Get ready to help plan next King County Parks Levy

December 28th, 2023 Tracy Posted in Election, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on Get ready to help plan next King County Parks Levy

From King County:

The current (2020-2025) King County Parks Levy funds operations and maintenance of King County’s parks and trails, supports the growth and connection of regional trails, and establishes grant programs to expand access to recreation and protect open space for King County residents. (Learn more on the King County website)

Starting next year, King County parks will begin gathering input from communities across the county on what they would like to prioritize in a proposed 2026-2031 levy. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

Invite a staff member to your community meeting between late January and mid-April to talk about the levy and gather feedback.

Invite the Parks Mobile Engagement Team to a community event between late January and mid-April to table, provide information, chat with people, and get input on the levy.

If you’re interested in getting more involved and have an event on the calendar for April, Parks is looking for up to three groups to host them at an event that would serve as a Parks Levy community forum. Groups who host these events will be paid $75/hour and can be as involved as they’d like—anything from simply providing space for a table to co-planning, co-hosting, and shaping engagement.

In March and April, Parks will put out a virtual survey and host in-person and virtual community forums to collect input.

To learn more about these options, contact Project Manager Helen Potter (

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HELPING: Washington Trails Association volunteers at North Shorewood Park

September 26th, 2023 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on HELPING: Washington Trails Association volunteers at North Shorewood Park

Thanks to Gill Loring for the photos! Last weekend, North Shorewood Park got some TLC from the WTA – Washington Trails Association.

Damp weather didn’t stop this determined crew.

Yearning for a chance to help? Several other natural areas and parks have volunteer opportunities on the next Duwamish Alive! day – October 21st.

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YOU CAN HELP: White Center Heights Park needs you!

August 27th, 2023 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP: White Center Heights Park needs you!

Early heads-up to save a few hours on your calendar for this:

Here’s the direct link for registration.

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YOU CAN HELP! Volunteer Saturday at White Center Heights Park

May 31st, 2022 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP! Volunteer Saturday at White Center Heights Park

From Lina Rose at King County Parks – a chance to do a good deed while having a good time this Saturday (June 4th):

Our program lead community members in high quality service experiences in King County Parks with the goal of connection and engagement in the health of our parks. Together with our partners, we lead an average of 10,000 volunteers a year performing restoration, park improvement and building and maintaining trails. We weave environmental education into every event, to make for a rewarding and productive day in the park.

We’ve got a free, public event coming up on June 4th in partnership with Parkour Visions that we’d like to share with the White Center community. This special event is focused on connection to White Center Heights Park through environmental restoration, and through play. The event includes 3 hours of learning about the plants and animals of the park, digging out weeds and spreading compost mulch with an option to stay for an hour of parkour. Parkour Visions staff lead the parkour portion of the event and participants will receive instruction in parkour basics like the basic jump, landing, climbing and vaulting techniques. We ask that interested volunteers sign up in advance of the event so that we can plan our tools accordingly and ensure that all volunteers have the information that they need for the day.

To learn more and sign up please visit: Volunteer King County Parks

Date: Saturday, June 4, 9 am-1 pm

Location: White Center Heights Park

*Note that volunteers must show proof of vaccination in order to participate in this event. Please contact Crescent Calimpong, with questions about this event.

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HELPING: North Shorewood Park gets more volunteer love

March 31st, 2022 Tracy Posted in Parks, Volunteering, White Center news 2 Comments »

Thanks to Gill Loring for sharing photos from a recent volunteer event at North Shorewood Park. Crescent from King County Parks reported, “Together we planted 33 shrubs (evergreen huckleberry, black cap raspberry and serviceberry) and 1 Western Hemlock. It really was lovely to be at North Shorewood, get my hands in the dirt, and enjoy a beautiful park with you all. The plants you put in the ground will support future healthy habitat for bees, birds, wildlife, and people by providing things like food, shade and filtration of stormwater.”

Watch this page for future chances to help out!

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TOMORROW: Log Cabin’s Got Talent presents art-supplies pop-ups! Plus – deadline for talent show

March 18th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Arts, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

From Darlene Sellers at King County Parks, a two-part invitation – and part one happens tomorrow (Saturday, March 19th):

The White Center Teen Program (aka the Log Cabin) is gearing up for the 5th annual Log Cabin’s Got Talent Show set to premiere on zoom on Friday, March 25th from 5-6:30 pm. Visual and performing artists ages 12 – 19 are encouraged to submit original artwork and videos before 8 pm on Saturday, March 19th. Please reach out to Jonathan at or 206-482-1138 for details on how to submit. Art supplies and talent coaches currently available every Tue – Sat from 3-8pm at the WCTP. Categories for the 2022 LCGT Visual competition include drawing/painting, photography/digital design, and ceramics. All submissions will be eligible for viewing on the WCTP facebook page and youtube channel and top scoring artwork and performances will be featured in the LCGT zoom program on Friday, March 25th.

