VIDEO: Fall 2018 Duwamish Alive! begins with honors for champions of our area’s only river

October 20, 2018 9:58 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle news

(WSB photos: At T-107, by Patrick Sand; at Longfellow Creek, by Leda Costa)

In the hours before the sun broke through today … 15 sites along Seattle’s only river and in its watershed got some love from hundreds of volunteers during the fall edition of the twice-yearly mega-work-party known as Duwamish Alive! But first … it was time to celebrate its champions:

At center above, Willard Brown, recently retired from the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, was honored as a Green-Duwamish Champion. (The Duwamish River begins as the Green River.) His award was presented at a Duwamish Alive! event along Longfellow Creek in North Delridge – with emcees including State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon – while at T-107 Park on the river, the opening ceremony included honors for another “champion,” Port of Seattle biologist George Blumberg:

The Duwamish Alive! opening there was emceed by James Rasmussen, who leads the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. He spoke of T-107 Park’s importance as “the only place where the old river still lives,” and told the story of how it was spared from development by the discovery of archaeological significance – “my ancestors reached up and saved this place.”

He and Chris Wilkie from Puget SoundKeeper both spoke of the river’s significance to salmon runs and how that in turn affected the fate of endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. Here are both of their speeches on video:

There also was advocacy for the environment-related initiative on the November 6th ballot, I-1631. Sameer Ranade from Front and Centered advocated with poetry:

The Duwamish Valley Youth Corps stopped for a photo op before it was time to grab shovels and get to work:

At T-107 Park, they and other volunteers were planting on the shore, while others took to the water for cleanup work:

As always, the kayaks were courtesy of West Seattle’s Alki Kayak Tours/Mountain to Sound Outfitters. Back at Longfellow Creek, volunteers were digging in too:

The Longfellow Creek included the first-ever Arabic-language Duwamish Alive! group. Among the participants were Nada Almaslmani, below left, visiting from Jordan:

With Nada in our photo, West Seattleite Bridgett Chandler. Fall is considered perfect for planting so roots can grow before the ground gets too cold in the winter – then they’re perfectly set to grow full-speed-ahead in spring.

The next Duwamish Alive! event will be in spring. But you don’t have to wait that long to spend a little time doing a lot of good in local parks and other greenspaces. Our calendar features work parties every weekend

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