Lifestyle

EarthCorps leads restoration efforts in Federal Way

A mother and son help at a recent EarthCorps volunteer event. - Courtesy photo
A mother and son help at a recent EarthCorps volunteer event.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

By Lina Rose, EarthCorps project manager

Have you noticed positive changes in your local parks? Restoration is happening in Federal Way!

EarthCorps/Friends of the Hylebos is leading community members in restoring Poverty Bay Open Space, West Hylebos Wetlands Park and Brooklake through funding from the City of Federal Way.

EarthCorps is also managing a special year-long grant at Dumas Bay Sanctuary from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation funded through FedEx. This grant awarded EarthCorps/FOH funding toward restoration efforts to improve the health of this important park, one of the few remaining stretches of native coastline connected to upland forest in the Puget Sound.

Nineteen-acre Dumas Bay Sanctuary also hosts a small colony of Great Blue Herons, along with many key bird species and native eel grass beds, which are important salmon habitat. Juvenile Cutthroat Trout and Coho Salmon were found in Joe Creek with runs through Dumas Bay Sanctuary draining into Dumas Bay.

Healthy wetlands and forests have many functions that they perform for a community like mitigate flood runoff, control erosion to protect neighboring properties, reduce noise, air and water pollution, provide wildlife with habitat and give people a place to go to recreate and enjoy being outside.

EarthCorps/FOH crews and community volunteers have worked to remove 1.4 acres of invasive plants from Dumas Bay Park and have planted 325 native shrubs and trees. Volunteers have come from down the street and far and wide.

Partnerships have included: TAF Academy, Green Gables Elementary School, Youth Ecology Group, Decatur and Todd Beamer High Schools, Federal Way Public Academy along with local families.

In October, EarthCorps/FOH will host a volunteer event for a group of exchange students from New Zealand, here in Washington through the Meeker Middle School New Zealand Exchange Program. This grant continues through December 2012. Be part of this special project by planting trees in Dumas Bay Park on Oct. 27.

We can't do it without you. Get involved.

Throughout the years, many dedicated community members through the Friends of the Hylebos have invested time and heart into helping these natural areas become healthier ecosystems. Join EarthCorps/FOH and the City of Federal Way in improving the health of local forests and wetlands as we enter into planting season. 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.

People of all ages, schools and corporate groups are welcome at our volunteer events. You do not need any skills or tools, we provide all the training and materials. To sign up, visit our volunteer calendar at www.earthcorps.org/volunteer.php.

Upcoming volunteer events:

• Sept. 29: Brooklake, invasive plant removal

• Oct. 6: Poverty Bay, planting

• Oct. 27: Dumas Bay Park, planting

• Nov. 10: West Hylebos Wetlands Park, planting

• Don’t want to get muddy? EarthCorps will host its annual gala, REVIVE, on Oct. 20. Visit www.earthcorps.org for more information or contact Lina Rose at lina@earthcorps.org.

 

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