Student volunteers replant along Cedar River
Equipped with shovels, gloves, and 350 plants, more than 40 students from the Waskowitz Environmental Leaders School (WELS) in Burien spent November 21 replanting one mile of the bank of the Cedar River in Unincorporated King County.
For the last five years, WELS students—in coordination with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, under the direction of the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC),—have been active volunteers as part of a curriculum that stresses environmental education and team building.
This year, the site of their work was along the Cedar River near maintenance work done by the King County Flood Control District. The area is located near a stretch of the Cedar near the Cedar Grove neighborhood at 216th Ave. SE that had seen repetitive flooding.
“Part of the work of the King County Flood Control District is to seek out local partners to help us work towards long term flooding solutions,” said Flood Control District Chair Reagan Dunn, whose district includes the area where the planting was done. “I am proud of the active role the students of the Waskowitz Environmental Leaders School are taking to help improve our local floodplains.”
“I am proud of the work done by the students from the Waskowitz Environment Leaders School,” said Flood Control District Supervisor Dave Upthegrove, whose district includes the Waskowitz Environmental Leaders School. “Their work serves as an exciting example for future partnerships with King County.”
Along with the plants that help control erosion along the bank, making it more stable and improving flood protection, the WELS students help remove Himalayan blackberry and ivy along the Cedar. The goal of this effort is to reduce new invasive species colonization; as the new native vegetation establishes, it also helps reduce long-term maintenance efforts and improve habitat function along the river.
Attached photos are students from WELS, replanting along the Cedar River.