Lifestyle

Top 10 reasons to volunteer in Federal Way parks

Jill Thomas and her Northwest Ecology class from Green River Community College toured the West Hylebos Wetlands Park on Oct. 4. Thomas regularly takes her classes to the Federal Way site. - Andy Hobbs/The Mirror
Jill Thomas and her Northwest Ecology class from Green River Community College toured the West Hylebos Wetlands Park on Oct. 4. Thomas regularly takes her classes to the Federal Way site.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

By Lina Rose, Project manager, EarthCorps

Federal Way is home to some of the most unique and pristine urban wetlands holding rich human and natural history. Throughout the years, many dedicated community members through the Friends of the Hylebos have invested time and heart into helping these forested wetlands become healthier ecosystems.

Join us in protecting the health of the Hylebos Watershed as we enter into planting season. Even though we always think of the Northwest as a perpetually rainy region, we actually experience drought conditions here in the summer.

Planting in the fall and winter assures that new plants have time in wet soil to establish their root systems thereby giving them a far better chance at survival. The colder temperatures also allow plants to become dormant so they are much more resilient to transplanting.

Top 10 reasons to volunteer in Federal Way parks:

10. Learn how to identify Northwest native plants and get landscaping tips on how to use more native species in your garden. Wondering what that odd plant in your yard is? Learn how to identify and get some skills to manage invasive plants on your property.

9. Federal Way parks have a deep and rich history. Learn their stories.

8. Plant a tree in your local park and watch it grow up.

7. Come and meet other community members who also care about the health of Federal Way’s environment.

6. Got school or community service hours to fulfill? Our events are a great way to obtain hours without a huge time commitment. Did I mention that our events are really fun and engaging?

5. Volunteer and get some hands on experience with environmental restoration. If you are interested in an environmental career, come build your skills and resume.

4. Are you a teacher? Give your class an amazing hands-on service learning experience.

3. Families, come join us! Our events are a great way to instill a service ethic in children through a fun, educational and rewarding experience in nature.

2. Help us celebrate our Climate Action Month from Oct. 15 through Nov. 12, a month-long series of events focused on creating a healthier environment through tree planting and sustainable transportation. For more information, visit climateactionmonth.org.

1. Give back to your community! What better way to motivate yourself to get outside this fall and winter than doing environmental service. Volunteering in parks makes a difference and your help is needed!

Get involved

We can’t do it without you. People of all ages are welcome at our volunteer events. We will be planting trees and shrubs through the rest of the events this year. You do not need any skills or tools. We provide all the training and materials. We also welcome school and corporate groups.

To sign up, visit our volunteer calendar at www.earthcorps.org/volunteer.php. Upcoming events will be Oct. 15 at West Hylebos Wetlands, Nov. 12 at Dumas Bay and Dec. 3 at Brooklake Blueberry Farm.

Don’t want to get muddy? Join us at our annual auction on Oct. 22.

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Lina Rose, project manager for EarthCorps, can be reached at lina@earthcorps.org.

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