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Jackie Emmerton, right, and granddaughter Sayler Pattison dig a hole to plant a tree at the Earth Day event from the city of Marysville on April 27.

 

For Earth Day local families and individuals helped restore Allen Creek habitat and learned about ways they can help their environment at Jennings Park.

Marysville held their Earth Day event on April 27 this year and the Snohomish Conservation District invited locals to help with their restoration effort by planting trees.

Carson Moscoso, habitat specialist with the Snohomish Conversation District, said the district had begun work near the creek earlier this year thanks to a grant from the Department of Ecology.

The work will continue for the next three years, he said.

"I've seen this on other restoration sites with willow and dogwood cuttings, within three years they'll be 10 to 12 feet tall and create this shade canopy," he said.

Those plants will help provide shade and filter out toxins from the surrounding communities that are preventing salmon and fish from thriving in the creek.

"Right now the water temperature is too high and there are too many toxins coming in from the storm water," said Moscoso.

Salmon have trouble living in streams that are too warm, both because of the temperature level and because the oxygen level is bad for the fish as well, said Moscoso.

"Allen Creek is a salmon tributary to the Snohomish estuary," he said, however previous farm use of the land has disrupted that historic environment.

"Over the years, after agricultural practices ended, this reed prairie grass came in," he said.

Families and individual volunteers came out to plant up to 1,500 trees and shrubs in the Allen Creek area.

Grandparent Jackie Emmerton brought her granddaughter to the event.

"I think this is awesome. I try to bring her to all the community events to teach her about giving back," said Emmerton.

In addition to the Snohomish Conservation District, many other organizations such as the Tulalip Tribes, the city's Adopt-a-Street program and the city of Arlington also provided information to help families become better stewards of the environment.

"We just try to get the community together to learn about environmental topics and easy actions they can do themselves to help make the community cleaner," said Jessie Balbiani, surface water specialist with the city of Marysville and one of the main organizers of the event.

She said they provided information about ways to help the local environment.

"Such as picking up pet waste, which I think people forget about it. There is a lot of nasty pathogens in pet waste," said Balbiani.

Those pathogens can wash into creeks, along with nutrients from the waste. Unfortunately too many nutrients in a stream can be detrimental, she said.

"Some people think it is natural, and it really isn't," said Balbiani, especially because of the number of pets.

Balbiani was also talking about car wash kits to help protect streams.

"Something we see in Marysville pretty often is that people want to hold charity car washes, which is great, but it is an activity that generates a lot of pollutants," she said.

Soap chemicals, copper, lead and zinc can get into the water stream from car washes.

"The car wash kits we provide collects all that water so that it can be treated at the wastewater treatment plant," she said.

She encourages anyone who needs a car wash kit to call her at 360-363-8144.

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