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Green Tacoma Day Oct. 10 features free fun for kids in Wright Park

October 1, 2015

Volunteers needed elsewhere to cut English ivy, Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberries and replant native vegetation

When it comes to kids and climbing trees, a backyard apple is one thing. A giant sequoia in the middle of Tacoma’s oldest arboretum is another.

That second option will be the premier draw in Wright Park during annual Green Tacoma Day festivities Saturday, Oct. 10.

Children 5 and older, with parental permission, will be helmeted, harnessed and hoisted into the upper reaches of the park’s outstanding 55-year-old giant sequoia. Then, while tethered to a professional arborist, they’ll have the opportunity to move through the tree, one branch at a time. This year, the event will be supported by Zeb Haney (a certified arborist and owner/operator of a local tree setree festival climbing a treervices company) who will volunteer his time and equipment to assist hoisting children into the tree.

“It’s great to see the looks on these kids’ faces as they’re pulled up close to the canopy,” said Joe Brady, natural resources manager for Metro Parks Tacoma.

The free attraction, courtesy of Metro Parks, is just one element of many activities taking place in Wright Park and elsewhere from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. as part of Green Tacoma Day. Organized by the Green Tacoma Partnership, with participation from the City of Tacoma and others, the eighth annual Green Tacoma Day is sponsored by BECU.

Also in Wright Park, Metro Parks urban forester Mark McDonough will give children a chance to plant a few trees while he provides pointers on proper planting techniques as three new trees will be added to the historical arboretum.

CHIP-in! Volunteers From REIElsewhere, habitat restoration activities are planned in 10 locations in and around Tacoma, including six Metro Parks sites:

Color CHIP-in! LogoRichard Madison, Metro Parks community outreach and special projects coordinator, said all of the sites suffer from incursions of invasive plants, such as English ivy, Scotch broom and Himalayan blackberries. Volunteers should bring a set of work gloves, but other tools will be provided. If the weather is cool and wet, some of the volunteers may be asked to plant natives to replace the invaders.

Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. School, church and business organizations are welcome to take part. Pre-registration is preferred. To sign up, go to

  • What: Green Tacoma Day
  • Where: Wright Park and 10 other locations in and around Tacoma
  • When: 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10
  • Cost: Free
  • Registration:

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