Dozens of volunteers gathered Saturday morning to help clear overgrown invasive plants at Scriber Creek Park in honor of National Public Lands Day.
Celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September, National Public Lands Day is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. The day is also meant to encourage people to enjoy outdoor green spaces and is one of six days visitors can get free access to all of America’s national parks for free.
In partnership with EarthCorps, the City of Lynnwood hosted a volunteer effort to remove ivy and non-native plants — like the Himalayan blackberry, which is indigenous to Armenia and Northern Iran.
“A lot of the invasive (plants) end up…creating walls and shields,” said Deputy Parks Director Sarah Olsen. “Whereas the native vegetation is more low-lying and more open.”
This is the second clean-up event at the park, both of which were included in a three-year contract between the city and EarthCorps — a Seattle-based environmental restoration program that is part of AmeriCorps — to create a habitat management plan for the park. Per the agreement, EarthCorps conducted site surveys, identified areas of improvement and a plan for restoring the park, said Parks Superintendent Eric Peterson.
City staff just received the final draft of the plan. Initially, the city intended to begin restoration sooner, but those plans were pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Olsen said.
Located at 5322 198th St. S.W., Scriber Lake Park is a nearly 25-acre park with a lake, wetlands, trails and forest. EarthCorps recommendations will be incorporated into a larger plan to redevelop the park, which includes designing and constructing approximately 1,100 linear feet of elevated boardwalk trail that provides up to three viewpoints over water.
In addition to making the park trails ADA compliant, the improvements will allow the park to be used year-round, which is typically not the case during rainy seasons when the wetlands flood the trails, Olsen said.
“We see this park needing to serve more community members and more park users,” she said.
–Story and photos by Cody Sexton