Volunteers plant shrubs along the Duwamish River. HEIDI SANDERS/Tukwila Reporter

Volunteers help plant shrubs, trees along Tukwila’s Duwamish River

About 45 volunteers spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday planting shrubs and trees along the Duwamish River in Tukwila.

The effort was coordinated by the Green Tukwila Partnership – an initiative between the City of Tukwila, non-profits including Forterra, EarthCorps, and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and the Tukwila community to care for public parks and natural open space throughout the city.

The partnership was established last fall.

“It has been a good start we are excited to see how it all goes,” said Nicole Marcotte, a stewardship associate for Forterra.

On Monday, volunteers – including a contingent of students from Mercer Island High School – planted 180 shrubs and trees along the river bank near BECU’s headquarters.

“This area is going to be an active restoration project for years to come,” Marcotte told volunteers before they started working.

Previously, volunteers removed blackberry plants along the shoreline, which had taken over forcing out other vegetation.

Restoring a variety of plants and trees is important to the river’s ecosystem, Marcotte said.

“The goal is to restore over a mile of the shoreline,” she said.

The Duwamish River is one of 53 sites in Tukwila identified in the Green Tukwila Partnership’s 20-year plan.

The goal of the partnership is to connect people to nature, while restoring and preserving parks and green spaces.

“We really want (residents) to see the value of all these really good places,” Marcotte said. “Some people may not even know they have a park in their neighborhood.”

Tukwila is the ninth city in the region to become a part of the Green City Partnership.

What the partnership looks like depends on the city, Marcotte said.

“With Tukwila, we will play a big role,” she said.

The next event will be the Duwamish Alive work party on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22.

More than 160 people took part in the last Duwamish Alive work day, Marcotte said.

“We hope for numbers like that again,” she said.

The Green Tukwila Partnership is looking for residents interested in becoming forest stewards. Volunteers will be trained to lead restoration events and adopt a park or green space to care for. There will be an open hour in the spring or summer to provide more information.

To learn more about the Green Tukwila Partnership, visit forterra.org/subpage/green-tukwila-partnership.

A volunteer loosens the roots on a plant.

Volunteers work along the Duwamish River in Tukwila. HEIDI SANDERS/Tukwila Reporter

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