The event, hosted by Olympic National Forest, Jefferson County 4-H, Washington State University, Jefferson County Beach Watchers, and the City of Port Townsend, provided an opportunity for community members to improve their watershed, which supplies drinking water to Port Townsend on the north end of the Olympic Peninsula.
“During the creation of the National Forest system, one of the original mandates was to provide clean drinking water to our communities. It is heartening to see communities and groups contributing direct action to the protection of their drinking water,” said Dean Yoshina, District Ranger.
The day started with a safety briefing at the district office. Afterwards, everyone carpooled to the forest where they began a long day of hard work. Three truckloads of trash and one truckload of invasive weeds were removed from roadsides and ravines for proper disposal. In addition, numerous bags of aluminum cans and plastic bottles were taken to the Quilcene Transfer Station for recycling. The day ended with an ice cream celebration, provided by one of the volunteers.
4-H Coordinator Sue Hay said, "For me, the highlight of the day was our tour of the diversion site where some of the flow from the Big Quilcene River is redirected to the city of Port Townsend through a system of water pipes.” During the tour, Rosie, a 4-H Stewardship crew member, shared a song that she had written about plastics and their effects on the watershed. “This was a great example of creative expression; Rosie used her personal experience to teach her peers and adults about the importance of a clean watershed," Sue added.
For additional information about the watershed clean up, please contact Jennifer Fujii at 360-765-2251.