In addition to Log Cabin’s Got Talent on March 25th, family friendly craft projects and art supplies will be available on Saturday, March 19th in the following four King County Park locations:

1 PM – Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd St 98146)
2 PM – Thurnau Memorial Park (11050 10th Ave SW 98146)
3 PM – North Shorewood Park (SW 102nd St & 24th Ave SW 98146)
4 PM – White Center Heights Park (SW 102nd St & 7th Ave SW 98146)

Log Cabin’s Got Talent is once again sponsored by the teens and staff of the White Center Teen Program. The WCTP offers free recreational, educational, and social enrichment programming to youth ages 12-19 between Tuesday – Saturday from 3-8pm. The WCTP is currently offering remote programs as well as small group in-person assistance with homework help and job readiness; outdoor programs such as tennis, bicycle club, lacrosse, and garden club; and the ongoing Recreation Aide Employment Program.

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HELPING: Volunteers plant trees @ Steve Cox Memorial Park

October 26th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

That’s Crescent Calimpong, volunteer coordinator for King County Parks, who had quite a crowd to coordinate at Steve Cox Memorial Park on Saturday;

Crescent had 17 volunteers for a fall tree-planting event, mostly students, reports Gill Loring, who took the photos. This was a three-hour event – that’s all you need to give, a small amount of time to make a big difference! Other opportunities are coming up, including one at White Center Heights Park in less than two weeks – go here to sign up.

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New county jobs program shown off at White Center Heights Park

September 29th, 2021 Tracy Posted in King County, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on New county jobs program shown off at White Center Heights Park

(Photo via @kcexec on Twitter)

From left above, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and King County Executive Dow Constantine were at White Center Heights Park today to shine the spotlight on a new pandemic-relief program offering work to people experiencing homelessness. Here’s the news release explaining it:

King County Executive Dow Constantine today met with one of the new crews restoring and enhancing regional parks and trails, an early success of the Jobs and Housing Program he included in the pandemic recovery package announced earlier this year.

King County’s Jobs and Housing Program hosted focused recruitment events at emergency shelters to offer people experiencing homelessness the opportunity to join King County Parks Beautification Crews, earning salaries that can help them transition to permanent housing. The new program applies the Rapid Rehousing model developed by the King County Department of Community and Human Services to connect participants with housing.

King County is working to expand the Jobs and Housing Program to other county services, including logistical support for emergency management, sanitizing fleet vehicles, and providing customer support for animal services.

“Our new Jobs and Housing Program is one example of how we are sparking an equitable recovery throughout King County,” said Executive Constantine. “By connecting our unhoused neighbors with good-paying jobs and case managers who can help them transition to permanent housing, we are helping more people and families thrive.”

Successful candidates for the program can earn between $20 and $25 per hour for temporary positions and can receive housing supports. Program participants will also receive career support aimed at helping them transition to permanent jobs and permanent housing. The program helps people who have gaps in their employment history and potentially offers them professional references for future job searches.

The beautification crews are starting at five King County parks where they will perform a variety of tasks, such as landscaping, athletic field maintenance, trail building and maintenance, construction and demolition, invasive weed removal, restoration, and planting. The first regional parks where the crews operate are:

Five Mile Lake Park in South King County
White Center Heights Park
Marymoor Park in Redmond
Tolt-MacDonald Park and Campground in Carnation
Three Forks Natural Area along the Snoqualmie River in East King County
Ravensdale Park near Maple Valley

The program will increase King County Parks’ seasonal crews by 36 people who are currently experiencing homelessness. The additional workforce is particularly helpful now that more people than ever are enjoying the regional parks and trails during the pandemic.

King County Parks has so far conducted five recruitment events at emergency shelters in Seattle, South King County, and East King County. Once background checks and physicals are complete, King County Parks provides crew members with on-the-job training while other partner organizations assist with securing housing and career counseling.

King County Metro is helping crew members arrive at worksites with its ORCA Business Passport program, which connects workers through its regional transit network, including Vanpool.

