Pulling alders, mulching and making friends

Stewardship Weekend volunteers
Last weekend 43 volunteers gathered at the learning center and pulled on their work gloves.  Shovels, pulsakis, buckets and pruning shears in hand, these volunteers joined NCI staff and North Cascades National Park employees in readying the learning center campus for a busy summer season.  Stewardship projects completed over the weekend including mulching plants in restoration areas around campus, pulling alders along the road, clearing the play field of stumps, cataloging library books and removing invasive species.

Mike Brondi
Mike Brondi sharing his knowledge of restoration and native plants

As a member of the Institute community, the most rewarding parts of this weekend for me were getting to know everyone and having the opportunity to get my hands dirty working alongside such wonderful people.  Throughout the weekend, as I listened to stories and songs, learned about native and invasive plants and talked about our connections to this landscape, I was reminded of the importance of stewardship.

Sam mulching during the Stewardship weekend
Sam was one of our hardest working volunteers, helping here with mulching
Debbi pulling stumps during the Stewardship weekend
Debbi hard at work digging up stumps in the playfield

When I think of stewardship, the words of Gary Snyder come quickly to mind:

Find your place on the planet.  Dig in and take responsibility from there.

From grandparents to 6th graders, Earth Corps volunteers (15 of them!) to Institute Mountain Stewards,  we all dug in and made a difference.  For that, we here at the Learning Center send out a special thanks. The work we completed in just two short days would have been daunting without all of your help and enthusiasm!  Thanks again.

The mulch crew during the Stewardship weekend
So many bucket of mulch where moved this weekend!  Thanks to everyone who worked so hard on that project!
Volunteers learning how to pull alders during the Stewardship weekend
Volunteers learning the fine art of landscaping, pulling and pruning alders
Photos courtesy of Jenny Lee

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