Yesterday volunteers from around the city joined together to restore the NE Queen Anne Greenbelt, an area of forested trails that connect two parks on the hillside just above Aurora Avenue North – Trolley Hill Park and MacLean Park.
After Trolley Hill Park, which features a community P-Patch, picnic area and play space, was created in 2002, Seattle Parks & Recreation worked on obtaining a .27 acre part of the greenbelt between Trolley Hill and MacLean that was at the time privately owned. Acquiring the piece of land in 2007, the city set on restoring the area between the two parks.
Yesterday EarthCorps, a non-profit organization dedicated to building community on a global scale through local environmental service, joined the Green Seattle Partnership, Friends of Queen Anne Parks and Seattle Parks & Recreation to restore the Greenbelt.
Over 60 volunteers from around King County and companies like Senture, Boeing and Summer Search donated four hours of their Saturday afternoon to clearing out invasive plants like Himalayan Blackberries and English Ivy, which had taken over the hillside making it impossible for native conifer trees to thrive.
The group spent the first day of this two-tiered project removing the invasive plants, going over areas that had already been cleared, and mulching the newly cleaned soil. In December volunteers will return to the site to plant young conifers and make sure invasive growth has not returned to the area. You can find more information on that event, including volunteer sign up here.
According to EarthCorps coordinator Elizabeth White,
What’s important is having community members that understand how important urban forests are and what they can do to take care of them.
White said the Queen Anne community has been very receptive to the project, “but there is still so much more to do.”
If everyone in Seattled volunteered four hours a year – just came out on a Saturday afternoon – it’s amazing what we could accomplish.
Her vision for the Queen Anne Greenbelt? Having the community organize a potluck, even just twice a year, where neighbors could come out and enjoy good food and even better company, while having fun and keeping the park clean. All it would take is a few hours one afternoon, two times a year.