EARTH DAY: County Executive in North Highline to launch ‘3 Million Trees’

April 22nd, 2021 Tracy Posted in Environment, King County, White Center news Comments Off on EARTH DAY: County Executive in North Highline to launch ‘3 Million Trees’

(King County Executive’s Office photos)

Nine months after touring North Highline’s future county park, King County Executive Dow Constantine returned there for Earth Day to launch the “3 Million Trees” initiative. From the announcement:

King County Executive Dow Constantine on Earth Day joined community partners to kick off 3 Million Trees, an initiative that will plant, protect, and prepare a combined three million trees throughout the region by the end of 2025.

The initiative is part of Executive Constantine’s proposal for the 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan, which includes strategies to cut greenhouse gas emissions countywide in half by the end of this decade. Under 3 Million Trees, King County will plant 500,000 trees, accelerate land conservation to protect intact forestland this is absorbing carbon today, and prepare forests for warmer, drier summers that are occurring as the result of climate change.

“Earth Day is a moment for reflection, for inspiration and, most importantly, for action, which is why we are kicking off 3 Million Trees today,” said Executive Constantine. “We will build on the momentum of our successful 1 Million Trees initiative to achieve even more ambitious goals: increase urban tree canopy, protect forestland that this absorbing carbon now, and prepare forests for climate impacts.”

King County Parks’ Volunteer Program staff can assist residents and organizations that want to participate in the initiative. In addition to tree planting, volunteer coordinators organize events to remove noxious weeds and provide educational opportunities.

Executive Constantine kicked off the initiative with partners at a new urban park in unincorporated North Highline that King County acquired in 2020. King County crews, along with Friends of the Trail and Dirt Corps, have removed more than 7 tons of debris and truckloads of invasive species from the once-neglected greenspace. Native spring vegetation – including Pacific waterleaf and trillium – once covered by invasive Himalayan blackberry and ivy are coming back to life now that they have room to grow. The protected greenspace is beginning to offer better habitat for birds, pollinators, and wildlife in addition to offering public health benefits in a neighborhood that previously lacked access to open space.

See the rest of the announcement here.

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Time to take out the tree: How to recycle yours

January 1st, 2021 Tracy Posted in Environment, Holidays, White Center news Comments Off on Time to take out the tree: How to recycle yours

O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree … time to take you out before you dry out. If you have curbside service from Waste Management, you can put yours out with your yard waste – just be sure it’s cut into sections no longer than four feet. Or if you just want to drop off the entire tree, here’s an option the next two days:

Annual Scout Troop Christmas Tree Recycling will be Jan. 2 & 3

January 2, 2021 – January 3, 2021

Burien Eagles, 920 SW 150th Street

9 am-4 pm both days

Local Scout Troop 375/8375 will be holding their annual Christmas Tree Recycle the weekend of Jan. 2 & 3, 2021. Bring your tree to their recycling station at the FOE Burien Eagles Lodge parking lot, located behind the Countryside Cafe. No flocked trees please. Suggested Donation $5.

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BURN BAN: Stage 2 for King County

September 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, Weather, White Center news Comments Off on BURN BAN: Stage 2 for King County

With all that wildfire smoke polluting the air, and hot, dry weather continuing, here’s something else to heed:

King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts has issued a Stage 2 burn ban for King County, which prohibits all outdoor recreational fires. Outdoor cooking and heating appliances are limited to approved manufactured gas and charcoal units only.

The Stage 2 burn ban goes into effect immediately for King County, which was already in a Stage 1 burn ban. Today’s announcement comes after the National Weather Service issued a Red Flag fire danger warning for Northwest Washington that will last through Wednesday of this week.

Abnormally high temperatures and gusty winds, along with low humidity, have prompted both warnings. Large fires in Eastern Washington and Oregon have also contributed to reduced air quality in the Puget Sound region.

During a Stage 2 burn ban, any outdoor fire such as a backyard fire pit or campfire using chopped firewood or charcoal is prohibited. Under the ban, any person with a recreational fire who fails to take immediate action to extinguish or otherwise discontinue such burning when ordered or notified to do so can be charged with, up to and including, a misdemeanor.

