Tree huggers, nature-lovers and green activists unite.
With Earth Day upon us, Federal Way residents can participate in a variety of events throughout the city to honor mother nature.
The Save Weyerhaeuser Campus group will hold its inaugural Earth Day walk at 10 a.m., April 22 at the parking lot of Christian Faith Center.
TaShawna Nash, a member of the group, said the walk will begin at 20th Avenue South and South 336th Street. The route will cut through the meadow, round a corner of a church, go under a bridge and up to a boat launch and back to the church for about 2.5 miles.
While donations are not required for participants, Nash said there is an option to donate to the group.
“I’d like to raise $5,000,” she said. “That would go towards administrative and legal fees for the Save Weyerhaeuser Campus.”
Federal Way residents started the Save Weyerhaeuser Campus group, a nonprofit, in summer 2016 after learning the former Weyerhaeuser Campus’s new developer had plans to construct industrial warehouses on 19 forested acres of the property’s 430 acres.
The nonprofit’s mission is to promote “responsible use and conservation of the unique character” of the land.
“We want to preserve the open spaces of the campus, maintain the character of the campus and protect the western shore,” Nash said, adding that protecting the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden and Pacific Bonsai Museum, which sit on the land, is also a priority.
Nash said the group has sought legal advice and research aid because of their interest in making sure future development lines up with their goals.
As for the walk, the group’s first goal is to bring awareness to the jewel that is Federal Way’s former Weyerhaeuser Campus and educate the public that utilizes its many trails for walking, jogging and exercising pets. Nash said that public access, which has been in place for 40 years, is no longer guaranteed once the land has been developed. This last goal is to promote healthy activity in the community.
“We’ve been thinking about it and saw Earth Day as a target,” Nash said, noting that it has taken a couple months of planning.
During the walk, volunteers will hand out buttons as they cheer people on along the route. The buttons read “Save Weyerhaeuser Campus” with a new logo.
In partnership with the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, the button will serve as free admission to the garden all day long. The garden will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s a peaceful, fun, family friendly event,” Nash said. “It’s not a march or a protest. We want to keep it fun.”