Caring for the Greenway NHA Alongside New Partners
Our mission is to lead and inspire action to conserve and enhance the landscape of the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area (Greenway NHA), ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature. One way that we work toward this mission is by collaborating with other organizations to help steward this landscape together. Each group brings a unique perspective and connection to the land, and we love having the opportunity to meet new people; introduce them to the Greenway NHA and our work; and learn, grow, and take positive action together.
Last month, we had the opportunity to partner with three organizations for the very first time: Latino Outdoors, Outdoor Asian, and Camp Kindness Counts. Together, we hosted a youth-focused trash cleanup event and hike at Lake Sammamish State Park. The event was centered around leaving no trace in our local parks and outdoor spaces and understanding how our actions can impact salmon.
The group of 28 volunteers jumped right in, picking up 50 gallons of trash from Sunset and Tibbets Beaches in the park. Common items found were metal cans, glass bottles, food wrappers, and smaller pieces of waste known as “micro-trash.” Micro-trash is anything from cigarette butts and gum wrappers, to bottle caps, the edges of candy wrappers, tiny fruit labels, chunks of styrofoam, broken glass, and/or various other discarded pieces of packaging and related plastic. Even though these items might seem small and insignificant, they can have a huge negative impact on our waterways and wildlife! (Learn more about the impacts of micro-trash)
In addition to the important work of removing trash from the park, this event also provided an opportunity for participants to connect with nature and reinforced the role we all play in caring for special places such as Lake Sammamish State Park and the wildlife that lives there. Throughout the day, volunteers enjoyed the company of bald eagles, mallard ducks, and great blue herons (did you know that the park is home to one of the largest blue heron nesting grounds in the area?).
Thank you to Latino Outdoors, Outdoor Asian, and Camp Kindness Counts for your partnership and to all the volunteers for your time and efforts to help care for the Greenway NHA!