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Honor Charlotte: Get your hands dirty

Post by Kathleen Merryman / The News Tribune on April 21, 2010 at 1:07 pm with No Comments »
April 21, 2010 2:01 pm

Charlotte Valbert is the berries.

Anyone who’s harvested pies and cobblers at Tacoma’s Blueberry Park knows that.

Charlotte Valbert samples a blueberry at harvest time. Photos courtsey of Metro Parks and Friends of Blueberry park.

On April 15th, the Washington Recreation and Parks Association made it official, honoring Valbert at their annual awards banquet. 

Valbert led effort to rescue the remnants of a blueberry farm just south of East 72nd and D Streets. She started by pulling invasive species herself, then drafted a small and ever-changing army of volunteers. She fought for support from every government agency she could corner.

The result is an accessible, delicious resource with walking paths and a native plant trail.

Valbert will take any help, from any one or any goat, at Blueberry Park.

Drop by on Saturday with a pair of heavy gloves, and you can show your appreciation to Charlotte by yanking some Scotch broom.
Or you could pick from one of the other options compiled by Green Tacoma Partnership’s Krystal Kyer, conservation coordinator for Tahoma Audubon Society.

Here’s your list of Earth Week educational and pitch-in events:

Earth Day bus tour highlights Port restorations
Thursday, April 22, 2010; 9:30am to Noon
Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Rd.

Celebrate Earth Day April 22 with a behind-the-scenes peek at Port wildlife habitat and environmental projects. The narrated bus tour will include Gog-le-hi-te II wetlands along the Puyallup River and property near the Hylebos Creek, where construction will begin this year on what eventually will become 23 acres of restored freshwater and intertidal marsh, forested upland and riparian habitat. 

Visitors also will view the Port’s pioneering “tree in a box” to prevent water pollution. This pilot project is the first time the low impact development technology has been used in an industrial setting. Latest results show the native trees filter out 90 percent of zinc from stormwater runoff.

The bus will leave at 9:30 a.m. from the Fabulich Center, 3600 Port of Tacoma Rd. in Tacoma, and return about noon. Space is limited for this free tour, and reservations are required. Children age 6 and older are welcome. Photo identification is required for passengers 17 years of age and older. This tour will involve minor hiking; comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are recommended.
Reserve your free seat for the special April 22 Earth Day tour by calling (253) 383-9463 or e-mailingbustours@portoftacoma.com .
Pierce County Environmental Health Trends Forum #2
Thursday, April 22, 2010; 6pm to 8pm
Evergreen State College Tacoma, Room 206 
Directions: http://www.evergreen.edu/tacoma/driving.htm

Pierce County Environmental Health Trends 2008 report and forum agenda online at www.tpchd.org/ehindicators We’ll have sandwiches and juice – please bring a reusable plate and cup to help reduce waste!  RSVP to Marianne Seifert at (253) 798-3823 ormseifert@tpchd.org , if you haven’t already.
First Creek Clean Up and Restoration Event
Saturday, April 24, 2010; 10am to 1pm
First Creek, in Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood
Sponsored by the City of Tacoma and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.  This will be our biggest and the major Clean-up effort for the Spring, including removal of invasive English ivy.  RSVP to Dan Fear at 425 260-4991; http://firstcreekwatershed.blogspot.com
Parks Appreciation Day
Saturday, April 24, 2010; 9am to Noon
Pick a Park in Tacoma or Pierce County
Join us in parks throughout Pierce County as we give back to the earth during the 9th annual Parks Appreciation Day! Just a few of the sites in Tacoma include Titlow Park, Tacoma Nature Center, Puget Gulch, Swan Creek Park, and Blueberry Park.
We’ll trim limbs, groom grounds, comb beaches and plant more flowers and trees. For more information, to sign up, and for a complete list of sites and activities, visit www.parksappreciationday.net or call 253-305-1014 or email: richardm@tacomaparks.com
Earth Day Extravaganza
Thursday, April 24, 2010; Noon to 4pm
Tacoma Nature Center, 1919 S. Tyler St, Tacoma, WA
Celebrate the earth with fun family activities that help you learn about the earth and how we can all keep it healthy! Ages 6 and up, FREE.

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