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  • REI Hosts Huge Work-Service Event at the Arboretum

Volunteers in the wetlands beside South Azalea Way.

More than 100 volunteers from REI helped care for the Arboretum on Thursday, July 21 during one of the company’s regular work-service events. The group members were all from REI’s IT division and included folks who had traveled from as far afield as California and Michigan.

They worked in the hot sun with horticulture staff from UW Botanic Gardens and Seattle Parks and Recreation to pull invasive weeds, spread mulch, and clean interpretive signage.

There were six projects altogether, and UW Botanic Gardens Horticulture Manager David Zuckerman collated the results of all the work.

“In the wetlands area directly to the west of the Birch Parking Lot, one group hauled out six cubic yards of Himalayan blackberry and morning glory,” said David. “Another group, working in the Holly Collection, removed six cubic yards of weeds and spread 20 yards of mulch. Just to the north of the hollies, along Lake Washington Boulevard, a third group pulled 13 cubic yards of ivy.”


Volunteers in the Holly Collection.

“On the steep slope below the New Zealand Forest, a fourth group spread 25 cubic yards of mulch to protect planting beds. Another group spread 40 cubic yards of mulch in the Sequoia Grove just south of the Japanese Garden. Finally, a group of roving volunteers cleaned more than 50 interpretive and directional signs throughout the Arboretum.”

After the work was done, the volunteers trooped back to the Graham Visitors Center and enjoyed barbeque, beer, and ice cream on the terrace, courtesy of REI.

Thanks a million to everyone who participated. The Foundation’s Corporate and Group Volunteer Program coordinates dozens of work-service events in the Arboretum each year with its UW and City partners. This was the biggest on yet!

Volunteers in the Lake Washington Boulevard group.

Clearing blackberry and morning glory from the wetlands.

Using a pitch fork to wrestle blackberry onto a cart.