Executive Constantine included funding for the Jobs and Housing Program in the combined $600 million COVID-19 supplemental budget he proposed in March. It has multiple funding sources, including the American Rescue Plan, FEMA, and the county’s General Fund. The County Council approved $38 million for the program in May.

Other potential positions created by the Jobs and Housing Program could include:

Cleaning and sanitizing vehicles and heavy-duty equipment for King County’s Fleet Services Division
Caring for animals and engaging with customers at Regional Animal Services of King County
Performing litter removal in the road right-of-way at King County Roads Division
Performing litter removal in unincorporated King County organized by the Department of Local Services

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FOLLOWUP: North Shorewood Park’s special Saturday

September 15th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

A small but mighty group of volunteers worked at North Shorewood Park this past Saturday. The photos are by Crescent from King County Parks and longtime volunteer Gill, who notes, “While there, a dad and his two daughters used the basketball court for trying out skateboards, and then dad went to sit while the kids were on the playground equipment which is why we maintain the Park.”

Moving a big pile of mulch was one of the day’s primary jobs.

Every little bit of help matters.

You can go here to look for upcoming chances to help out in county parks.

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YOU CAN HELP: Be at North Shorewood Park next Saturday!

September 4th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for sending word of this. Your help would be welcomed!

Restoration and Stewardship at North Shorewood Park

10044 24th Ave SW

Saturday, September 11, 2021
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Space is limited, register at:

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SATURDAY: Queer & Trans Night Market in White Center

August 25th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, People, White Center news Comments Off on SATURDAY: Queer & Trans Night Market in White Center

This Saturday night, White Center Heights Park will be transformed into an outdoor shopping event, with more than 40 vendors signed up for the Queer & Trans Night Market. VietQ is presenting the market, 6-9 pm Saturday (August 28th). VietQ presented a daytime market back in June in Greenbridge. Saturday’s vendors are spotlighted on VietQ’s Instagram page. The park is at 7th/102nd.

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King County Parks hosting two Night Out celebrations in White Center

July 30th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on King County Parks hosting two Night Out celebrations in White Center

Next Tuesday (August 3rd) is Night Out, coast to coast, and here in White Center, King County Parks is hosting two events for the whole family that night, both 5-7 pm – one at Steve Cox Memorial Park (1321 SW 102nd) and one at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park (11050 10th SW).

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SUMMER: Application time for King County Parks’ new internship program

May 8th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news Comments Off on SUMMER: Application time for King County Parks’ new internship program

As noted at the end of our report on the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council‘s meeting, King County Parks has an internship program open this summer. Here’s the info to share with potential applicants for the first cohort of the King County Parks Youth Conservation Corps Internship:

Applications are open until May 30. We are looking for high school students (must be 15 years old by July 6) interested in learning about careers related to parks and the environment.

We will be hosting a webinar with more details about the program and the application process on Wednesday, May 12 from 3 pm – 4 pm. Interested high school students and their families can register here:

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PHOTOS: More volunteer love for North Shorewood Park

May 6th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Spring has sprung, and volunteers have sprung into action! Gill Loring sent the photos after a volunteer work party at North Shorewood Park last Saturday.

Gill reports that King County Parks has a new volunteer-program coordinator, Crescent Calimpong, and that participating volunteers on Saturday “were from all over the Seattle area.” North Shorewood Park has another event on September 11th; other KC Parks events are planned in the meantime.

If you’re interested in volunteering, find out how by going here.

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HELPING: TLC for North Shorewood Park

August 1st, 2020 Tracy Posted in Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

Thanks to Gill for sending news of last weekend’s work party at North Shorewood Park.

Gill explains, “Sean and crew including four volunteers worked hard for a few hours trimming back some of the rapid spring/summer growth.”

Gill took the first photo; the other three are by Sean.

Thanks to everyone for their work helping the neighborhood shine!

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PHOTOS: See unincorporated North Highline’s new park-to-be!

July 9th, 2020 Tracy Posted in King County, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photos)

Five forested acres for less than $360,000. “A screaming deal,” as King County Executive Dow Constantine observed while touring unincorporated North Highline’s newest park-to-be this past Monday. We were along for the tour, as was a small county delegation including County Councilmember Joe McDermott.