Manufactured portable outdoor devices are allowed, including barbeques and patio warmers that are used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Approved fuel devices – including charcoal, natural gas or propane gas – are also allowed.

Ricketts says if residents must smoke, they should exercise extreme caution with their ashes or when they’re extinguishing cigarettes. The county asks residents to be diligent and respectful of their neighbors, and to remember this is a demanding time for first responders.

“The conditions – high temperatures, wind, low humidity – mean everyone should be on high alert about fire safety,” Ricketts said. “Things can become dangerous – and tragic – extremely fast with these conditions. Everyone should be careful.”

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County executive visits White Center Heights Park to celebrate tree-planting milestone

July 30th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, King County, White Center news 2 Comments »

(King County photo)

King County Executive Dow Constantine visited White Center Heights Park this morning to celebrate a milestone in the county’s tree-planting initiative. Here’s the announcement:

A partnership created by King County has surpassed the goal of planting one million trees throughout the region nearly a year ahead of schedule, achieving a milestone set by Executive Dow Constantine in the 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan.

Executive Constantine and partners celebrated the 1 Million Trees initiative at King County’s White Center Heights Park, where they planted the ceremonial first tree in 2016.

Constantine today thanked the partners, volunteers, and employees who surpassed the goal to plant one million trees throughout the region nearly a year ahead of schedule, achieving a major milestone for the county’s Strategic Climate Action Plan.

Executive Constantine in August will send the King County Council his proposal for the 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan, which will include a 3 Million Trees initiative that will maintain the accelerated pace for tree planting, protect forests and natural areas before they are lost forever, and prepare native forests for the impacts of climate change.

“In King County, we don’t just set ambitious goals to confront climate change – we create strong partnerships and mobilize volunteers to surpass them ahead of schedule,” said Executive Constantine. “We will build on this successful model to promote healthy, resilient forests for cleaner air and water, healthier habitat, and more tree cover in underserved communities.”

King County and more than 100 partners – cities, Tribes, nonprofits, youth organizations, schools, and businesses – have so far planted 1,122,535 trees in urban, suburban, and rural areas.

King County Parks’ Volunteer Program organized events throughout the region with more than 31,000 volunteers contributing to the initiative and helping restore parks. The county will offer more volunteer opportunities once it is permitted under Safe Start Washington.

The original goal – established in the 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan – was for King County to plant a half million trees with partners planting the remaining 500,000 trees by the end of 2020. King County and partners planted the one millionth tree in February, 11 months ahead of schedule.

The successful partnership created a strong foundation that will help advance the 30 Year Forest Plan, a shared vision developed by King County and partners to guide forest management to achieve multiple benefits in the coming decades.

Cleaner water and air, healthier habitat, more shade, less flooding

The initiative has produced immediate and lasting benefits, including cleaner air and water, reduced flood risks, cooler salmon-bearing streams, more tree canopy in neighborhoods, and healthier forests and public greenspaces.

The roots of healthy trees stabilize slopes and prevent erosion while forests and natural land absorb rainfall, reducing the flow into streams and preventing floods. Pacific Northwest forests are among the best in the world at storing carbon because native tress have long, productive lifespans.

Successful tree planting initiatives require more than simply putting a large number of trees in soil. That is why King County and its partners also take action to ensure that the newly planted trees have the water, mulch, and space they need to mature.

Here’s the story from that first planting in 2016.

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White Center Community Development Association, King County Housing Authority get new Zero Waste grants

February 28th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, King County, White Center news Comments Off on White Center Community Development Association, King County Housing Authority get new Zero Waste grants

Announced today by the King County Solid Waste Division:

The King County Housing Authority (KCHA) and the White Center Community Development Association will receive $40,800 in grant funding under a pilot project designed to promote recycling, decrease waste, and reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in King County’s unincorporated areas, starting with White Center.

