E njoy the sunshine this weekend, but make plans to head to Lake Wilderness Park next Saturday morning to help clean up the January storm debris.
“We’re trying to keep our costs as close to zero as we can” by recruiting volunteers, says Greg Brown, Parks and Recreation Director.
WHERE: swimming beach
WHEN: 9 a.m. Feb. 11
The event begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 11 at the swimming beach, where city staff will hand out instructions (and treats). Brown asks volunteers to bring tools such as rakes, shovels and wheelbarrows or carts. Waste Management is donating vegetation trash bins that the company will haul away for recycling.
“We want hand tools and hands,” Brown says. Staff will handle chainsaws and backhoes for larger branches, but volunteers are needed for most of the work. Parks and Rec only has six employees, and the Public Works Department has its hands full cleaning up along roads.
A similar storm in 2003 wreaked similar havoc on the park, and Brown says 175 community members came out for the clean up.
“If there’s one thing that’s unique about Maple Valley, it is that … we all get out and volunteer and pull up our bootstraps and get involved to help the community,” Brown says. “That’s what’s so great about Maple Valley.”
This storm has been the biggest since 2003. Brown says Lake Wilderness Park is lucky not to have sustained any real structural damage.
Most of the damage was to deciduous trees such as black locusts because they have a harder time sustaining the weight of ice than evergreens do. Brown is consulting an arborist to decide how to prune or remove the damaged trees.
Many of the trees were planted when the park was created in the 1920s and ‘30s, so they are nearing the end of their lifespan and tend to be more fragile.
“The bigger branches that have come off those trees have really damaged the integrity of those trees, so now the question is: How may trees are we going to lose?”
- More information on Maple Valley web site HERE.
- See related story HERE.
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