Tree-planting work party can help protect Stilly salmon

  • Tue Nov 8th, 2011 5:18pm
  • News

By Gale Fiege Herald Writer

ARLINGTON — People who want to help protect the salmon in the Stillaguamish River are encouraged to volunteer for a tree-planting work party Saturday.

The city of Arlington and Sound Salmon Solutions officials are hopeful that about 100 people will show up to plant native trees and shrubs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the city’s new stormwater wetlands, located just west of Highway 9 along the river.

The 27-acre wetlands, which received development funding from the state Department of Ecology, will clean stormwater from the oldest section of Arlington.

Water from gutters and ditches in old town will end up in a holding area that empties into a stream in the wetlands. As this meandering stream flows through the wetlands, pollutants in the water are expected to settle along the streambed and be filtered out by native plants.

The wetlands should be able to handle the water produced in the worst storms and floods. Before, the stormwater went straight into the river.

The city’s wetlands property was once home to a family farm. One of the buildings on the property will be used for educational purposes, offering a venue to teach people how to prevent pollution, how the wetlands work and the history of the site. The wetlands also is part of a string of riverside parks in the city.

On Saturday, organizers plan to feed volunteers a free chili lunch in the roundhouse on the property, where people will have a chance to learn more about the wetlands project.

To register to help, email Michele Harmeling of Sound Salmon Solutions at michele@soundsalmonsolutions.org or call 425-319-7696.

Volunteers are encouraged to dress for the weather. Children are welcome with supervision.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.