Over the weekend, local Rotarians, Kiwanians, Lions, students, and residents pitched in to clean up the South Puget Sound Wildlife Area. Volunteers helped by covering graffiti, removing Scotch Broom, and installing benches.
A Lakewood resident donated two benches in her father’s name – he regularly walked the park with his dogs for more than 20 years.
Members of the Steilacoom High School Key Club pulled Scotch Broom, clearing an entire hillside of the invasive plant.
Local Rotarians and Kiwanians covered up some graffiti and picked up trash.
Clover Park School District Superintendent Ron Banner trimmed dead branches overhanging walking paths.
The South Puget Sound Wildlife Area is owned by the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. Alan Billingsley, a member of Clover Park Rotary, said the state had lost funding to preserve the area, so the club took initiative to restore it.
“We’ve got groups here from two different rotaries (Lakewood and Clover Park Rotary Clubs), we’ve got Kiwanis here today, we have Lions here, we have the Interlaaken Gardening Club, we have students from Pierce College, students from Steilacoom High School, and a whole bunch of general people from the community.”
“They’ve come out to covet this area and take care of it, recognizing that it’s one of Lakewood’s jewels in the middle of our city.”
The facility has a long history. It was donated to the state by the Andrew Byrd family. The family was among the original settlers of the area. Clover Park Rotary now visits the area twice annually to help restore it. The club envisions a place for the community to walk and enjoy nature, and a place for students to see and study wildlife, including several endangered species.
Ever generous with their time and labor, local service clubs picked up litter, grew produce for food banks, spruced up public spaces, and contributed in countless other ways to the community in just the past year. Local service clubs consistently demonstrate proactivity and commitment to the improvement of Lakewood.
The South Puget Sound Wildlife Area is a state-owned facility and host to a variety of plants and wildlife. The facility is open to the public during daylight hours – it’s a beautiful place to go for a stroll and observe nature.