King County’s Solid Waste Division and the Hazardous Waste Management Program launched the Zero Waste grant pilot program in White Center because it is among the most demographically diverse communities in King County’s unincorporated areas. White Center’s proximity to the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund site, two major airports, and a large industrial corridor is linked to health and economic disparities that continue to burden many residents.

“The grant from King County will provide key support to our White Center to White House Youth Leadership Program,” said Taylor Farley, WCCDA Development and Marketing Manager. “Funds will be used for youth education in proper recycling techniques and hazardous products management. Youth leaders will share what they’ve learned with the community, helping to transform thinking on environmental issues.”

“The King County grant will allow KCHA residents in White Center opportunities to live more sustainably,” said Patrick Malloy KCHA Resource Conservation Specialist. “We will reach our young people through an Eco Living Challenge to educate families on recycling and household hazardous waste management; our gardeners through a Green Gardening program to reduce green waste and the use of pesticides and herbicides; and all of the residents of the Greenbridge neighborhood through a 12 month program to reduce waste, recycle more, and properly manage household hazardous materials.”

Projects that will be funded are listed:

Eco Living Challenge – The King County Housing Authority was awarded $9,120 to teach 260 students at the Greenbridge and Seola Gardens Youth Clubs about waste reduction through recycling and composting, and about green alternatives to chemical-based commercial cleaning products.

Green Gardening – The Greenbridge and Seola Community Gardens is the place where up to 100 people will get hands-on training in organic gardening, composting, and natural pest management. The King County Housing Authority received $6,400 to carry out this program.

Greenbridge Waste Reduction and Recycling – An intensive year-long effort to spur recycling and responsible waste management, which will include collecting hazardous waste, will get underway at Greenbridge housing thanks to a $20,700 grant to the King County Housing Authority.

White Center Community Development Association – This organization will receive $4,580 to train young community leaders on best practices in composting, recycling, and waste reduction so they can share their knowledge with community members. Funding will also support paying for guest speakers on relevant environmental topics.

King County has set a goal to achieve zero waste of resources by 2030, as specified in King County Code and the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan. The Solid Waste Division is also committed to equitable service delivery.

Nonprofits, community groups, schools, special purpose districts, tribes, businesses, and independent municipal corporations were all eligible to compete for funding for projects designed to benefit the White Center community.

Grants will be funded by King County Solid Waste disposal and Haz Waste Program fees.

For more information about the Zero Waste Pilot Program Grant, please contact grants administrator Lucy Auster at 206-477-5268 or

Learn more about the Solid Waste Division at Learn more about the Hazardous Waste Management Program at

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SURVEY FOR YOU: Help grow King County’s Forest Plan

January 18th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, King County, White Center news Comments Off on SURVEY FOR YOU: Help grow King County’s Forest Plan

King County is working on a 30-year Forest Plan, and wants to know your thoughts, especially here in an urban unincorporated area, so they asked us to publish a request for your participation in a survey:

Our spectacular forests store carbon, cool streams and provide recreational opportunities. As we work with communities to develop a 30-year plan to expand forest cover and improve forest health, we’re conducting a public survey.

What is most important to you? Should we prioritize the role of our forests in confronting climate change? Or planting trees to improve air quality? Or promoting healthy forests in King County Parks? Or enhancing wildlife habitat? Or something else?

What are the most important actions King County can take with partners over the next 30 years? Should we focus on improving the health of existing forests or preserving additional forestland? Should we plant trees in areas where there is lower tree cover or should we plant more trees near rivers and streams?

We invite you to take a few minutes to take the brief survey to share your ideas for how we ensure that future generations continue to benefit from healthy, vibrant forests:

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LEGISLATURE: 34th District Sen. Joe Nguyen’s emissions bill passes

January 15th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Environment, Politics, White Center news 4 Comments »

News release from Olympia:

The Washington State Senate voted today to provide a more direct pathway for zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) production in the state.

Sponsored by Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-White Center), Senate Bill 5811 authorizes the state Department of Ecology to adopt California’s ZEV regulations and includes medium-duty vehicles in ZEV standards.

