Madrona students help clean park

  • Sue Waldburger<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:34am

Students in the Madrona K-8 School’s Eco Ambassadors program literally got down and dirty this month when they helped clean up Yost Park in Edmonds.

On June 8, Madrona’s annual service day, about 30 fourth, fifth and sixth graders spent the morning doing unglamorous but sorely needed maintenance such as tearing out English ivy and spreading wood chips to help promote tree-root growth, said Rich Lindsay, parks maintenance manager. The area in which the children worked was a highly visible landscaped space between Yost Pool and the tennis courts, he added.

“The amount of work they completed was amazing. They did a great job, they wore me out. I was really impressed,” said Lindsay. “One little girl said to the others, ‘You guys aren’t working hard enough. Work faster!’” he added with a chuckle.

Siri Haugen, a Madrona teacher who worked with Lindsay to organize the project, had this to say about the students’ efforts: “I was thrilled to see them take on this project with such willingness and enthusiasm. Starting locally, where children can see how their work directly affects their community, will help them make connections to and see a purpose in global projects.”

Lindsay said Edmonds always can use volunteers for projects such as park clean up. He said volunteer maintenance labor has dried up over the past few years. State-wide tax-cut initiatives, he continued, have resulted in the elimination of programs that supplied volunteers for community service.

“We just don’t have the time or labor force to do the work that needs to be done,” the maintenance manager noted.

Lindsay said he gets a lot of requests from Eagle Scout candidates, civic organizations and school groups for service projects and appreciates all the work those volunteers do. “But unfortunately,” he observed, “a lot of people don’t like weeding all the time and there are always things to weed and clean up. Everyone would rather build something.”

Lindsay invites groups or individuals interested in helping with parks upkeep to call him at 425-771-0289.

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