Together with King County Parks, Whale Scout volunteers planted a record 199 trees at the Maury Island Marine Park in just a few hours! Adult and kid volunteers enjoyed working and learning together on this special day. Sadly, the tree we planted in memory of L95 Nigel didn’t make it over the dry summer in rocky soil, but our hopes are high that these trees will fare a little better.
The Maury Island Marine Park is a natural gem situated between the busy cities of Seattle and Tacoma. A former gravel mine, the surface of the waterfront planting area was stripped clear of trees. Our work is focused on rebuilding this forest. Why is this important for our endangered killer whales? Well, trees help prevent erosion, regulating the input of sediment and also providing organic material to the nearshore environment. This environment is an important place for young salmon to find protection and food. These salmon grow up to become big, fatty, nutritious orca food. Learn more from the WA Department of Ecology.
Some of the smallest volunteers made the biggest impact. Kids from Vashon Island, Shelton, and Bothell helped plant trees alongside their parents and mentors. Inspiring us all, Aleah shared a letter she wrote to Senator Murray asking her to “save the orcas.”
Later this winter 600 more trees will be planted at this site by other volunteer teams as a part of King County’s One Million Trees campaign. See where you can make an impact. We’d like to extend a big thank you to Lina Rose and King County Parks for their continued support, and to all the volunteers for their energy. We’re part of the solution! Save the dates for Helpin’ Out events on the Elwha River and at Idylwood Park 1/27/18 and 2/24/18.
Thanks to Kersti Muul for contributing select photos