“As we look across the world and see the devastating effects of a changing climate, it’s important to understand that this is a crisis affecting us today,” said Nguyen. “We should be using every tool we have to reduce the harm we are experiencing and to protect our future generations. Devastating events like the wildfires raging in Australia are warning of a future that we should be working to prevent now.”

Building off work accomplished in the past two years that Democrats have controlled the state Legislature, the bill is another step forward in advancing environmental goals in Washington. Last session, Democrats passed a sweeping range of bills to protect environmental health, including orca recovery, toxic cleanup investments and 100% clean energy by 2045.

“This is a common-sense solution to address an ongoing problem,” said Nguyen. “Creating a clear path for zero emissions vehicles in Washington state is a step towards lowering the greenhouse gas emissions produced by our transportation sector and reducing air pollution.”

Having passed the Senate on a 26-23 vote, the bill will now move to the House for consideration.

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HeLP for Seola Pond: Here’s how to join in!

November 14th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Environment, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on HeLP for Seola Pond: Here’s how to join in!

We’ve reported before on community work at Seola Pond. Now, it’s getting some support from a new project of the King County Noxious Weed Control Program, which shared the photo and announcement:

On November 21 in White Center, The Healthy Lands Project (HeLP) is hosting a community open house about the restoration project at the Seola Pond green space and a free workshop on invasive weeds. HeLP will hold a volunteer planting event at Seola Pond on December 7, where neighbors can get hands-on experience planting native shrubs and trees and removing weeds to help make the green space a better place for people and nature. Volunteers at the work party will receive a free native plant to take home. Kids and families welcome!

Community Workshop and Open House
Thursday Nov. 21, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Grace Church, 10323 28th Avenue SW

Seola Pond Work Party
Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Seola Pond, 30th Avenue SW and SW 105th Street

These events are part of HeLP’s effort to support the community-led project to restore Seola Pond. In addition to the community events, HeLP contractor DIRT Corps will be removing invasive weeds this fall to make room for more native plants. For more information about events in White Center, contact Marta Olson, Education Specialist. For information about other upcoming events, Healthy Lands Project plans and how to participate, contact Dan Sorensen, HeLP Project Manager.

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North Shorewood Park gets TLC

July 12th, 2019 Tracy Posted in Environment, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill Loring for the photos and report on this recent community cleanup:

KC Parks held a work party with a small but hard working group to help native plants some planted over the past several years to survive by cleaning out mostly non-native (particularly Himalayan blackberries) at North Shorewood Park. The volunteers were from Facebook. Weather turned out perfect.

This is part of a continuing effort to reclaim North Shorewood Park from overgrowth to open it up while preserving the upper area in its native state. Keep sight lines open so people feel safe using the open field and playground. Of course, there is the dog group which does a great deal to keep it clean and safe or a regular basis.

Both Sean and Steve from KC Parks did a great job setting it up bringing us snacks that another “volunteer” tried getting to just as the cleanup began!

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Signed up yet? Fall 2018 edition of Duwamish Alive! approaches

October 10th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Environment, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on Signed up yet? Fall 2018 edition of Duwamish Alive! approaches

Twice a year, you have a chance to make a difference along the Duwamish River and its watershed. Here’s the announcement for October 20th’s Duwamish Alive! multi-site work party:

What is the connection between the Duwamish River and our local Orca? The Duwamish River is home to 5 species of salmon including the vital Chinook, which is a critical food source for Puget Sound Orca. Orca depend on the dwindling Chinook runs for the majority of their diet, and Chinook depend on healthy salmon habitat in the Duwamish.

Duwamish Alive! will have volunteers working throughout the Duwamish Watershed to improve the health of our green spaces, creeks and especially our Duwamish River, which provide salmon critical habitat. Volunteers are needed at many local sites which provide critical habitat for our community and our river.
Duwamish Alive! celebrates the connection of our urban parks and open spaces to our river, wildlife and community. Starting at 10:00 am, volunteers of all ages, at multiple Duwamish sites throughout the watershed from river to forest, will participate in a day of major cleanup and habitat restoration in the ongoing effort to keep our river alive and healthy for our communities, salmon and orca.

