Northwest NEWS

August 23, 1999

Local News

Volunteers needed for river work

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--John Markuson, City of Woodinville Volunteer Coordinator, is organizing volunteers for the "Sammamish Relief Project" that will take place on four Saturdays in October, starting Oct. 2. Markuson hopes to enlist at least 400 volunteers to take part in part or all of the clearing and planting project.

   "We're taking back 875 feet of the riverbank south of Wilmot Park," said Markuson. "We will remove the blackberries and Reed Canary Grass. The project will enhance water quality, surface management, and salmon recovery by removing that non-native vegetation and replacing it with native plants."

   Both blackberries and Reed Canary Grass engulf and choke native plants to death, said Markuson. The grass spreads through rhizones, which create an 8-9-inch root system. The blackberries also quickly spread root systems, both underground and wherever a branch touches down.

   Last Tuesday, Aug. 18, Markuson hosted an Emplyees Volunteer Forum, a program designed to encourage employees of Woodinville businesses to work on community projects. The Forum was attended by representatives of Barnes & Noble, Red Robin, Albertson's, Kinko's, and Jamba Juice.

   "Working together on community projects allows other citizen volunteers to get to know them outside the normal work environment. It also gives co-workers a chance to form stronger attachments and team spirit by working together in a natural environment, and volunteering strengthens their ties to the community," he said.

   Markuson said he invites any other business leaders, individuals, families, school personnel, service groups, and garden club members to call him at 489-2700.

   "If you come to volunteer, we'll find a project for you," said Markuson.