The Harm family, Holly (top left), Elijah (bottom left), Kaydence (center) and Erik plant a tree near Harborview Park at the edge of the planned Qwuloolt Estuary. The tree planting was part of a full week of springtime cleanup activities around Marysville.
In an early celebration of Earth Day, citizens were invited to Marysville's Harborview Park on April 14 to plant trees in preparation for the restoration of the Qwuloolt Estuary.
The trees planted will help prevent soil erosion by providing a strong root system for the dirt and provide shade around the estuary.
The Qwuloolt Estuary restoration project, headed by the Tulalip Tribes, began in 2007 to restore the estuary habitat that used to exist around the area where Allen Creek and Jones Creek are now. The restoration area had been drained and cleared for use as farmland over the last hundred years and hasn't served as an estuary habitat for a long time.
Stephanie Leeper, who works for Sound Salmon Solutions, one of the organizers of the event, said that the estuary is an important water habitat because it serves as a transition from freshwater to saltwater. This kind of habitat is important for all types of salmon, like the endangered chinook.
The estuary project is scheduled to finish in 2013, when officials plan to breach the old levee holding back the water streams currently.
Officials from the city of Marysville and Arlington, Snohomish County and Washington state came to Harborview Park to help park-goers learn about water conservation and the estuary.
"We try and do fun and interesting things around Earth Day. That's when people are receptive," said Ralph Svrjcek, who works for the Washington state Department of Ecology.