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Oct 05

Volunteers Join Puyallup Tribe to Restore Land Managed by Tribe Since Colonization

Posted on October 5, 2022 at 3:34 PM by Camila Matamala-Ost

Over 60 volunteers planting over 500 native trees, shrubs, and flowers at the Canoe Landing
Over 60 volunteers joined us to plant over 500 native trees, shrubs, and flowers at the Canoe Landing

The Port of Tacoma is one of the most industrial areas in Pierce County, which means that there’s a lot of pavement and pollution. Tucked in among this industry is an extremely special place: the Puyallup Puyallup Tribe’s Canoe Landing. 

This parcel of land sits along the Hylebos waterway and looks out over Commencement Bay. On a clear day, you can see views of Mt. Rainier and the Olympics. It is also one of the few pieces of waterfront property that the Puyallup Tribe has continuously owned and managed since colonization.

While a lot of the Puyallup’s homeland was stolen from them by European settlers who came to the region, they have maintained their ownership over the Canoe Landing. Here, the Puyallup hosts other Tribes who participate in the annual Canoe Journey and celebrate the return of salmon at their First Fish ceremony. Despite the site being well loved and used by the community, it was also developed like much of the rest of the Port. Without any trees or native plants, water, air, and noise pollution all impacted the Canoe Landing.

Wanting to restore the area, the Puyallup Tribe’s canoe families and the Sustainability Working Group applied for and received a Green Stormwater Mini-Grant from PCD to create urban habitat. Over 60 volunteers planted more than 500 native trees, shrubs, and flowers along the road to create a green buffer. This strip of native plants will absorb runoff coming off the road by soaking it up and cleaning it before the pollution can enter Puget Sound. The trees and shrubs will also filter air pollution and reduce the noise from traffic.

We were fortunate to have so many volunteers come out to restore the site, including several elected officials: Tacoma City Council member Rumbaugh and Walker, Pierce County Council member Mello, Port Commissioner Ang, Speaker of the House Jinkins, and Puyallup Tribal Council members Bean, Bryan, and Rideout

As these trees and shrubs grow, PCD and the Puyallup Tribe will continue working together and engaging the community in volunteer events to care for these new plants. Make sure to sign up to receive reminders and announcements about PCD’s volunteer opportunities so you can join us as we continue to steward the Canoe Landing.

Puyallup Tribal Councilmember, Anna Bean, working with her children to plant native pollinators.
Puyallup Tribal Councilmember, Anna Bean, working with her children to plant native pollinator flowers and shrubs at the Canoe Landing

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