A special opening ceremony will be held at T107 Park, across from the Duwamish Longhouse at 10:00, with special honoring of George Blumberg and Willard Brown for their work in restoring the Duwamish
Opening Ceremonies:

T107 Park 9:45 – 10:30
Cecile Hansen, Duwamish Tribe
James Rasmussen, Presentation of Honors
Chris Wilke from Puget Soundkeeper, Stewardship
Sameer Ranade from Front and Centered Highlighting I-1631

Longfellow Creek at Greg Davis Park 10:00
Representative Joe Fitzgibbon from the 34th District, State House

Duwamish Alive! is a collaborative stewardship effort of conservation groups, businesses, and government entities, recognizing that our collective efforts are needed to make lasting, positive improvements in the health and vitality of the Green-Duwamish Watershed. Twice a year these events organize hundreds of volunteers to work at 14 sites in the river’s watershed, connecting the efforts of Seattle and Tukwila communities.

To volunteer, visit to see the different volunteer opportunities and to the contact for the site of your choice, or email This is a family friendly event for all ages, tools, instruction and snacks are provided.

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SATURDAY: Duwamish River Festival 2018

August 17th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Environment, South Park, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Duwamish River Festival 2018

Just down the hill in South Park, noon-5 pm Saturday (August 18th), and you’re invited – stop by Duwamish Waterway Park (7900 10th Ave. S.).

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2 weeks to Duwamish Alive! Want to volunteer?

April 7th, 2018 Tracy Posted in Environment, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on 2 weeks to Duwamish Alive! Want to volunteer?

Two weeks until the twice-yearly Duwamish Alive! multi-site work party celebrates Earth Day, on Saturday, April 21st, at sites around the area. If you’d like to help, sign up fast – some spots are already full! Here’s the list, and how to volunteer.

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BURN BAN: Now in effect, countywide

August 2nd, 2017 Tracy Posted in Environment, Health, White Center news Comments Off on BURN BAN: Now in effect, countywide

With pollution from wildfire smoke continuing to increase, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency has put a Stage 1 burn ban in effect countywide. Here’s what that means.

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Seen in White Center: ‘Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea’

July 8th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news Comments Off on Seen in White Center: ‘Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea’

You might have seen these advocacy walkers passing through White Center earlier today – thanks to “Kailua Boy” for the photos. It’s the second day of the Walk to Protect and Restore Our Salish Sea, which started on the downtown Seattle waterfront Friday afternoon, stopped for the night at the Duwamish Tribe Longhouse in West Seattle, and is headed south toward Des Moines today.

Tomorrow, the walkers head for Tacoma, where they plan to rally against a liquefied-natural-gas plant project.

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Update on ‘The Bog’: Trash removed, vegetation trimmed

March 13th, 2017 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news Comments Off on Update on ‘The Bog’: Trash removed, vegetation trimmed

King County senior engineer Ken Gresset shared this update on a recent cleanup at “The Bog”:

The group “Friends of the Trail” removed 4 truckloads of garbage (down from the last cleanup) from the site, mostly from the cell between the pedestrian bridge and SW 100th Street.

At the same time, some of the vegetation was trimmed to enable easier viewing of anyone who might be hiding in the thicket. At last we have good news to report! The quantity of syringes has dropped almost in half. Many thanks to Deputy Kennamer for his diligent patrolling and enforcement of the no-trespassing areas and to King County Housing Authority for their assistance in helping keep the site trimmed and cleaned up.

Here’s what the area looked like a year and a half ago.

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1 year after White Center pond cooking-oil spill, La Mexicana tells state it will cover $333,729 cleanup bill

October 24th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news Comments Off on 1 year after White Center pond cooking-oil spill, La Mexicana tells state it will cover $333,729 cleanup bill

(Canada goose captured for cleanup – WCN photo from November 2015)

The company responsible for the cooking-oil spill in a White Center pond last year (13th SW/SW 100th) says it will cover the third-of-a-million-dollar cleanup cost, much of which went toward rescuing more than 50 birds. That’s according to this update from the state Department of Ecology:

A White Center food manufacturing company, La Mexicana, has agreed to repay the state for its efforts to clean up vegetable oil that spilled into a White Center pond last year. The company has also committed to fund a local environmental restoration project.

