Community

Lions, Scouts clean up at state park

Chris Kinkel, foreground, and other Lions Club members fill a dump truck full of branches and other debris from a Deception Pass parking lot last weekend as part of their annual spring clean up event.  - Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times
Chris Kinkel, foreground, and other Lions Club members fill a dump truck full of branches and other debris from a Deception Pass parking lot last weekend as part of their annual spring clean up event.
— image credit: Jenny Manning/Whidbey News-Times

More than 80 Lions Club members from North Whidbey, Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Central Whidbey, South Whidbey, Anacortes and Lopez Island spent last Saturday at Deception Pass State Park, along with Coupeville troop 4058 Boy Scouts and park rangers Benjamin Shook and Ryan Green, for a little spring cleaning.

The second annual spring clean up is an effort to help park staff ready the grounds for spring and summer tourists. Volunteers raked the parking lots free of debris and readied the lawns for mowing with tools supplied by the state park.

Two large dump trucks transported the material away from the site. By 11 a.m. the team had removed four heaping loads.

Gov. Christine Gregoire officially proclaimed Sunday, April 18, “Washington Coast Cleanup Day.” Earlier this month, the Washington state Parks and Recreation Commission encouraged volunteers to hit the beaches for a huge cleanup effort throughout April.

More than a dozen parks, including Deception Pass State Park, need volunteers to help with cleanup events to get ready for the spring and summer camping season. The efforts are in conjunction with Earth Day, April 22.

Last year, more than 1,100 volunteers removed 22 tons of marine debris from Washington’s beaches.

“Marine debris is a serious threat to our ecosystems and our enjoyment of the coast,” said Rex Derr, State Parks director. “Garbage and debris harms coastal vegetation, wildlife and marine organisms and mars the beauty of our coastline. It is sincerely heartening to see the hundreds of people who come out for the cleanup and phenomenal to see the amount of debris they take off the beaches.”

Volunteers can learn more and sign up on the CoastSavers Web site, www.coastsavers.org/washington.

A local park cleanup will be held at Fort Ebey, Saturday, April 17. Call Aaron Terada at 678-4636 for more information.

The city of Oak Harbor will also host a tree and shrub planting event at Fort Nugent Park from 8 a.m. to noon, April 17 in honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day.

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