Plaques tell story of Snohomish River’s history

SNOHOMISH— The Snohomish River cannot tell its own story.

So new historical markers will speak on its behalf.

Seven interpretative plaques that tell the river’s history and characteristics will be dedicated at 11 a.m. Saturday at Riverfront Trail, beginning at the foot of Avenue A.

“Each plaque tells the story of the river and its role in the development of the city,” said Ann Stanton, project manager and plaque designer.

Each marker tells something about the river’s animals, the first settlers and even the water levels over the years.

The ceremony marks completion of the first phase of the riverfront development. Construction started in 2004 and work on the second phase, an extension to the Centennial Trail, is scheduled to start next year.

“The goal is to create a walking trail for visitors and residents,” Stanton said.

The carved granite plaques will run along the Avenue A retaining wall. Each plaque cost around $2,000.

To get to the plaque ceremony, walk down the stairs on Avenue A or take a quarter-mile walk through Cady Park from the trail access at the intersection of First Street and Avenue D.

Besides the plaques, the $2.5 million project saw the construction of stairways to the river from Avenues A and C, and the planting of native plants.

Project funds came from bonds, grants and donations raised in 2004. The funds could only be used for this project and it did not affect the city’s current budget in any way, Stanton said.

As part of the dedication Saturday, volunteers from the Snohomish Parks Foundation are scheduled to gather around 8:30 a.m. at three different areas for what is being called the Riverfront Trail Beautification project.

About 20 to 30 volunteers are expected to remove weeds and invasive plants and replace them with native plants in the north part of the river, at Cady Landing park, Kla Ha Ya park and around the downtown gazebo.

Native plants are important to improve habitat along the river, Snohomish Parks Foundation President Lya Badgley said.

The foundation has done several planting drives in the Riverfront and other parks as well since 2005, Badgley said.

Volunteers will check in at the trail below the gazebo, located at 10 Ave. A. Anyone interested can call 360-863-3346 or go to www.snohomishparks.org. Volunteers need to bring work gloves, hand tools, and wear appropriate clothing, for this is a rain or shine event, Badgley said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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