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Congressman Denny Heck joins volunteers for Parks Appreciation Day

April 27, 2015

City Council Member Marty Campbell, Park Board Commissioner Larry Dahl also help in McKinley Park beautification

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck of the 10th Congressional District joined about 25 volunteers on Saturday, April 25, as they spruced up McKinley Park for Pierce County’s 14th Parks Appreciation Day. PAD at McKinley ParkCity Council Member Marty Campbell of Tacoma’s District 4 and Park Board Commissioner Larry Dahl also helped clear brush from the nearly 27-acre park in Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood.

“Larry!” a child yelled as he arrived at the park Saturday morning. Larry and Lynnette Scheidt, stewardship coordinators for the Friends of McKinley Park volunteer steward group, were already getting people organized. Volunteers raked, took out fallen tree branches and picked up trash from the park, which is one of Tacoma’s oldest.

Aaron Cady, a horticulture technician with Metro Parks, looked over a tree branch a volunteer showed him.

“It’s a non-native cherry,” Cady said. “It can go. That’s fine.”

Rep. Heck joined in the raking and then paused to talked with some of the volunteers. Later, Lynnette Scheidt gave him a tour of the park’s new boardwalk, which was built as part of a 2013 Sound Transit Remediation Project to enhance and expand the park’s wetlands.

Parks Appreciation Day is a countywide celebration of Earth Day, Arbor Day, National Parks Week and local parks. The turnout was great this year, with almost a dozen sites receiving attention. According to Community Outreach and Special Coordinator Richard Madison, 765 volunteers contributed 2,295 hours to parks over three days:

  • 665 volunteers on Parks Appreciation Day
  • 610 yards of chips spread
  • 100 native plants planted
  • 35 yards of invasive plant material removed
  • 25 bags of litter and debris collected

Read The News Tribune’s coverage of Parks Appreciation Day here and learn more about McKinley Park’s history here.