Check out photos and a note from Alex from EarthCorps. Thank you to all our awesome volunteers!!
We loved working Philanthro! Seriously, you brought a wonderful group with you who worked hard, stayed positive, and were tons of fun to be around—a great combo.
It’s always exciting to work with a new group of volunteers, particularly young professionals who are intent on doing good AND having fun, so we were emphatically anticipating the day to work with Philanthro at Washington Park, an Olmstead-designed park and one of Seattle’s most treasured greenspaces. Washington Park, like many of Seattle’s Parks, is overrun with invasive plants, such as Himalayan Blackberry and English Ivy. Volunteers braved the blackberry thorns and mounds of morning glory (another invasive) to free the native trees and shrubs onsite and make space for native plants that will be planted in the fall. All in all we cleared 3100 sq. ft of Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy, Morning Glory, and many other harmful species!
Invasive plants like these were brought to Seattle, either purposefully or accidentally, and without natural competitors, they spread and take over our ecosystems. In Seattle, this poses a particular threat, as plants such as English Ivy, grow into the tree canopy, greatly weighing down branches and creating a sail-like top that causes the trees to topple over in a storm. In combination with the blanket of invasive plants on the ground, this prevents conifer seedlings and other native plants from re-seeding, eventually leaving us with an invasive plant “desert.” The result, if it were to happen to all of our parks, would be disastrous.
Recognizing the serious threat facing Seattle’s ecosystems, in 2004 Mayor Nichols, Parks and Recreation staff, and a coalition of neighborhood leaders and environmental organizations formed the Green Seattle Partnership, a public/private initiative to place 2500 acres of Seattle’s parks in restoration—removing harmful invasive plants and planting native trees and shrubs to take their place. EarthCorps plays active role in the Green Seattle Partnership, as our volunteer program brings over 14,000 people per year to help restore the forests of Puget Sound, helping to meet the goals of the Green Seattle Partnership while creating an active environmentally-minded community.
EarthCorps’ mission is to build global community through local environmental service. EarthCorps envisions a global community of young environmental leaders and engaged citizens working to build strong local communities that support healthy habitats. EarthCorps’ programs bring together young people from the USA and around the world to learn about environmental restoration and work together. Our efforts unite best practices in environmental restoration with a community-based approach to service, education and action. Together with a global network of partners, volunteers and friends, EarthCorps restores key ecological sites around the Puget Sound region and around the world.
We’d love to work with Philanthro again! If you’d like experience Seattle’s parks in a unique way, we host volunteers events every weekend, sometimes even more than one event per weekend, including events in Kirkland, Mercer Island, and Federal Way. To see our volunteer opportunities and register for events, just visit www.earthcorps.org/volunteer.php
Also, if you would like to donate to EarthCorps to support one of our unique environmental restoration or training programs for young adults, visit www.earthcorps.org/donate.php to easily make a donation.
Thanks again for supporting EarthCorps and helping restore Seattle’s forests!
Project Manager, EarthCorps