Be part of history: Help clean & protect Fairmount Ravine

(1994 “planting party” photo, courtesy of Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group)
We often publish notices about community cleanups. Few are as long-running as the annual Fairmount Ravine work party – which could really use extra hands from beyond the immediate neighborhood. It’s a beautiful West Seattle greenspace that many drive, bicycle, or walk through, but not only is it a trash magnet, it’s also suffering from the same problem as other greenspaces: Invasive plants, and this year the Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group hopes to get rid of as many as possible. John Lang says it’s their 20th annual cleanup – and there’s history in the invitation he sent to last year’s participants, also shared with us:

Twenty years ago Charlie Chong came over to my house to help develop a strategy to save the Fairmount Ravine. It was full of trash and overgrown with invasive plants. Discussion how to turn this around was patterned after similar and successful community efforts in the nearby College Ravine. That night, my son Michael was 2 months old and sleeping in a small bassinet. Flash forward twenty years and Michael is now 6’-3” and soon to get his AA degree from SSCC.

Likewise, every year the Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group grows in its commitment to preserving this valuable open space by cleaning the ravine from top to bottom of the hill. Over these twenty years, concerned neighbors have removed tons of trash, removed illegal encampments and planted hundreds of native trees and shrubs. We were instrumental in securing over $4.2 million dollars to purchase property within the ravine which is now held in public domain. The open space across from Salty’s is a good example.

We are proud of our achievements to date and pleased to announce the 20th annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup Saturday, March 10th from 8:30 to approximately 10:30. We meet at the intersection of SW Forest St and Fairmount Ave, just east of Hiawatha Park. Everyone is welcome to participate. Community awareness keeps the ravine cleaner than past years and our focus this year will be on removal of invasive plants as well as general cleanup. Coffee, hot cocoa and donuts are provided. Please dress for the weather, wear boots and gloves as well as bring large cutters, saws if interested in plant removal. Your two hours can make a huge difference and we hope to see you there on the 10th. Please let others know of this effort!

Teen volunteers welcome too (as you’ll note in our 2008 cleanup coverage).

4 Replies to "Be part of history: Help clean & protect Fairmount Ravine"

  • Norma March 4, 2012 (3:08 pm)

    Thanks for your ongoing efforts, John. I had a lot of fun participating in the first couple of cleanups until my old body caught up with me. Glad so many new people are involved in the effort. Your good work is appreciated!!

  • Loco in W.S. March 4, 2012 (6:33 pm)

    Let’s rename the area for Charlie- he did so much for our community

  • JoAnne March 5, 2012 (7:41 am)

    Charlie Chong’s love for this community was real. Helping us was not a career move for him or a way to reward his friends. He didn’t do things for the sake of his own advancement. That’s why he has a genuine legacy. Wish we had 100 more like him. RIP Charlie.

  • Karen March 25, 2012 (11:35 am)

    Saw you all at the cleanup recently. Thanks for the great work! And thanks to Charlie for the inspiration, back in the day and now.
    I’m in the 1994 pic (woman in middle-right with dark checked jacket) and am now living back in FM Ravine. The cedar and fir trees we planted that day in ’94 are now 15′ to 20′ tall. As the ‘junk trees’ (alders?) fall, these mature forest trees will take their places. Any interest in another weed pull, anyone? Ivy, Japanese knotweed, holly and myrtle are as bad as Himilayan blackberry.

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