Northwest NEWS

September 27, 1999

Front Page

Sammamish River 'Global ReLeaf' month begins Oct. 2

Global ReLeaf

Last year, 500 volunteers showed up to plant along the Sammamish River at Wilmot Park in October. The same number are needed again to plant 4,500 native trees and bushes along the shores of the Sammamish River.
Photo courtesy of City of Woodinville.

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--An "early action project" to help restore salmon habitat by planting 15,000 native trees along the Sammamish River seeks 400-500 volunteers on four October Saturdays, Oct. 2 to Oct. 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

   The project--sponsored by the Sammamish Watershed Forum, King County Department of Natural Resources, King County Parks System, and the cities of Bothell, Redmond, and Woodinville--responds to the Endangered Species Act listing of Puget Sound Chinook Salmon. As part of "Global ReLeaf for the Puget Sound," these plantings are part of the regional cooperative effort to plant 20 million trees for the new millenium.

   The local project's first phase will plant 4,500 plants south of Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville on Oct. 2, under the management of John Markuson, City of Woodinville Volunteer Coordinator (425-489-2700, ext. 298).

   "We need more kids to help," said Markuson. "This is a great opportunity to educate them on the Endangered Species Act and on the work of the Sammamish Watershed Forum, and it lets them get directly involved in building their future environment. We're hoping to get the Sammamish River reclaimed in 10 years.

   "Many hands make light work. Last year, 500 people showed up for the planting in Wilmot Park. We finished that project, expected to take 4-5 hours, in less than three hours. As the native plants grow, they will hang over the river, providing shade to lower the water temperature and relief from the sun for salmon heading upriver to spawn."

   Last year, excessively warm water caused dozens of fish deaths in the river, according to King County. The plants will also protect juvenile salmon headed out to sea, hold the soil together, and filter pollutants to keep the water clean.

   Work gloves will be provided by Eddie Bauer and their tree-planting partner, American Forests. Jamba Juice and the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary also made generous contributions. Volunteers should dress for the weather, in work clothes and boots, and bring a shovel if possible. Due to limited parking at Wilmot, shuttles will run continuously from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Wilmot and the Park & Ride on 140th NE, just north of NE 175th in downtown Woodinville.

   On Oct. 9, volunteers will plant 4,500 plants along the river near the Red Hook Brewery on NE 145th, across the street from Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. Parking is available at the brewery. That phase is managed by Jo Goeldner (206-296-8361).

   On Oct. 16, Jaralyn Roetemeyer (425-486-2768) will direct the planting of 1,400 plants where Horse Creek meets the river in Bothell, off NE 180th St., just past the Bothell Landing Park.

   On Oct. 23, Tor Bell (206-296-2990) will head the planting of 3,000 trees at Marymoor Park in Redmond. Volunteers should park in the first righthand lot inside the park's West Lake Sammamish entrance.