When 89-year-old Ruth Enticknap first visited Puyallup’s fish hatchery in 2015 as part of a tour with Mill Ridge Village retirement facility, it swept her off her feet.
She loved visiting so much, she donated $300 of her own money to the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation.
But it wasn’t until this month that the foundation found the best use for it: a sign for its new bog garden.
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“It wasn’t something we planned,” said foundation director Patty Carter about the bog garden. “It was a gift.”
In April, a group of 46 students from Wellesey Village Church in Massachusetts traveled to Puyallup and donated $700 worth of materials to the foundation. The group spent an entire day building the bog garden.
“They do community service in different states every year,” Carter said about the group. “We had to have a project that could handle this many kids.”
But the bog garden wasn’t officially complete without a sign, which was created using Enticknap’s donation and was unveiled on July 19.
“I just liked the fact that (the hatchery) was so available to kids,” Enticknap said. “I thought, well, I could just donate.”
But it turned out that the bog garden’s sign was a perfect use of Enticknap’s donation.
“I’ve been gardening forever,” said the Milton resident. “I did flower (arrangements) for church for 50 years.”
Enticknap remembers gardening with her mother from a very young age.
“We had to grow our own food because of the Depression,” she said.
She was also an editor of a Des Moines garden club paper for 15 years.
When Enticknap first saw the bog garden sign, she found herself emotional.
I thought it was it great because I’ve planted many of those plants. They were things that I’ve known about for 50 years.
“I thought it was it great because I’ve planted many of those plants,” she said. “They were things that I’ve known about for 50 years.”
The plants in the garden include a dinosaur plant, corkscrew rush, feather reed grass, blue-eyed grass and yellow-eyed grass. The bog garden helps slow down moving water, reducing pollution by filtering contaminants in the roots of plants. This provides both humans and salmon with cleaner water.
Many projects with the Puyallup Hatchery Foundation rose to success with outside help. The bog garden was no exception.
“Our whole foundation has been build on donations and volunteers — that’s the magic of it,” Carter said.
Our whole foundation has been build on donations and volunteers—that’s the magic of it.
Patty Carter, founding director of the Puyallup Historical Hatchery Foundation
The foundation plans to use the bog garden during student visits with an interactive game to locate plants.
“We’ll add to it and enjoy it for years to come,” Carter said.
Another tour with Mill Ridge Village is also scheduled for October. While gardening is now difficult for Enticknap, who’s temporarily in wheelchair, she hopes to make a return visit to Puyallup’s fish hatchery.