By Julie Kerrigan
On October 24th, 2009 three organizations Tahoma Audubon Society, University Place Parks and Recreation along with the University Place Volunteer Center came together and hosted the Together Green Volutneer Days in University Place. This is a true example of how partnerships in a community can come to together to create and support to encourage people to participate in their own communities and local open spaces.
Over 35 volunteers celebrated Make a Difference Day on Saturday October 24th at Adriana Hess Wetland Park and City of UP property on 67th Street. At Adriana Hess Wetland Park, volunteers helped plant over 318 native plants and spread wood chips for trails at the Thelma Gilmur Outdoor Education Shelter Area. This area is designed to be a demonstration site for the public to learn about how to utilize native plants, compost bins and rain barrels. At the 67th Street property volunteers filled two large dumpsters full of invasive species such as scotch broom, English ivy, blackberries and knot weed. Combined, the volunteers contributed over 160 hours to better their community.
These events were made possible through the National Audubon Society and Toyota Together Green Volunteer Days Grants. Each year, 40 Audubon Centers and Chapters receive a $7,000 grant that pays for six volunteer events. This year Tahoma Audubon received the grant and partnered with the University Place Volunteer Center to host the six work parties in the city of University Place. The two work sites selected were Adriana Hess Wetland Park and City of UP property on 67th Street. So far four of the six work parties are complete. So far nationwide Together Green has engaged 10,657 volunteers with over 52,837 volunteer hours.
TogetherGreen volunteer events are designed to connect people with ways to make a conservation difference in their local communities. By building stronger alliances with other local organizations, Audubon hopes to attract new and diverse volunteers to help address pressing environmental problems and opportunities.