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Earth Day at Union Slough

2011 - June 4, Saturday

A bright sunny warm Saturday finally lands in Seattle after a few weeks of unusually cold summer days. I’ve lived in Seattle for about 4 years and I frown upon myself for not remembering how summer was the previous year each year. Perhaps, this summer was like the the previous summer: Cold summer days followed by a very few shiny hot days. *shrug*

I’ve been involved somewhat actively in community church activities this year. Today was one of those days in which we give to the community and, apparently, was the UN World Enviornment Day. A group of us went to participate in the Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project. The project is to improve the wildlife habitat at the saltmarsh restoration site in the Snohomish River delta. Today’s goal was to weed out blackberry vines.
[ Here’s a link to putgetsound.org’s volunteer page: http://pugetsound.org/act/volunteer ]


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So you would be wondering why blackberry vines or bushes are bad when they provide succulent blackberries and a livinig habitat for wildlife. Apparently, blackberry vines, when unmanaged, takes over the area in which native plants grow and flurish, agressively crowding out or killing other plants such as the willow which the blackberry vines engulfed in the area we worked on.
[ What are blackberries? It’s not the mobile phone. Click here for the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackberry ]
[ What’s a willow? It’s a tree. Click here for the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow ]

I arrived at the site at around 9:30AM. The tools and the gloves were provided and we didn’t have to bring our own, but, we had to bring our own protective clothes which were, apparently, very important. I got a bunch of scratches on both of my arms while working on getting rid of the vines.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Before getting the orientation and gearing up, I took some time to take pictures of the immediately near surrounding area.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Here’s Beatriz who is giving all the volunteers the orientation. She is one of the people who works for the People for Puget Sound and who is a student from Brazil learning about and gaining experience on restorations.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Now the gear up.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

We’re getting instructed on how to root out the vines.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Now we’re working including taking poses. =D

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

The gloves.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Lunch was very light. I was not able to eat much. I had a slight headache and felt exhausted after working under the sun for a while. I did not realize how arduous gardening was; I never had to chop or weed out vines before. The most I have done until now was cutting the grass with a lawn mower.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

I guess, there wasn’t a place to sit down other than here. =D
Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Exhausted.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

I took some time to walk around during the 1 hour lunch break.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Here are the scratches on my arms.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

I just like making funny faces.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

After lunch, we worked for another 2 hours and we called it a day. Here’s Beatriz giving us the closing remarks and showing us her gratitude for coming out on a really nice Saturday to help out on the restoration project.

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project

Final shot for the day. Tourist style. =)

Union Slough Saltmarsh and Habitat Restoration Project



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