Although my son’s school holds a salmon release event at the creek every year, we never realized how big it was.”
A total of 18 volunteers from ICERV helped the city celebrate Earth Day at the park.
Coffee was provided by Mercurys Coffee Co., with lunch offered by Domino’s Pizza and PCC Community Markets.
Edith Moulton Park was welcomed into the city’s parks system with the 2011 annexation. In 2012, Kirkland voters approved a parks levy to help preserve, maintain and enhance the city’s network of parks and natural areas. A total of $1 million in levy funds were used to renovate Edith Moulton Park, with improvements including gravel pathways, boardwalks, a picnic pavilion, children’s play equipment and restrooms.
The restoration event at Edith Moulton was just one in a series of city-coordinated sustainability events held throughout the month of April in celebration of Earth Month. The project was coordinated by EarthCorps with funding provided by a grant from the King Conservation District.