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Volunteers partnering with SOLVE Oregon offer weekly clean up events at several West Linn parks

PMG FILE PHOTO - Volunteers clean up litter on Cedaroak Island. Volunteers play a big role in maintaining West Linn's parks.If one of your New Year's resolutions is to improve the community around you, or you just need something to do on a Saturday morning, improving West Linn's parks is a good place to start.

West Linn volunteers will work with SOLVE at Sahallie Illahee Park, Maddax Woods, Burnside Park, Wilderness Park and Mary S. Young Park every Saturday for the next three months.

Interested volunteers can help plant native plants, remove invasive species and maintain trails at Sahallie Illahee Park 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 11, Feb. 8, March 14, May 9 and June 13. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, though organizers ask that those 13 and under come with an adult.

Volunteers will work at Maddax Woods and next door at Burnside Park 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 21, May 16 and June 20.

Workers will remove invasive plants, clean up litter, maintain trails and paths.

"We have tools and gloves and provide donated refreshments for all," the Maddax Woods Monthly Cleanup page on SOLVE's website says.

The Friends of Wilderness Park are scheduled to remove invasive plants and add chips to the park's trails Jan. 25, Feb. 22 and March 28.

Last year, a West Linn couple who regularly walks in the park formed the Friends of Wilderness Park when they noticed it could use a bit of upkeep. They began pulling invasive ivy on their own, but SOLVE now helps them organize monthly work parties.

The group will provide gloves and refreshments to volunteers and ask that they are over 10 years old and those between 10 and 12 come with an adult.

Work parties at Mary S. Young Park are scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 1, March 7, April 4, May 2 and June 6. Primarily, the volunteers will remove invasive plants but will perform general upkeep as well.

Tools are provided but organizers recommend bringing work gloves. They also ask that volunteers younger than 13 come with an adult.

"You will get a good workout and feel good about contributing to the health of this beautiful forest," the events organizers say on the SOLVE website.

These volunteer groups are helpful to the West Linn Parks and Recreation Department, which has limited resources for maintaining all 250 acres of natural parks and open spaces.

When the Friends of Wilderness Park formed, then-Parks & Rec Director Ken Worcester said the department appreciates the work these kinds of groups do because the City has about $55 per acre budgeted for maintenance of all the open spaces and natural areas.

To sign up and learn more about any of these events, visit sovleoregon.org.


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