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Windermere employees spruce up Centennial Park | SLIDESHOW

RLINGTON — For the fourth year in a row, one of the city of Arlington’s oft-overlooked parks received a touch-up courtesy of their nearby neighbors.

Close to 20 employees of the Windermere Real Estate office in Arlington benefitted from a sunny morning on Friday, June 21, as they descended upon Centennial Park on Division Street, just east of the roundabout next to the Public Utility District, to spruce up its greenery.

Arlington Windermere owner Gene Bryson explained that the Arlington Windermere office’s official adoption of Centennial Park three years ago was intended to show their appreciation to the Arlington community for their support, in turn, for the Windermere office at 210 E. Burke Ave. over the course of the past two decades.

“We’ve done projects like this throughout North Snohomish County,” said Bryson, who acknowledged that Centennial Park’s proximity to their office makes it a convenient location for them to perform their annual day of service labors, but also touted the park as a hidden treasure of Arlington. “It’s a lot bigger than a lot of people think. We always hit the most visible parts first, but it’s more than just the one block, so it usually takes our full crew to complete it.”

The Arlington Windermere office staff has taken turns on tasks ranging from basic cleanup, weeding and landscaping work to previous years of painting and this year’s laying down of a truckload of bark donated by the city of Arlington, which took them from about 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. this year, adding up to a number of man-hours that Bryson is happy to perform in place of what he sees as already overcommitted city workers.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize how limited the city’s staff really is,” Bryson said. “Especially given the number of parks that the city is responsible for maintaining, as well as the cemetery grounds, they just don’t have very many people to go around. Some of this stuff simply wouldn’t be able to get done otherwise.”

One task that always needs to be done when the Windermere volunteers show up to Centennial Park is “dead-heading” the rhododendron bushes lining the park on both sides of the street.

“You take these wilted blooms off, after it blooms in May, and you’ll get twice as many blooms the next year,” said Katrina Davidson, who’s volunteered for Windermere community service days for more than two decades.

“Every year this event gets a little bigger,” said Bryson, who takes pride in its minimal overhead. “We just want to make the city even more beautiful.”

Every year since 1984, Windermere offices have dedicated a day of service to joining together so they can complete neighborhood improvement projects.

“Creating vibrant communities is one of the things that inspire the Windermere network to be involved in service projects that make things a little brighter for their neighbors,” Bryson said

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