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Talking trash

Post by Kathleen Merryman / The News Tribune on April 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm with No Comments »
April 7, 2009 5:54 pm

The ivy trembled before them.


The ratty recliners bade goodbye to their alley homes.


The creatures living under scores of spare tires found themselves homeless.


If it was blight on First Creek or McKinley Hill, 100 volunteers put it in peril Saturday, thanks to two work parties, the Puyallup Tribe and the city of Tacoma.


Joyce Glass reported that the Dome Top Clean Up crew saturated the neighborhood around Gault Middle School and sent four truckloads of junk to the dump. Allyson Griffith of the Tacoma’s Community Based Services program provided safety vests, gloves, garbage bags and the coveted dump passes.


DomeToppers distributed 240 door hangers inviting neighbors to join the group. The also made a list of neighbors who need help with maintenance, abatement or getting rid of gang tagging.


Space is cheap on the internet. Let’s name the local heroes: Matthew Williams, Joyce Glass, Bill Mattox, Vern Freeman, John Culhane, Jonathan Zold, Mike, Michael and Jennie Agnew, Lynnette and Larry Scheidt, Marcus Mulligan, Chris Skelton, Kali Kucera, and Mary Young and her grandson.


Joyce sent special thanks to the crew from The Crossing Church, who arrived in their distinctive green bus and pitched in: Brenda Bacon, Dennis Stewart, Paul Bergin, Jim Oliver, Scott Murray, Ruth Beard, Ellen and Vincent Prather, Nikki Nicholson and John Sparks.


Down the hill, Dan Fear deployed two teams to attack trash and invasive plants in the First Creek Watershed. People,including kids fresh for the World Vision egg hunt, dropped in to help, so there were likes more than the 53 volunteers who signed in. I’ll get that list from Dan, and add those folks to the blog.


One group started just above the Emerald Queen, hauling out junk that generations of the environmentally unaware have tossed over the creek banks. They specialized in rescuing trees engulfed by ivy. The trick is to cut the ivy vines as high as you can reach up the trunk, peel them down to the ground and then roll them away from the tree. All the ivy up the tree starves to death. The stuff on the ground lives, but doesn’t produce seeds for a while.


The second team rescued the sidewalk over the creek’s culvert on Fairbanks Street. It was twice as wide as anyone thought, and the overgrowth concealed an intriguing array of bottles.


Quote of the site: “There’s nothing easy about ivy,” David Whited.


Whited works for the Puyallup Tribe, volunteers with the neighbors and organized the celebratory lunch for DomeTopper and First Creek teams at the Portland Avenue Community Center.


Dish of the lunch: Too Busy to Cook’s baked beans with hamburger, adapted from a railroad man’s recipe. It’s worth a few hours of pulling ivy and hauling sofas to get a big helping of it to enjoy with equally muddy friends.

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