Duwamish Alive will see hundreds of volunteers clean up water and shore Oct. 19

information from Duwamish Alive

Volunteers of all ages are invited to kick off the planting season with Nature Consortium on October 19th in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Extending over 500 acres in West Seattle, the greenbelt plays a critical role in filtering the air and water pollution in the Duwamish River corridor created by urban runoff and industrial waste.

On October 19th, hundreds of volunteers will come together in a day of service in an ongoing effort to help keep Seattle’s only river alive. Cleanup and restoration events will take place at 12 sites along the Duwamish River, both in the water and on the shore, as part of Duwamish Alive, a biannual day of service organized by the Duwamish Alive Coalition.

The coalition is a partnership between community, government, nonprofit, and corporate organizations working together to restore habitat in the Duwamish. The largest event of the day will be held in the West Duwamish Greenbelt, where Nature Consortium is expecting 200 volunteers.

Volunteers with Nature Consortium will help plant the first trees and shrubs of the 2012-2013 season. Like many urban forests, the West Duwamish Greenbelt has suffered the effects of logging, invasive species, urbanization, and loss of biodiversity. That’s why Nature Consortium is committed to restoring the greenbelt to the kind of healthy evergreen forest the Pacific Northwest is known for.

“The forest provides crucial ecosystem services to the communities within the Duwamish River watershed,” says Restoration Director Lili Allala, “by filtering storm water run-off, air pollution, noise pollution, sequestering carbon and providing habitat for animals such as our local red tailed foxes, eagles, and ensatinas (salamander).

“The work that our volunteers do is an integral part of the process of restoration and conservation of the forest and these services. This is truly a community project that couldn’t happen without empowered volunteers who are committed to connecting to their local green spaces and lending a hand to preserve them.”

According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Seattle metropolitan also ranks third nationwide in volunteering. In 2011 alone, 930,300 volunteers in the region donated a total of 111.9 million hours of service.

Nature Consortium works with volunteers year-round to restore the West Duwamish Greenbelt, removing invasive plants like Himalayan blackberry that prevent native plants from thriving. These native plants provide the pollution-filtering power that makes this forest a crucial resource.

For more information about Nature Consortium or to sign up to volunteer, visit www.naturec.org.

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