Usually, the 12 students currently enrolled in Clover Park Technical College’s Medical Histology Technician program would be busy studying diseased tissue and slicing and staining sections of abnormal or pathological human tissues for microscopic examination. However, the students in this 1-year program recently chose to work together on a completely different activity as a public service project.
This volunteer endeavor occurred on 2 April, a Friday afternoon while on their spring break!
Led by CPTC Medical Histology education coordinator and Steilacoom resident Rebecca Haggerty, the hard-working volunteers removed a large patch of invasive green alkanet formerly lining the main trail into Farrells Marsh Park and blanketing the surrounding forest floor.
Green alkanet grows wild in damp and shady places and is native in southwest Europe. First observed in Steilacoom about 5 to 6 years ago, it is now spreading rapidly throughout the Town and beyond.
The pretty blue flowers are attractive, but the plant quickly displaces native plants needed by wildlife for sustenance. It is important to remove invasive plants before the flowers spread their seeds. Green alkanet’s ability to self-seed and regenerate from a deep perennial tap root make it a troublesome weed. As seeds can lie dormant in the soil for long periods of time, this task will be on-going.
CPTC’s Medical Histology Technician program is one of only two west of the Mississippi. Histology technicians are in high demand. Incidentally, the CPTC program has the highest pass rate nationwide on the national certification exam. More information about this unique program and career pathway is available at www.cptc.edu/programs/medical-histology.
Thank you CPTC Medical Histology students and Instructor Rebecca Haggerty for your extraordinary service to enhance Farrells Marsh Park!