Reminder: Volunteer clean-up event at Veterans Park Saturday

Veterans Memorial Park (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

Volunteers are holding a clean-up event this weekend at Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, June 12 from 9 a.m.-noon. It will focus on clearing invasive species like English ivy, blackberries and laurel to both improve the park’s ecosystem and make its spaces more welcoming for park users; along with collecting trash and debris.

Organizers ask that volunteers “keep COVID-safe” by maintaining social distancing guidelines and masking when appropriate. They recommend participants dress appropriately with work gloves, closed-toe shoes, pants and long sleeves. While some tools will be available, volunteers should also plan to bring their own non-powered hand tools such as clippers or other implements for pulling out plants.

Rory Paine-Donovan, who is part of a group that helped organize Saturday’s event, said the invasive plant species “have sort of taken over a lot of the park space” and are “frankly hurting some of the tree health in the park.” The group also plans to regularly hold similar restoration- focused work events in the future as part of its efforts to adopt Veterans Memorial Park under the City of Mountlake Terrace’s adopt-a-park volunteer program. He added that Audrey Meyer, who serves on the Mountlake Terrace Recreation and Park Advisory Commission, has been instrumental in getting their clean-up efforts started.

Organizers said that volunteers will gather at the 58th Avenue West entrance to Veterans Memorial Park, which is located at 23400 58th Ave. W.

“I see Veterans Park as sort of the center piece for Town Center in many ways,” Paine-Donovan said. “Everyone likes its trees and certainly as we sort of reopen I think getting people more activated in the space and looking towards 2024 when the light rail station is open and people will be using the park a bit more I think it’s important that we give it a bit of love.”

Mountlake Terrace Parks Department staff will also be on site to help coordinate the work project and answer questions.

Paine-Donovan noted Saturday’s event is meant to be inclusive, and besides its focus on ecological restoration, organizers will also make an “offer or pitch for anyone who’s really interested in providing time on a monthly basis to do clean up or invasive plant removal.”

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