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City looks to expand Green Kent Partnership program
More than 700 volunteers have participated in the Green Kent Partnership restoration events at city parks and open spaces since the project started a year ago.
Volunteer hours totaled 1,820 for 2011 and city crews documented 4,901 hours, according to a city of Kent media release. The 2011 goal was to begin working in 7 acres, and the city ended the year with 47.5 active acres throughout the city.
Park officials now want to maintain what has begun while adding new acres and volunteer stewards every year.
The city received a $95,000 grant from the King Conservation District for initial funding of the partnership to assess the ecological health of publicly owned natural spaces and develop a 20-year plan to restore and actively manage the areas.
The restoration and management plan includes more than 1,300 acres of forested parks, wetlands and other natural areas within Kent’s boundaries. A total of 7,037 trees, shrubs and ground-cover plants have been planted.
Fourteen volunteers have become community leaders through the Green Kent Steward program. Free training is available to stewards, who adopt a park or natural area and host their work parties to help other volunteers get involved. Current stewards range in age from students to retirees and include corporate executives, young mothers and neighborhood advocates.
To volunteer or for more information, go to www.GreenKent.org or call the city at 253-856-5110.