Fundraising begins for wetlands boardwalk at Everett park

EVERETT — The Adopt A Stream Foundation wants to build a half-mile of boardwalk through wetlands at its Northwest Stream Center.

For that to happen, the foundation is gearing up to raise $150,000 by summer. An anonymous private donor has pledged to give the group another $150,000 when it meets the goal.

The boardwalks would run through 20 acres, passing though wetlands, groves of cedar trees and a portion of North Creek. The land is inside Snohomish County’s McCollum Pioneer Park.

“We have this beautiful site for people to explore, but it’s very difficult to get to the site,” Adopt A Stream director Tom Murdoch said. “If we had people coming here to walk through the site without boardwalks, we’d probably cause some pretty significant damage to a very sensitive site.”

Also, the boardwalks would be a key step toward opening the Northwest Stream Center to the public. For now, it’s mainly open for streamkeeping classes. With the boardwalks in place, the center might be able to open for six days a week.

Admission would likely cost between $5 and $10, Murdoch said. To avoid disturbing wildlife, visitors on the boardwalk would be limited to 30 per half hour, with visits requiring reservations.

Fundraising events are likely in the coming months. The goal of $300,000 would come on top of $200,000 the foundation already has raised. In total, that would give the boardwalk project a half- million-dollar budget.

Gig Harbor-based Pin Foundations Inc. has donated boardwalk designs. These include a type of foundation that can be installed without excavation. The boardwalk, meanwhile, would be fashioned from synthetic lumber made of recycled plastics.

The choice of materials is expensive, Murdoch said, but serves a few different ends.

“That sort of answers the question: Where do all those plastic bags go when we recycle?” he said. “We want to use that as our principle material for our boardwalks, not just because we’re using recycled material, but because it lasts for a long time and it’s low- maintenance — it’s very durable.”

The Northwest Stream Center focuses on wetland ecology and fish habitat. The center leases its land, located about a half mile east of I-5 on 128th Street SE, from the county.

In recent years, Adopt A Stream has raised money for a visitors building where classes are held. The foundation also is nearing completion of a 160-foot-long outdoor trout stream.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

How to donate

Send contributions to the Adopt A Stream Foundation, c/o NW Stream Center, 600 128th St. SE, Everett, WA 98208.

For more information, call 425-316-8592 or go to www.streamkeeper.org.

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