Volunteers of all ages spent Saturday, Nov. 18 planting native trees as part of "Get Down and Dirty with Water Tenders, Part II."
The tree planters were windblown and muddy but elated as they completed their efforts.
"You know you have been successful when people leave the event feeling good about what they have accomplished," said Elouise Pritchett, Water Tenders president and co-chair of Down and Dirty Part II.
That was the case Nov. 18 when Water Tenders and their Bear Creek Buddies along with volunteers from several Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops, high school environmental clubs, other volunteers and King County employees set out 375 native plants at the county-owned Whitlock Property park on Paradise Lake Road.
It was a special occasion for many. For Water Tenders and Waterways 2000, this concluded a successful two-part pilot project.
Waterways 2000 is made up of staff from King County's Parks Department and Surface Water Management Division. Although Waterways 2000 is chaired by a non-governmental worker, the "Get Down and Dirty With Water Tenders, Parts I and II" was the first time King County has formally partnered with a community group to plan and implement a community-wide event.
Water Tenders president and "Down & Dirty" co-chair, Ellouise Pritchett, had only positive things to say about this event.
"The county people were a delight to work with" she said. Pritchett also pointed out that with budget cuts and reductions in force, pooling resources and partnering with community groups is one way to augment resource stewardship.
Odwalla, bottlers of gourmet juices, has been impressed with efforts by King County SWM and its community partners to ensure continuing clean water, and company officials decided to show their support by donating their new, bottled water to events that promote and protect water quality.
"Get Down and Dirty Part II" was chosen as the event to receive bottles of geo-thermal spring water from the first run of the new line.
Boy Scout Troop 571 took part in both Part and I and II of the Water Tenders project.
Older boys from the troop put in several hours on a hot August day clearing more of the desired planting area of Scot's Broom and blackberries.
Younger members of the troop participated in the November planting.
"Continuity of involvement at this site will be of great benefit to our members, " said Deb Grove, one of the troop leaders.
"I am truly impressed." Pritchett said. "These kids come from Redmond and Issaquah to lend a hand. They work hard, steady and fast. We welcome their involvement in continuing maintenance efforts."
Water Tenders has adopted the Whitlock site through the King County Adopt-A-Park program. Options for the troop to formalize their commitment to the site include adopting it through King County Parks or through Water Tenders' Bear Creek Buddies outreach program.
The Adopt-A-Program is open to groups only. Any group with the ability to provide minimum maintenance requirements is eligible to adopt a park through King County Parks. Call Parker Xander, 296-2990.
Individuals who wish to make an ongoing commitment to the upper Bear Creek conservation area parks and open spaces may do so through Water Tenders. Although these individuals are welcome to join Water Tenders, membership is not required. Call Ellouise Pritchett, 485-2056, after Jan. 10, 1996.