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Marysville volunteers give Day of Service | SLIDESHOW
MARYSVILLE — A park project begun last year has continued to benefit from the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance.
This year’s Day of Service for Marysville returned to the Doleshel Tree Farm Park, located just east of Kellogg Marsh Elementary, on Saturday, Sept. 15.
Bruce Paquette, who helped organize the effort for the Marysville Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, explained that the Church is once again sponsoring the project, but commended both the city and surrounding community of Marysville for making their progress possible over the past two years at that site.
“There’s 11 acres total on this property, and we’ll have cleared out and cleaned up everything but two or three acres this year,” said Paquette, who estimated that nearly 150 volunteers from the Church and the surrounding community alike took part in trimming tree branches, up to six or seven feet high for safety and visibility reasons, as well as removing invasive weeds and blackberries, while city of Marysville Parks Department employees supervised the day’s labors and loaded deadwood into their chipper, to turn it into mulch for trails and landscaping. “It’s been real muscle-work, but next time, aside from that remaining northwest corner, we’ll be able to focus more on easier upkeep.”
Lake Stevens’ Ward Isom, president of the Sno-Isle 9/12 Project, brought at least half a dozen of the group’s members out to the Doleshel Tree Farm Park, while Marysville’s Danyon Heacock, who was named a city Volunteer of the Month for his Eagle Scout project to build a bridge across Allen Creek on the property during last year’s Day of Service, returned to paint the bridge this year, with friends and family members grabbing brushes as well.
“I remember when this was still a tree farm, back when I used to live in Marysville,” said Isom, whose machete made short work of the blackberry brambles blocking the view of Allen Creek. “It’s my first time out here since then, but I’m glad to help make a dent for a worthwhile cause.”
“I’m really surprised by how much other people have helped this bridge stay nice between when we built it and now, so we could just sweep it up a bit before we started,” said Heacock, who thanked community members for donating supplies to finish touching up the bridge, and credited the community as a whole for inspiring the idea of a bridge across Allen Creek at that site in the first place.
“Government doesn’t have the resources to get projects like this done anymore, but without their expertise, we couldn’t have done it either,” said Paquette, whose praise for the city of Marysville’s government and employees singled out Mike Robinson, the city’s parks maintenance manager. “Mike is just great. The city’s lucky to have him. The city as a whole has really impressed us through this partnership. We’d like to see other churches and volunteer organizations out here next year, so we can pool our resources to make this a beautiful park. Level out the potholes, and these grounds would be a kid’s dream to run around in.”
Robinson acknowledged that, if not for such partnerships between the city and the community, projects such as the Doleshel Tree Farm Park simply would not get done at all due to the lack of capital projects funds or spare manpower during the ongoing down economy.
“Every year, this church and its volunteers come to these Days of Service highly motivated and organized,” Robinson said. “In many regards, they’ve basically adopted this site, for which we’re grateful. We bought this property with conservation dollars, so it’s important that we move forward on it. It’s a bit rough around the edges, and it’s still not safe to open to the public just yet, but it’s a great site.”
“The whole point of the Day of Service was to do something that would make a statement, in the wake of 9/11,” Paquette said. “This is healthy and productive, and it shows that nobody can take the community spirit away from our nation. Not on my watch.”