Alissa Edge (left) and Preston Parsons dig a hole near Jones Creek so they can plant a tree during an April 27 environmental field trip organized by Project SeaWolf.
Eighty fourth and fifth grade students from Marysville schools planted nearly 1,500 trees near Jones Creek on April 27 in an effort to help improve water quality.
The event, an annual partnership with the Marysville School District, was organized by Project SeaWolf Coastal Protection
. The organization is a local non-profit that has been helping protect the northwest killer whale populations since 1997. Project SeaWolf was one of the first groups to petition for endangered species status for the killer whales. With a focus on education, the organization also develops grassroots projects like the tree planting.
"It's about renewing the Jones Creek area and giving a really great way for the kids to be involved in it," said Lars Kundu, a junior at Getchell High School, who helped organize the event.
The goal of the planting is to create an environment around Jones Creek which will better facilitate clean water running downstream. The improved quality water will eventually get to the ocean and provide a better habitat for killer whales and other marine life, according to Michael Kundu, SeaWolf Coastal Protection's director of projects.
He also said that teaching children about environment projects like this early in their life helps to give them a sense of environmental responsibility at a young age.
The planting's organizers hope that the experience "can leave a mark on their minds and their hearts about environmental responsibility that they carry with them for the rest of their lives," said Michael Kundu.
Students like Alissa Edge said that actually participating in improving the environment helps build upon what they learned in the classroom.
"I think it's good to plant trees, and we're also learning and doing something for our community," she said.