As we look back at accomplishments across the Greenway this past year, volunteers were a crucial part of successful projects throughout the entire 1.5-million-acre landscape. Check out these impressive stories and stats from Greenway volunteers, and help us extend a huge “thank you” to everyone who put on a pair of gloves, a hard hat, muck boots, and a few extra layers to come out and volunteer with us on more than 100 projects this year!
In just one year, Greenway volunteers planted 10,000 native plants, potted up 14,000 more in the nursery, maintained 16 miles of trail, and gave over 18,000 volunteer hours at more than 30 project sites and trails in the Greenway. All told, nearly 5,000 volunteers helped support the Greenway Trust enhance more than 47 acres of public land and 17 trails and trailheads.
The numbers are impressive, and the memories shared will last a lifetime. From young tots and wise grandparents, to school and business groups, volunteers came together almost every Saturday – and even mid-week – to work on habitat restoration and trail enhancement projects throughout the Greenway landscape. The projects bettered the area for people, plants, and wildlife (like our local salmon and orca populations), and the skills learned and shared made teams stronger, built friendships, and left a legacy of stewardship which inspires us all.
One thing is true of every volunteer project this year – they made a positive impact on our communities. Whether we were pulling out the 100th blackberry root ball of the day at Park Point in Issaquah, planting the 200,000th tree with Carter Subaru, hauling hundreds of pounds of lumber up the Garfield Ledges trail, troubleshooting the decking placement on the Gateway Bridge, or hiking miles through the snow at the first Women in the Woods event of the summer … volunteers left their mark on the Greenway this year.
We think it was an incredibly fun year tackling all of these projects together with our volunteers, but don’t just take it from us! Based on what our volunteers had to say, it sounds like they enjoyed themselves as well:
“Removing blackberry is so satisfying!”
“This [volunteer day] is my favorite day of work”
“Blackberry is evil, but delicious”
We walked away from each project excited for the next – a feeling familiar to one of our hardest working three-year-olds, who planted trees for an entire four-hour event, and cried when his parents said it was time to go home.
To everyone that lent a hand this year, big or small, thank you. Thank you for embodying what it means to be a steward of this landscape, and for helping to make us all happier and healthier when connected to nature. See you in 2020!