Jun 01

Multiple Community Groups Collaborate to Pull Over 7 Tons of Tires from Swan Creek Park

Posted on June 1, 2021 at 11:49 AM by Allan Warren

SwanCreekEarthDay_PierceCountyStaffersInspired by the Swan Creek Limpieza in 2020, the Puyallup Tribe Sustainability Team hosted their own Swan Creek Cleanup as a part of the Puyallup Tribe’s multi-site Earth Day 2021, and as a finale of the Swan Creek Limpieza team’s week long cleanup in the days leading up to Earth Day. Pierce Conservation District and Tacoma Solid Waste were backbone supporters of the week long cleanup effort. Pictured here are volunteers who are colleagues at Pierce County, who helped recover thousands of pounds of tires from Swan Creek.

The East Tacoma Community Leadership Team (ETC CLT) got together again this year for another Swan Creek Limpieza Cleanup, this time in honor of Earth Day 2021.

Armed with trash pickers, the Brian Abbott Above & Beyond award winning team led multiple socially-distanced shifts of volunteers through some of Swan Creek’s most impacted areas. This year, the focus was finding hidden areas harboring aging, degrading tires that have been out of sight and out of mind for decades.

On Earth Day itself, the Puyallup Tribe Sustainability Team (PTST) took lead to host the cleanup’s finale, bringing shovels to dig up sunken tires, heavy duty carts, and most importantly, a tremendous spirit of collaboration. There’s a reason these tires have been in Swan Creek for so long: it’s incredibly hard to move them out! There are no roads close to the river, so every tire needs to be individually carried for miles through uneven terrain.

It’s a difficult job, but the PTST was up to the task. While the ETC CLT focused on trash along the trails and moved tires to places along the trail that are easier to reach, the PTST skillfully hoisted hundreds of pounds of tires up and out Swan Creek’s infamously steep ravines, then moved them through the narrow trails all the way to the park entrance.SwanCreekEarthDay_TIREd

GCR Tires’ Sustainability Team donated their services to dispose of the recovered tires so that they can be recycled instead of brought to the landfill. In addition to the tires recovered from the ravines, the GCR Team was also able to remove a network of abandoned industrial tires in Swan Creek’s Lister uplands. Some of the tires were so big, their removal required a crane! In the end, GCR Tires was able to help the community cleanup groups responsibly dispose of nearly 8 tons of tires that have been degrading and polluting Swan Creek’s waterways since the 90’s. We know tires emit substances that are especially dangerous for salmon populations, so this was an especially impactful and collaborative cleanup, showing what’s possible when people move together in the spirit of community and collaboration.

Special thanks to the agency partners who came together to support the community groups to make this happen, including the Puyallup Tribe, Tacoma Solid Waste, Pierce County Parks, Pierce Conservation District, and Tacoma Pierce County Health Department multi-agency collaborative Step it Up.
Jun 01


Posted on June 1, 2021 at 11:42 AM by Allan Warren

Seed Sow Share

For Pierce County to have a resilient local food system, we want to ensure our food is local and accessible to the community at every stage, from seed to table, and back to seed again. It is important that we support and learn together. In partnership with Emergency Food Network’s Grow Your Food Program we are ensuring free plant starts make it to gardeners around the county each Friday. From April to mid-June 15,000 vegetable starts will be shared for community gardens and local growers. The drop off sites each week alternate from McCarver/Bamford Park Community Garden and University Place Garden to Mountain Community Garden and Evergreen Community Garden. Find the distribution times and the community garden nearest you on our website: https://piercecd.org/601/Plant-Start-Giveaway
Grow Your Food Final-01

Jun 01


Posted on June 1, 2021 at 11:34 AM by Allan Warren

GrandviewEarthDay1Heather Williams is potting up native plants in the children’s garden at the Grandview Greenspace, a food sovereignty garden on Tacoma’s Eastside centering indigenous foodways. This was a part of the Puyallup Tribe Sustainability Team’s Earth Day event. This project is a collaboration between the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, Harvest Pierce County, and the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department.

Earth Day 2021 was a long-awaited (socially distanced) celebration of Grandview Greenspace and one of the first community gatherings held at this site. On April 22 folks came together to plant nearly 300 native plants into the children’s garden and ethnobotanical trails.

It was wonderful day of hard work and good medicine shared by Puyallup Tribe communityGrandviewEarthDay3 members and Pierce Conservation District staff. The day was kicked off with an opening blessing by Peggy McCloud followed by an engaging story circle presented by the tribe’s early learning center Lushootseed language teachers.

Grandview has been a project of collaboration by the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Puyallup Tribe, Eastside Tacoma community, and the Pierce Conservation District. This event served as the informal opening of the indigenous-centered park that provides space for earth stewardship and reconnection to land and plants. If you’re interested in learning more, please visit the website at: https://gvgreenspace.wordpress.com/.

This day was made safe & possible thanks to the Puyallup Tribe Sustainability Group, Grandview Early Learning Center, and the Pierce Conservation District. A special thanks to the Farm at Franklin Pierce for storing plants for this event!