As kids climb on the new granite rock boulder for Clark Lake Park, volunteer Holly Bork, with Girl Scouts Troop 40346, carries a wheelbarrow of mulch to be spread at the base of some newly planted trees during Kent’s fall Arbor Day celebration on Saturday. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Sprucing up a park for others to enjoy

Kent crew, volunteers converge to celebrate Arbor Day, fall style

Volunteers – about 75 strong – rolled up their sleeves, grabbed gloves, shovels and wheelbarrows to help plant 10 large trees, pull invasive weeds and spread mulch throughout Clark Lake Park last Saturday.

It was all part of the city of Kent’s 13th annual celebration of Arbor Day, fall style.

“Arbor Day is (recognized) in April, but for the best health for our trees we plant in November,” said Desiree Kennedy, a Green Kent Steward and volunteer coordinator with Kent’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. “We’re doing our part.”

More than 1,500 volunteers converged at area parks and natural areas during October and November for Green City Day celebrations throughout the Puget Sound area. Seven cities participated, including Kent. Green Cities Days are part of Green City Partnerships for representative Kent, a designated Tree City USA.

On a chilly morning, Mayor Suzette Cooke welcomed the volunteers in a ceremony before volunteers – including a contingent of high school students and about 30 Girl Scouts – helped city arborists and staff plant new trees. Park staff also installed a new granite boulder park sign.

In addition, on Green Kent Day in October at Morrill Meadows Park, 123 volunteers removed more than 32,000 square feet of invasive plants, planted 102 native shrubs and spread more than 20 cubic yards of mulch.

The city of Kent welcomes volunteers of all ages and abilities to help in the restoration projects.

All events are Saturday mornings, 9 until noon, rain or shine. Tools and staff supervision are provided. Register to volunteer by noon three days before each event at KentWA.gov/ComeVolunteer.

For more information, contact Kennedy at 253-856-5114.

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