The Washington Department of Ecology, other agencies and contractors spent weeks cleaning up the vegetable oil, and catching and cleaning more than 80 oiled birds in November and December 2015. The response efforts and cleanup work totaled $333,729, and about $250,000 of this amount was dedicated to wildlife response. La Mexicana said it will pay for the bill.

La Mexicana voluntarily accepted responsibility after realizing the spill had occurred at its White Center facility.

The spill happened on Oct. 30, 2015, when a 200 gallon container of cooking oil accidentally tipped over and spilled an estimated 175 gallons into a storm drain. That storm drain emptied into the White Center pond a few blocks away.

“La Mexicana became an involved response partner as soon as they realized the oil in the pond and the impacted wildlife were a result of the spill at their facility,” said David Byers, Ecology’s spill response supervisor.

Since the spill, La Mexicana has purchased spill response equipment, posted instructions and trained employees to contain, clean up and immediately report future spills.

Cooking and other edible oils, while less toxic to wildlife than petroleum products, cause environmental harm. The oil coats birds’ feathers causing them to lose insulation and buoyancy. Oil also damages habitat for other aquatic life by reducing oxygen levels and creating physical impacts on the water surface and shoreline.

“La Mexicana cares deeply about our community and the environment. We are grateful that we were able to partner with the Department of Ecology to restore the pond and the impacted wildlife. La Mexicana has implemented robust programs to ensure the protection of our natural resources, and the continuous improvement of our processes, products, and services,” said William Fry, general manager of La Mexicana.

Along with cost recovery, the state issued a separate $4,813.83 damage assessment to La Mexicana for harm to natural, cultural and publically owned resources. The assessment is based on the amount spilled and the resources placed at risk.

Ecology also fined La Mexicana $2,000 for spilling oil and failing to promptly report the spill. Ecology penalties may be appealed to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board.

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Next Saturday, Duwamish Alive! needs you to help our area’s only river

October 16th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Environment, How to Help, White Center news Comments Off on Next Saturday, Duwamish Alive! needs you to help our area’s only river

Next Saturday, it’s one of the two dates each year when hundreds of people volunteer to help our area’s only river, during the multi-work-party Duwamish Alive! event. Here’s how and where you can help:

Join our community effort to restore native habitat within the Duwamish Watershed on Saturday, October 22nd, while celebrating the connection of our urban forests to our river and salmon. Starting at 10:00 am volunteers will gear up at multiple Duwamish sites including one of our largest urban forests – the Duwamish Greenbelt to participate in planting and removing invasive weeds in an effort to keep our river alive and healthy for our communities, salmon and the Puget Sound. Volunteers are still needed at:

Pigeon Point Park
Roxhill Bog Park, headwaters of Longfellow Creek
Delridge Wetlands, tributary of Longfellow Creek
Longfellow Creek at Greg Davis Park
Hamm Creek/Duwamish Substation along the river
Herrings House Park, along the river

To volunteer, visit to see the different volunteer opportunities and RSVP to the contact for the site of your choice, or email

Other work sites include a river cleanup by kayak, shoreline salmon habitat restoration, and native forest revitalization while enjoying our autumn. Families, company groups, clubs, individuals, schools, community organizations, are encouraged to participate, and no experience is necessary.

The workday at all 15 sites begins at 9:30 with volunteer sign in and concludes at 2 PM. Refreshments, tools, and instructions will be provided. All ages and abilities welcomed.

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King County leaders launch ‘One Million Trees’ with White Center Heights Park planting

April 14th, 2016 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news 2 Comments »

(King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks photos)

White Center Heights Park was the scene of a big event at midday today – King County Executive Dow Constantine, King County Council chair Joe McDermott, students from WCH Elementary, and other community members gathered to plant a little tree symbolizing something big. Here’s the county announcement:

A small Douglas fir planted in White Center Heights Park signaled the start of a multi-year partnership led by King County Executive Dow Constantine to plant one million trees countywide by 2020 – an initiative to confront carbon pollution while improving the health of natural habitats and neighborhoods across the county.