The park plan for 10203 9th Avenue S., officially announced today, has been in the works a while. The acquisition was completed in January. Going back further, to last year, this is the site King County’s Dave Kimmett was talking about during a guest appearance before the North Highline Unincorporated Area Council. Its previous owners, who Kimmett said are in China, could have developed it as residential property, but decided to sell instead. It would admittedly have been tough to develop – for many of the reasons that make it perfect as open space, like a ravine for what the county says is an “unnamed creek”:

The county already has cleared some invasives and trucked out tons of dumped material, but there’s more work to do, and it’ll be next year before this is ready to debut as a park.

If you’re having trouble placing the site, here’s a map.

It’s definitely an urban oasis – airplane noise with Sea-Tac-bound jets right overhead, traffic noise with trucks rumbling along roads to the west, and a big apartment complex to the north. A half-mile of trails will be built through the park, which has only “social trails” now (and you can get a glimpse into the land’s north side from a walkway along the apartment complex’s south edge).

Restoration costs are expected to total around $30,000 for the next year or so of work. Meantime, more acquisitions are expected as part of the ongoing Land Conservation Initiative.

“Very exciting,” enthused Executive Constantine.

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REOPENING: King County Parks, starting Friday

May 5th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on REOPENING: King County Parks, starting Friday

(WCN photo, Steve Cox Memorial Park)

Just announced:

King County Parks is announcing it will re-open its parks and trails on May 8 with some restrictions, and urges visitors to “Recreate Responsibly!” Active use and high touch facilities such as restrooms, play areas, sports courts, and picnic shelters will remain closed, and organized events and programs will remain suspended.

King County Parks announced today that on May 8 it will re-open its parks and trails, including regional and backcountry trails, with some restrictions. The county cautions, however, that keeping parks and trails open will depend on visitors practicing safe distancing and following public health guidelines.

Parking lots and trailheads will be open, as well as fields, docks and boat launches, and the off-leash dog area at Marymoor Park. Visitors are asked to “Keep it Moving!” and refrain from gathering or playing team sports or pick-up games on the fields. King County Parks’ decision follows the Governor’s recent announcement about the May 5 re-opening of state recreation lands.

“Here in King County, we treasure our parks, trails, and wilderness, and I know that people are eager to enjoy the outdoors during these stressful and uncertain times,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are re-opening our parks and trails in a measured way and encourage folks to recreate responsibly, keep each other safe, and continue to curb the transmission of COVID-19 in King County.”

“Outdoor recreation is a great idea but we absolutely need to continue to take precautions to prevent bringing COVID-19 back home with us. Everyone must practice safe distancing and good hand hygiene whether indoors or out because lives depend on it,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County. “Where parks and trails are experiencing overcrowding and where safe distancing is not occurring, we will need to recommend re-closing those facilities to prevent the spread of infection.”

King County Parks is planning for a phased re-opening and return to full operations. The division will monitor use and continue to follow guidance from the Governor and Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Facilities such as restrooms, play areas, sports courts, and picnic shelters, will remain closed. The campground at Tolt-MacDonald Park remains closed, as does the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center, the Jim Ellis Preston Community Center, and the White Center Community Center. Organized activities and programs, such as team sports, race events, swimming lessons, volunteer work parties, and public gatherings remain suspended.

King County Parks will update the status of its parks, trails, and facilities at

King County Parks, in collaboration with local and state land managers and outdoor recreation stakeholders, is encouraging people to recreate responsibly by adhering to the following guidelines:

-Keep your distance. Recreate with those in your household. Give others plenty of room and communicate who will step aside on the trail (trail etiquette gives hikers coming uphill the right of way).

-Stay local. Don’t stray too far from home when recreating and keep rural communities safe by minimizing stops and bringing all that you’ll need for your outing.

-Keep it moving. Use parks and trails for walking, running, riding, rolling, and passing through.

-Plan ahead. Be prepared to go somewhere else if your destination seems crowded. Add hand sanitizer and a mask or other face covering to your 10 Essentials.

-Play it safe. Keep your activities within your comfort and skill level to reduce the risk of injury and adding to the strain on our health care and emergency services.

-Leave no trace. Take any garbage with you, including disposable face masks and gloves.

The health and safety of residents and Parks employees is paramount, and Parks will continue to monitor its parks and trails to ensure that visitors are following physical distancing and other public health guidelines. King County Parks encourages visitors to do their part and keep each other safe so that King County’s parks and trails can remain open.

Park and trail visitors can report crowding, areas that need attention, or other issues using King County Parks’ reporting tool, SeeClickFix at

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PARKS: More King County closures

March 25th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on PARKS: More King County closures

Just announced:

As part of its ongoing efforts to protect public health and curb transmission of COVID-19, King County Parks is closing parks beginning Wednesday, March 25, when parking lot and trailhead gates will be locked, and restrooms will be closed. King County does not have the resources at this time to actively enforce Parks closures and social-distancing guidelines and will rely upon the public to follow the guidelines.

