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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

September 13, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Shovel ready on the Duwamish: businesses dig into restoration

A work party kicks off what is intended as a multi-year restoration effort Friday from 1 to 4 p.m in Tukwila on the shoreline of the Duwamish behind the Boeing Employees Credit Union financial center in Tukwila. Joining in will be partners in the effort, the City of Tukwila and Forterra (formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy.)

There are lots of habitat restoration projects all over the region, led by many groups. This one is a little different in that it is a business-led effort put up as a challenge to other businesses in the area to pitch in as volunteers to help restore the river they call home.

The idea is to yank out invasive plants — Himalayan blackberry, for one — and clean up 150,000 square feet of shoreline along the Upper Duwamish, about 1.5 miles of riverbank. The effort got started as the brainchild of BECU employee Mike Arizona, who in 2010 began organizing groups of coworkers to rid the company’s headquarters property adjacent to the Duwamish of invasive plants.

Mike Arizona.jpg

BECU employee Mike Arizona started working to get invasive plants out of the company’s headquarters property as a volunteer back in 2010. While some clean up work is highly technical and expensive, there is nothing complicated about yanking out blackberry, and it helps restore the shoreline to native plants.

Photo courtesy BECU

before.jpg

Before work on the shoreline behind the BECU headquarters building, along the Duwamish. Photo by Mike Arizona

after.jpg

And after. Here is the same property, after clearing invasives. What a difference some effort makes. Photo by Mike Arizona

All tools and snacks for the work party will be provided. More than 80 volunteers had already signed up as of Thursday from businesses ranging from Otis Elevator to the City of Tukwila and American Medical Response.

The city of Tukwila is providing staff time, tools and more for the Challenge.

Sign up to participate on Forterra’s website or on contact volunteer@forterra.org

Or, just show up. Volunteers will be on hand to point the way to the restoration site.

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