“By mobilizing the community to plant one million trees across King County, we will reduce carbon pollution and produce healthier forests, streams and neighborhoods,” said Executive Constantine. “It’s an ambitious project – one that will help ensure our region remains a national leader in the effort to confront climate change.”

Executive Constantine was joined at the kickoff of the One Million Trees campaign by leaders from Forterra, The Nature Conservancy, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, The Nature Consortium, and The Boeing Co. – each of whom have committed to planting trees and expanding the partnership.

The event served as an invitation for community groups, schools, nonprofits, tribes, local businesses, donors, volunteers, residents, cities and other public agencies across King County to participate in the initiative.

Planting one million trees by 2020 is a target action in King County’s 2015 Strategic Climate Action Plan, a road map for how King County will reduce carbon pollution, increase transit, protect open spaces, and prepare communities for the impacts of a changing climate.

The positive impact that trees can have on air and water quality is particularly noticeable in this region. A recent U.S. Forest Service study on the role of forests in combatting climate change revealed that, acre for acre, native Pacific Northwest temperate forests store more carbon than forestland found nearly anywhere else in the world.

Earlier this year, Earth Day Network launched a global campaign to plant 7.8 billion trees worldwide, one for every person on the planet, by April 22, 2020 – the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

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FOLLOWUP: The birds are back at cleaned-up White Center pond

November 24th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Environment, White Center news, Wildlife 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill Loring for the photos from the White Center pond cleaned up after a cooking-oil spill, showing the birds were back just a few days after the first 13 cleaned-up ducks were returned. No way to know if any are the same; wildlife authorities told us they were not banding the cleaned-up birds or otherwise tracking them.

On Monday, one neighbor reported seeing the oiled great blue heron that as of last check hadn’t yet been rescued. The Department of Ecology says that if you see any wildlife in distress – please call this hotline: 800-22-BIRDS.

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VIDEO: Rescued birds go free after White Center pond oil cleanup

November 18th, 2015 Tracy Posted in Environment, Steve Cox Memorial Park, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: Rescued birds go free after White Center pond oil cleanup

In our video, you see post-cleanup freedom for 13 of the birds captured at the oil-contaminated White Center stormwater-retention pond. A team from PAWS brought them back to the area and joined state and county reps in opening the carriers and watching them go free. We first reported on the pond problem a week and a half ago; last Friday, the state announced that a WC food-manufacturing business, La Mexicana, had taken responsibility. They say the pond is now clean enough for the birds to return to it safely, but they were released Wednesday morning across the street at Steve Cox Memorial Park. As you can see in the video, all 13 brought back by PAWS were mallards; crews have captured 78 in all, a mix of mallards and Canada geese. Four birds did not survive, including two that were euthanized, according to the state Ecology Department.

Ecology spokesperson Larry Altose says oil-recovery efforts wrapped up at the pond Tuesday, as contractor National Response Corporation removed the last cleanup materials. NRC’s subcontractor Focus Wildlife captured the oiled birds and, Altose says, “housed and treated the birds at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society Wildlife Center in Lynnwood,” where, he adds, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife “supplied a bird rescue trailer to provide extra space for the effort.”

Of the 61 birds still in treatment after Wednesday’s release, he adds, 27 are mallards and 34 are geese. All four of the birds that died were mallards. A WDFW spokesperson confirmed that this is the largest bird-rescuing operation in our state in some time, in terms of spill recovery.

Meantime, as for the birds in the first release …

… we last saw them taking a few test flights around the field. If you see oiled or distressed birds, WDFW asks, call 800-22-BIRDS, but don’t “approach or handle the wildlife,” the state asks, adding that “WDFW asks dog and cat owners in the area to keep their pets under control, as oiled birds are less able to escape from animal attacks.”

P.S. In addition to reporting to the state, the federal EPA also tells us they are interested in information about environmental violations – here’s how to report them. (You can also call the local office directly at 206-553-8306.)

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