The closure comes on the heels of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, which included guidance to further restrict groups from gatherings.

While visitors will still be able to walk into parks and back country trails and walk and bike on the regional trail network, King County is asking all residents to do their part in stopping the spread of the virus and help save lives by abiding by these closures and all social distancing guidelines. King County also urges visitors to not park illegally on roadways near parks and trails, or block park gates.

On March 20, King County Parks closed all active spaces within parks – including play areas, ballfields, sports courts, and picnic shelters, where appropriate social distancing guidelines would be difficult to maintain.

Find the latest information about any changes to Parks facilities and programming on the King County Parks Plog at

King County Parks visitors are encouraged to practice Public Health’s guidelines in preventing the spread of this virus:

Stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times.
Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid contact with people who are sick.
Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

Visit to learn more about the virus and how to prevent its spread. Keep updated on the latest developments on the Public Health – Seattle & King County blog at

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PARKS: What’s off-limits at King County Parks now

March 23rd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Parks, White Center news 1 Comment »

(WCN photo)

Signs of the times at the Steve Cox Memorial Park tennis courts on Sunday, two days after this joint King County/City of Seattle announcement:

To follow COVID-19 social distancing guidelines established by Public Health—Seattle & King County and the Washington Department of Health, King County Parks and Seattle Parks and Recreations are closing sports courts, playground equipment, and other active recreation areas where it could be difficult to maintain recommended social distancing guidelines.

Ballfields and playfields are open for walking and other non-team activities.

The closure includes picnic shelters, basketball and tennis courts, ballfields, and other active recreation locations. Parks, natural lands, regional trails, backcountry trails, and beaches where social distancing can be maintained remain open.

Pick-up games, picnics, and other large gatherings will not be permitted.

Restrooms within parks will continue to be open to the public, and will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.

“With schools closed and people adapting to new work habits, our parks and open spaces can provide an important break in these stressful times. It is clear, however, that we must continue to be vigilant in these places as well, and make sure all our residents put into practice Public Health directives,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “Go for a hike. Take the family for a stroll. Kick a soccer ball around with your kids. But use good sense and avoid gatherings, team sports, pick-up games, and playground equipment.”

“Parks are beloved by all, but we must be smart about our behaviors during this unprecedented public health emergency. We are in a new normal. While individuals and families can bike, walk, or run, we cannot allow gatherings at Seattle’s best locations including Alki, Golden Gardens, Seward, Volunteer Park or Magnuson. Every single resident should take social distancing guidelines to heart – it could save someone’s life,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan.

“We know that parks and open space provide a critical support to our communities during this difficult time, and we want to provide these opportunities to find respite and relief in nature, but we need to be able to do so in way that does not work against our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. We encourage residents and visitors to practice social distancing and not participate in organized activities that go against Public Health guidance,” said Jesus Aguirre, Seattle Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “City and County employees will be reiterating this guidance to individuals who are not practicing social distancing.”

As noted by the National Recreation and Park Association, there are a number of specific recommendations for practicing safe social distancing when in parks or on trails, including:

Follow CDC’s guidance on personal hygiene prior to heading to parks and trails — wash hands, carry hand sanitizer, do not visit public spaces if you have symptoms, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, etc.

Observe at all times CDC’s minimum recommended social distancing of six feet from other people. Practice it and know what it looks like. Keep it as you walk, bike or hike.

Bring a suitable trash bag. Leave no trash, take everything out to protect park workers.

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Spend your MLK Day of Service at Dick Thurnau Park!

January 8th, 2020 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Parks, White Center news Comments Off on Spend your MLK Day of Service at Dick Thurnau Park!

(Photo by Marie Tweedy)

Monday, January 20th, you doing anything? Right here in White Center, you can do a good deed at a local park! Here’s the announcement:

Come celebrate MLK Day by giving back to your community and improving forests! Not only do healthy forests and parks provide a beautiful green space for people to connect with nature, they filter pollution, prevent erosion when there’s heavy rain, and are a home to wildlife. Our Day of Service focuses on keeping the forest at Dick Thurnau Memorial Park in White Center healthy by removing aggressive weeds and planting native trees and shrubs in their place. So come out and join us!

Please reach out to Sean Walters ( to sign up and for more information. Thank you.

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