More than eight acres of land at Chism Beach Park overrun with ivy and other invasive plants are being restored, with more than 100 volunteers and the city's garbage hauler pitching in for the cause.
Non-native plants are a problem in many wooded areas across the city. Sprawling with lightning speed, ivy has invaded forested areas of Chism Beach, degrading the habitat at one of Bellevue's popular waterfront parks, located at 9600 SE 11th St. on Lake Washington.
The Parks & Community Services Department contracted with EarthCorps, a nonprofit international youth organization that specializes in natural area restoration, to pull the ivy and plant native plants in its place, over a seven-month period, from September to next April.
Working in partnership with the city, EarthCorps incorporates volunteer events too, with more than 130 volunteers pulling ivy on Stewardship Saturdays and Eco Friday events so far. Chism Beach Restoration Video
Allied Waste, based in Bellevue, stepped up as well, offering free Dumpsters for hauling away tons of ivy. The company will deliver the Dumpsters, then take them away and dispose of the ivy, services that together are worth about $10,000.
"We are committed to our environment and education of our youth to use best practices to achieve sustainability," said Connie Smith, commercial customer service supervisor for Allied, explaining why Allied offered the Dumpsters and disposal, without being asked.
The restoration will improve forest health by removing non-native vegetation within the Chism forested areas, help develop forest complexity through the introduction of native trees and shrubs and improve habitat by creating wildlife cover and nesting structure.
Volunteers interested in helping with the Chism project or other restoration and enhancement efforts are encouraged to contact Park Ranger Alex DySard (425-452-4195 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or see Environmental Stewardship Opportunities.
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