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October 2014

Take the Challenge!

Help Restore the Duwamish

By NWREporter

October 2014

Take the challenge! Join members of SEATTLE KingCounty REALTORS® and its Affiliate Council on Friday, Oct. 3 when they gather for their 8th annual TREC project (The REALTORS® Environmental Council).

This year's volunteers will be part of the "Restore the Duwamish Shoreline Challenge," a grassroots effort in Tukwila to help restore 1.5 miles of shoreline to improve the habitat for native Chinook salmon and other fish and wildlife. Tools, gloves and training will be provided.

Volunteers are asked to register in advance so organizers can have enough equipment and food for all participants. The work party is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The Duwamish project is a partnership of BECU, the City of Tukwila and the conservation group Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy). It started as a one-man project when BECU employee Mike Arizona decided to start "chopping, slicing and pulling away" the jungle of invasive plants he noticed along the river that was adjacent to his office.

During the first year of his endeavor, nearly 600 volunteers donated around 2,000 hours clearing invasives from 40,000 sq. ft. of shoreline and installing 3,000 native plants. By ridding the land of blackberries and other nonnative vegetation, and replacing them with native plants, the partners have created a sanctuary for native birds and animals.  
Forterra is the largest conservation and community building organization in the Northwest. Since its inception as Cascade Land Conservancy in 1989, the organization has conserved more than 173,000 acres of rural and working land in the state's central Cascades and Olympic regions. Through its efforts, an estimated 235,000 acres are protected.

In addition to volunteer labor, Forterra and organizers of the Duwamish Challenge also welcome financial contributions through a variety of giving options. BECU has committed $10,000 to the Challenge and is providing staff time to assist with this hands-on restoration project.

TREC projects are sponsored by the SKCR Affiliate Council. Affiliates include organizations that work closely with REALTORS® to enrich client real estate services.