We’re thankful for our community of Island volunteers who donate their time and labor caring for our public parkland, especially the Native Garden (between the Recycling Center and the Skate Park in Mercerdale Park). In the five months since June, over a dozen volunteers, under the supervision of our Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department, have worked over 150 hours in the Native Garden pulling blackberries, identifying and labeling native species and leading plant identification tours, among other things. We especially appreciate the helpful and professional coordination of Alaine Sommargren, the city’s natural resources manager.
Most recently the volunteers have shoveled, wheel-barrowed and raked many truckloads of wood chips to mulch the Native Garden, beginning to transform it into our very own Secret Garden, to be planted with many more native species in the near future.
Wood chips are arriving almost weekly. When they are “dropped,” we send an email to those on our Volunteer List. No need to RSVP — just show up. We’ll welcome you joyfully! Visit our website www.protectMIparks.org and follow the directions to sign up for our Volunteer email list. You too can then grab your rake and work gloves, join us for fun and fellowship, and help us to care for this precious community resource.
Did you know: The Native Garden was established by Mercer Island High School students, members of the Committee to Save the Earth — the same club that envisioned, built and ran the Recycling Center for 35 years? The Native Garden is a vital legacy for the next generation, and we are grateful to those who are working to preserve it long into the future.
Finally, as the city faces financial challenges, this is a great example of a public-private effort that makes our community better without having to raise taxes!
Meg Lippert and Peter Struck
Concerned Citizens for Mercer Island Parks co-chairs