North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Students help out at Mother Nature's Window

 

Christopher Andersson

Marysville Getchell High School Environmental Club member Jenna Fernandez removes a branch at Mother Nature's Window during a volunteer project on June 14.

Students from Marysville Getchell High School's Environmental Club are helping to clear trail and remove invasive species at Mother Nature's Window.

Since early May, members of the club have spent two days a week working with the City of Marysville at the 38-acre Mother Nature's Window, which the city hopes to turn into a public park sometime in the future.

Mother Nature's Window is in central Marysville next to 100th Street and 55th Avenue.

Getchell teacher Beverly Mowrer started the project to help kids get exposure to nature.

"The number one thing is getting these kids out. They don't spend any time outside, and they'll admit that," she said.

"When we first got out they were freaking out. They would say 'oh no, a spider' and now they just shush it away," she said.

Students said they appreciated the opportunity to connect with nature.

"I like seeing just the beauty of nature," said student Filipp Filippov.

"I like not having to be stuck inside and getting to go out and do something good," said student Jenna Fernandez.

The students are widening the trails at the potential park, and also removing invasive species, which requires actually learning what is and isn't a Himalayan blackberry plant or a holly plant.

"They learn to identify and learn their flora and fauna. They have to learn what's native and what isn't, and they have to learn the invasive species," said Mowrer.

"They couldn't have named any of these plants six weeks ago," she said.

Many students appreciate being able to help the local habitat as well.

"I like being able to help my environment," said student Jeryll Almelia.

The club has gone out to the park every Monday and Thursday, when it wasn't raining. since early May.

"Rainy days we would stay in the classroom, but we haven't had many of those," said Mowrer.

The volunteer efforts help give students a sense of work as well, said Mowrer.

"They learn their species, they learn how to work together, which is huge, and they how to give back to the community without getting something back," she said.

"Knowing that this is going to be turned into a public park is pretty exciting," she said.

The property was acquired by the city from Snohomish County and since then the city has started planning for it to be eventually opened up to the public again.

Christopher Andersson

ber Jeryll Almelia gathers up some plants at Mother Nature's Window during a volunteer project on June 14.

"We're using volunteers to keep the trails clear and clean, keeping homelessness encampments out, until we can invest, hopefully grant money, into the property and open it up," said Mike Robinson, parks maintenance manager with the City of Marysville.

The city is currently applying for some funding that they hope they can use to further develop the park, said Robinson.

The property was formerly privately owned but open to the public, including an amphitheater area.

"This is one of my favorite properties. I've known about it since the '70s when I came here as a young man," said Robinson.

Mowrer said the Environmental Club plans to continue with the project next year, possibly with some meet-ups during the summer.

"We need more programs like this and more younger people leading programs like this," she said.

She wanted to thank the city for providing the tools and Mike Robinson's help with the program.

 

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