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Marysville makes 'Clean Sweep' for Earth Day weekend

MARYSVILLE - The city of Marysville teamed up with various community organizations for a "green day" April 24, to commemorate the weekend after Earth Day.

Servpro and PC Recycle, at 13421 39th Ave. NE, accepted PCs, printers, monitors and cables. The parking lot of E&E Lumber, located at 1364 State Ave., let people dispose of their old paint for free, with exterior paints to be donated to the Marysville School District for painting over old graffiti and other community projects.

E&E Lumber owner Brent Emory estimated that they collected more than 500 gallons of paint, while Rita Henry of HomeStreet Bank estimated that between 9,000-10,000 pounds of old documents were shredded by Shred-It in the Marysville Municipal Court parking lot, as part of the annual "Community Shred Day" designed to protect area residents from identity theft. The Community Shred Day also collected 360 pounds of food and approximately $300 for the Marysville Community Food Bank.

The Marysville First Assembly Church conducted its second annual "Serve Day" in recognition of Earth Day, with help from SVR Construction, but it was the church's first Serve Day in conjunction with the city's "Clean Sweep." As other church members provided free lunches and free car washes, Pastor Nik Beaumgart credited the partnership between the city and the community organizations with lightening the load for all the participants.

"Last year, we were doing shredding and taking in paint and old computers, but with Shred-It, E&E Lumber and Servpro doing those, we didn't have to," Beaumgart said. "Last year, we had four dumpsters. This year, we have 15 dumpsters, plus appliance and metal recycling. So many more people heard about it this year that, if we'd had the same number of dumpsters, we would have filled up already," he said at 10 a.m., only an hour into the four-hour event.

In between hefting trash from vehicles into the dumpsters, church members Larry Norberg and Mike Johnson noted the number of items that were being thrown out in spite of still being usable, including several bicycles, a bag full of gold clubs and a bucket of golf balls.

Jennings Park hosted both educational displays and a hands-on learning opportunity, as the Allen Quilceda Watershed Action Team and other groups underscored the importance of protecting the native habitat from both non-native species and misuse by humans. Loren Brokaw of the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation showed children how industrial and agricultural pollutants can seep into the groundwater, using a plastic model and Kool-Aid powder, while Cara Ianni of the Stilly-Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force explained by the tree-planting being conducted along Allen Creek that day was so important to local wildlife.

"Trees along waterways increase the oxygen in water, lower its temperature with their shade and help make it clear by clinging to the ground with their roots," Ianni said. "I'm excited that all these groups can come together to give people a better understanding of their watershed."

Cindy Flint, a watershed steward with Snohomish County Surface Water Management, explained that a dozen Douglas firs and an equal number of cedar trees were planted, along with approximately 100 willow, yellow twig dogwood and red twig dogwood shrubs. She estimated that 130 people took part in the planting, many of them from well outside the Marysville or Arlington areas.

Brett Bridewell of Snohomish and Howard Willard of Camano Island were two students who turned out for the event, with Bridewell planting trees and shrubs to fulfill his school's community service requirements, while Willard helped remove blackberry brambles and canary grass to qualify for a Disney promotional tie-in. Elspeth Oyler of Lynnwood is only 6 years old, but she grunted as she lifted a shovel of mulch bigger than herself.

Like their fellow volunteers, Marysville's April Wilkins and Peter Nielsen laid old coffee bags, donated by Cascade Coffee, around their trees and shrubs, before shoveling mulch over the burlap.

"It gives the willows a chance to grow, without the weeds taking over," Wilkins said. "I love to see the kids out here getting involved."

"It's like yard work except longer," Nielsen said. "A couple of weeks ago, I came here and this was just overgrown with grass and brambles, so they buzzed that back before we even started. I like the way this is going. It's a start."

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