Get a sneak peek of new Snohomish County boardwalk nature trail

Aug 20, 2014
Courtesy of: Adopt-A-Stream Foundation A Sneak Peek of the new elevated nature trail at the Northwest Stream Center will be held from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. The event is hosted by the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation.

Take a stroll on the almost finished elevated nature trail at the Northwest Stream Center in Everett.

Sixty percent of the new boardwalk is expected to be completed by the Sneak Peek scheduled from 1-4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13. The trail features a trout stream, frog pond, wetlands and more.

On Sept. 13, meet volunteers and donors who are building the nature trail and/or signup to become a volunteer or donate.

Donors who contribute $25 or more will be recognized on a plaque. If you donate $500, $5,000 or $15,000, you’ll be recognized on a nameplate along the boardwalk – on a section, special viewing spot or on a bridge, respectively.

“If you would like to become a volunteer and help us get this project finished before the fall monsoons arrive – call now – or just stop by in your grubs,” said Tom Murdoch, director of the Adopt-A-Stream Foundation. “You will be put to work right away.”

“All of our volunteers will tell you that it is a great feeling to create something this beautiful that will last a very, very long time. You are invited to enjoy that experience.”

Volunteers have been transplanting native plants along the trail that would otherwise be covered with the boardwalk. They are replanting that vegetation in locations where they have removed invasive nightshade plants in 3-foot-thick mats.

The first of five loads of 100 percent recycled plastic lumber for the project arrived in June. A second shipment arrived in July.

A month later, about 40 percent of the decking was in place. The third load of recycled plastic deck boards arrived in August.

Volunteers, with the help of two technicians, are moving as fast as possible to install the next 20 percent by mid-September, in time for the Sneak Peek, Murdoch said.

Underneath all the nightshade, volunteers discovered a small headwater stream and, with the addition of the transplanted trail vegetation, created a surrounding natural landscape.

In order to get visitors to this new feature, however, a trail extension is needed, Murdoch said.

He said the boardwalk will help streamkeepers teach up to 45,000 visitors a year the interconnections between forests, wetlands, streams, fish, wildlife and humans, so they can learn how to become stewards of their watersheds.

Now that the elevated nature trail allows visitors to “float” just above the Northwest Stream Center’s wetlands, creeks and forest floor, special viewing locations have been discovered, he said.

These are places where visitors can stop and reflect on Mother Nature’s handiwork: Beaver Works, Forest Lanterns, Cedar Cathedral, Salmon Arena and Headwaters Stream.

At each location, the width of the trail will need to be doubled, Murdoch said.

He said several bridges – at the Trout Stream, Frog Pond and the Wetland crossings – will also have to be replaced.

The Northwest Stream Center is in Snohomish County’s McCollum Park at 600 128th St. S.E. in Everett.

RSVP to the Sneak Peek by calling 425-316-8592. For more information, go to www.streamkeeper.org.

Donate directly to the elevated nature trail here: https://www.givedirect.org/give/givefrm.asp?cid=919.

-Edited by Beacon staff

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