EarthCorps is a Seattle based nonprofit that is “dedicated to building global community through local environmental restoration service.” Appropriately yesterday they were out in force holding an Earth Day work session in conjunction with Duwamish Alive!
My son was volunteering with the UW/Seattle University team and met at 9:30 A.M. at South Seattle Community College. He worked with others until 3:00 P.M. pulling out invasive blackberry bushes from the W. Duwamish greenbelt area. Others helped pull ivy and mulch with wood chips. This fall native plants will be planted in cleared areas. Last weekend my son was at Golden Gardens pulling out ivy.
EarthCorps is an affiliate of AmeriCorps. Young people aged 18 -25 participate in a year long program learning about conservation, habitat restoration and developing skills in working with and coordinating volunteers from 8 years to 80 years old.
The event yesterday drew several hundred volunteers both as individuals and supporting groups. The largest group contingent was volunteers from Boeing. Other groups turning out volunteers included Seattle Works, alumni from Boston College and Emory University and Safeco as well as University of Washington and Seattle University students.
Local financial support for EarthCorps comes from groups like REI, essurance, Washington Women’s Foundation, the City of Seattle, King County and the City of Mercer Island.
I had a chance to talk with Chris LaPointe who is the Volunteer Program Manager for EarthCorps. He emphasized that one of the goals of EarthCorps is to get local people involved in their community. Doing restoration work that involves local people helps to foster long term stewardship. Emphasis is placed on working with local schools and colleges to foster support for local greenbelts and parks over the long term.
You too can get involved. Chris handed me a flyer that said that May 5, 2007 has been designated No Ivy Day! Two locations are being worked on. One is Lincoln Park in West Seattle. The other is Island Crest Park on Mercer Island. For more information visit www.earthcorps.org or call Chris LaPointe at 206-322-9296 x217.