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Volunteers continue Eagle Creek work

From left, Diane Brown and Diana Shipley secure the protective covering and mounting on a tree planted at Eagle Creek a few months ago by local students. - KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times
From left, Diane Brown and Diana Shipley secure the protective covering and mounting on a tree planted at Eagle Creek a few months ago by local students.
— image credit: KIRK BOXLEITNER The Arlington Times

ARLINGTON The hard work of local children to restore native wildlife was continued by older volunteers June 20, as employees of Windermere Real Estate in Arlington placed protectors around more than 2,500 seedlings at Eagle Creek.

City of Arlington Natural Resources Director Bill Blake supervised nearly 20 Arlington Windermere agents, and three students in the Arlington High School National Honor Society, as they placed protective coverings and mountings around the bases of an estimated 90 percent of the recently planted trees and shrubs.

"Local school kids planted these seedlings this past winter and spring," Blake said. "The larger and more isolated ones are less vulnerable, but the ones that are still small, or surrounded by tall grass, can fall prey to voles, since that's their natural habitat, or even to maintenance, since weed-eaters will kill those little trees."

The trees and shrubs were planted along the banks of a channel dug last summer, in which Blake spotted juvenile Coho salmon during the day.

"It's already looking more like a stream than a ditch, since pools are forming," Blake said. "The trees will provide shade and keep the grass from choking the channel."

Blake credited a $28,000 Community Salmon Fund with making the restoration possible, and cited the contributions of the Evergreen Fly-Fishers, the Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force, the Stillaguamish Tribe, and East Valley Sand and Gravel, the latter of which donated log bridges.

This year marked the Arlington Windermere office's 17th annual Community Service Day, and Arlington Windermere broker and owner Gene Bryson enjoyed the opportunity to pitch in outdoors.

"In past years we've painted the restrooms at Haller Park, done landscaping for the Chamber of Commerce offices, and helped out seniors, Housing Hope and the city," Bryson said. "We try to do work with a broader focus that will benefit the community as a whole. I like nature-oriented projects like this a lot because we get to see the impact of our efforts right away."

Bryson learned of the restoration project from Blake's article in the chamber newsletter, while AHS incoming junior Tiffany Cool found out about it from classmate Madeline Collins, whose parents are Arlington Windermere employees. Both Cool and Collins were getting their hands and shoes dirty at Eagle Creek.

"I like helping the environment and saving trees," Cool said. "I gives me a good feeling. This is the first project like this that I've done, but I expect I'll do a few more of these. If you weren't here, you missed out, because it was really fun."

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