You can celebrate Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Parks Week and local parks in one event by taking part in the 15th annual Parks Appreciation Day in Pierce County. The event will run from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at locations across the county.
Participants should wear weather-appropriate clothing, but be prepared to get dirty. They also can bringsmall hand tools, loppers, pruners, gloves, rakes, shovels, pitch forks and wheelbarrows (label them!).
Organizers also encourage volunteers to carpool for easier parking.
Each year, about 2,500 people take part in the event, donating 7,500 hours of work. That is worth as much as $200,000 to the various agencies involved.
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During a typical appreciation day, more than 200 cubic yards of debris are removed, more than 150 bags of litter collected, some 15 cubic yards of gravel and 600 yards of mulch and wood chips are spread, and more than 2,000 plants, trees and shrubs are planted.
How to take part: Families and individuals do not need to pre-register. Just show up at a site ready to help. Large groups and organizations should call the site contact person so organizers can plan ahead.
Also taking place Saturday is the Earth Day Service Events & Student Challenge, organized by the Parks, Arts, Recreation and Culture Foundation in Olympia. The event will run from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Working with 3 Degrees, the foundation will award $500 to the Thurston County area school with the most student volunteers participating.
The work sites and contact information are:
Wonderwood Park: 5304 32nd Ave. SE, Lacey. Register at ci.lacey.wa.us.
Priest Point Park: 2600 East Bay Drive NE, Olympia. Register at olympiawa.gov/experienceit.
Tumwater Historical Park: 802 Deschutes Way SW, Tumwater. Register at ci.tumwater.wa.us.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
Pierce County work sites
Events will be taking place in the following communities, organizations or park districts.
City of Bonney Lake: Midtown Park, 20901 state Route 410 E. Gary Leaf, 253-862-8602.
City of DuPont: Amy Walker, 253-912-5245.
City of Fife: Colburn Park, 5410 20th St. E. David Cantlin, 253-606-8877.
City of Gig Harbor: Crescent Creek Park, 3303 Vernhardson St.; Kenneth Leo Marvin Veterans Memorial Park, 3580 50th St. Court; Wilkinson Farm Park, 4118 Rosedale St.; and Donkey Creek Park, 8714 N. Harborview Drive. Terri Reed, 253-851-6170.
Key Pen Parks: 360 Trails, 10905 144th St. NW, Gig Harbor; Rocky Creek Conservation Area, state Route 302 at 150th Avenue, Gig Harbor; Key Peninsula Civic Center, 17010 S. Vaughn Road, Vaughn; and Home Park, 17220 Eighth Ave. Court KPN, Lakebay. Christina Hallock, 253-884-9240, Ext. 22.
Kopachuck State Park: 10712 56th St. NW, Gig Harbor. Meet in the day use parking lot. No Discover Pass required for participants between 8 a.m.-noon. Dennis Mills, 253-265-3606.
City of Lakewood: Fort Steilacoom Park, 8714 87th Ave. SW; American Lake Park, 9222 Veterans Drive SW; Wards Lake Park, 88th Street side of the park; Springbrook Park, 12601 Addison St.; and Harry Todd Park, 8928 N. Thorne Lane SW. Cameron Fairfield, 253-983-7827.
Metro Parks Tacoma: Alderwood Park, 208 Browns Point Blvd.; Charlotte's Blueberry Park, East 74th and East D Street; McKinley Park, 907 Upper Park St.; Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St.; Swan Creek Park, 56th Street and East Swan Creek Drive; Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler St.; Titlow Park, 8425 Sixth Ave.; Wapato Park, 6500 S. Sheridan Ave.; and Wright Park, 501 S. I St. Richard Madison, 253-202-5978.
PenMet Parks: McCormick Forest Park, 10301 Bujacich Road NW; Harbor Family Park, 6620 32nd St. NW; Sehmel Homestead Park, 10123 78th Ave. NW; Narrows Park, 1502 Lucille Parkway; and Rotary Bark Park, 10200 Bujacich Road NW, all in Gig Harbor. Eric Guenther, 253-858-3400, Ext. 222.
Pierce County Parks and Recreation: Ashford Park, 29801 state Route 706, Ashford: Orangegate Park, 50th Avenue East at 84th Street East, Tacoma (Summit-Waller area); and Seeley Lake Park, 9200 Lakewood Dr. SW, Lakewood. Jenn Sergent, 253-798-4148.
City of Puyallup: Tyler Eidson, 253-770-3325.
Tahoma Audubon Society: Andrea Michelbach, 253-565-9129.
City of University Place: Tony West, 253-460-6493.