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Editorial: Residents should pitch in to keep Valley clean

By Editorial Board
Sno Valley Star
Mountains to Sound Greenway volunteers labored in wind and rain Sept. 28 in the Three Forks Natural Area. They removed non-native weeds along Norman Creek, a tributary of the Snoqualmie River.

Mountains to Sound Greenway volunteers labored in wind and rain Sept. 28 in the Three Forks Natural Area. They removed non-native weeds along Norman Creek, a tributary of the Snoqualmie River.

The Three Forks Natural Area, where the three forks of the Snoqualmie River converge, includes five miles of riverfront. The river is a juvenile trout habitat. The natural area is home to black bear, river otter, eagle, elk and other wildlife.

The natural area is part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway, a corridor of open space and undeveloped byways that run from Puget Sound to east of the Cascade Mountains. The nonprofit Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, which manages the area, was founded in 1991. In addition to acquiring land for the public good, it often recruits volunteers for maintenance projects such as the Three Forks weed clearing. (To learn more about Mountains to Sound go to www.mtsgreenway.org )

Saturday’s event was part of a nationwide celebration of National Public Lands Day, which brings volunteers outdoors across the country to care for public parks, rivers and forests. Volunteers such as these are one reason the Snoqualmie Valley area’s natural beauty is preserved. We must all take an active part in maintaining this treasured area.

Many North Bend and Snoqualmie residents already help. We often hear of work parties pulling invasive plants out of forestland near Tollgate Farm in North Bend.

Others, such as the Upper Snoqualmie Valley Elk Management Group, help to keep local residents and wildlife on good terms that are mutually beneficial.

Invasive plant species such as English ivy and knotweed are rife throughout the Valley. They choke out native species, depriving local wildlife of food sources. Fighting them requires man-hours — boots on the ground, so to speak.

King County even has an Upper Snoqualmie Weed Watcher program.

You can volunteer with them or at least learn how to identify the bad stuff by visiting www.kingcounty.org and typing “noxious weeds.”

Better yet, get your fingers dirty. Participate. Pull weeds. And while you’re at it, pick up trash.

Snoqualmie Valley is a treasure, indeed. Thanks to all the residents who already work hard to maintain it.

And kudos to the Mountain to Sound Greenway volunteers who braved the terrible weather to make a difference.

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