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Mountains to Sound Greenway awarded for 'Significant Volunteer Achievement'

Mercer Island Reporter

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has announced the recipients of the 2011 Volunteer Recognition Awards for outstanding volunteer service.

State Parks works with volunteers throughout the state to continue enhancing agency efficiency and to stretch funding. Last year, volunteers performed 271,260 hours of work, equal to 130 full-time employees. The following individuals and groups received recognition for their contributions to the state parks system.

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust (Lake Sammamish Area, Wash.) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving lands alongside I-90 from Seattle to Snoqualmie Pass and beyond. The Trust has accomplished much of its work at Lake Sammamish State Park. Through an Adopt-A-Park agreement, the Trust developed a nursery to plant, water, weed and pot native plants for future use along the I-90 corridor. Members potted native trees and shrubs boasting an inventory of 23,000 plants. The group involved a significant number of local students and corporate groups in restoration and maintenance along Issaquah Creek and planted trees at two Lake Sammamish State Park volunteer events. Some of the major projects the group was involved with include the Snoqualmie Tunnel grand re-opening celebration, rebuilding retaining walls at Olallie State Park and made tread improvements along sections of the Twin Falls trail. The group has provided decades of trail improvement and restoration at Iron Horse State Park-John Wayne Pioneer Trail and improved the 12-mile Squak Mountain trail system, including installing more than 65 trail signs, raised 800 feet of turnpike trail above wet areas, performed stabilization work on equestrian trails and installed 150 drain dips to keep water off trails. The benefits of all these hours of labor, while clearly felt in these area parks, also go to the public. Instead of facing unbroken urban development while traveling on I-90, all are rewarded with a continuous, beautiful green corridor.

The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 99-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.

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