Northwest NEWS

October 11, 1999

Local News

Sammamish ReLeaf a big success


Over 400 volunteers planted 4,000 willows along the bank of the Sammamish River on Oct. 2.

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter

   WOODINVILLE--"It was a truly remarkable effort--it left me speechless," said City of Woodinville Volunteer Coordinator John Markuson said about the Oct. 2 clearing and planting project of over 1,000 feet between the south ends of Wilmot and Woodin Creek parks.

   "People went further than the expected duties. In a spontaneous outpouring of energy, they started clearing out all the blackberry bushes on the east side of the trail," Markuson said. Mayor Don Brocha and Deputy Mayor Scott Hageman were reportedly among the fearless crew that left several huge piles of uprooted blackberries next to the trail.

   Nearly 400 volunteers, some of whom worked from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., removed a mountain of sod that filled the driveway of Woodin Creek Park before placing over 4,000 willows and a straw covering on the riverbank.

   "The Brownies were chomping at the bit and forced us to start early, at 9:30," said Markuson. "It gave us a great deal of pleasure to see how many young people showed up. We had kids of all ages, including Boy and Girl Scouts, Decca and Key Club (Kiwanis) members from Woodinville and Inglemoor High Schools, and Woodinville students of various ages who belong to the Earth Club, an environmental awareness group. We counted a total of 1,500 man-hours worked."

   Markuson said the City plans a later planting of 28 red maples in upper planting areas along that stretch of the trail. After a similar project on the west side of the river near Redhook Brewery last Sun., Oct. 9, two clearing and planting projects remain on this year's ReLeaf calendar: At the confluence of Horse Creek and the Sammamish River in Bothell, Sat., Oct. 16 (contact Jerallyn Roetemeyer, 425-486-2768); and at Marymoor Park in Redmond, Sat., Oct. 23 (contact Tor Bell, 206-296-2990).

   Sammamish ReLeaf is sponsored by the Sammamish Watershed Forum, King County Dept. of Natural Resources, King County Park System, and the cities of Bothell, Redmond, and Woodinville. The ReLeaf project is part of Global ReLeaf for the Puget Sound, which aims to plant 15 million trees for the new millennium.