Free wetlands class in Tukwila

The city of Tukwila will offer a free class for Tukwila residents on the care and maintenance of wetlands, streams and their associated buffers. The training will be held Wednesday, Feb. 23 from 6-9 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Tukwila City Hall. Participants may apply what they learn in class to an ongoing stream restoration effort at Cottage Creek on the grounds of City Hall.

Located adjacent to the Green and Duwamish Rivers, Tukwila contains over 120 acres of wetlands and more than 50,000 linear feet of streams. Wetlands, steams, and their associated buffers are important elements of the natural environment providing habitat, reducing pollution, and helping to reduce urban flooding.

Most of our urban streams provide habitat for salmon. The water in these wetlands and streams eventually finds its way to the Puget Sound.

"Salmon restoration and cleaning up Puget Sound starts at home", notes Mayor Jim Haggerton. "This class will provide homeowners and residents the basic understanding of how to be good stewards for and improve the wetland and stream environments on their property," he added.

James Rasmussen, coalition coordinator with the Duwamish Clean Up Coalition has lauded Tukwila for the proposed program.

"Congratulations to Mayor Haggerton and the city of Tukwila for being proactive on wetland care. If we all do our part we can change the world (or at least our part of it.)"

The class is aimed specifically at the weekend gardener. Attendees of the class will learn simple tips and tricks they can utilize on their property and homes to improve the conditions of wetland and streams. Some questions that will be answered by the training include:

1. Why are streams and wetlands important?
2. How can invasive vegetation be controlled without the use of chemicals?
3. What are some native plants would be good to establish near the wetlands and streams?
4. Where do I get native plants and where can I get assistance with my project?

Sandra Whiting, Tukwila urban environmentalist, will teach the class.

Whiting is an accomplished gardener, wetland biologist and has many years of experience working on wetland and riparian restoration efforts.

"I want to thank King County for their support in this program," noted Mayor Haggerton. "Without their support we would be unable to host this important program."

The restoration party for Cottage Creek will be Feb. 26, 9 a.m. - noon at City Hall.

The class if free, but registration is required. To register or for more information call Brandon Miles, senior planner, at 206-431-3684 or send an email to bmiles@ci.tukwila.wa.us.

Registration deadline is Feb. 18th. Tukwila residents and/or property owners get priority in allotted spaces.

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