Parks Appreciation Day is coming April 25

Karen Lovett Jerry Hartley loads some Scotch broom into his truck following a day of weeding. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Hartley

Key Pen Parks officials are hoping for a big turnout of volunteers to participate in Parks Appreciation Day ––the annual event to spruce up our local parks.

Young and old are welcome to lend a hand from 9 a.m. until noon on April 25.

Prior notification is not required. Show up at the location of your choice. Wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the season, weather and work.

Most of all, organizers are hoping the community brings their enthusiasm, smiles and appreciation for our parks.

This year the park district will be focusing on four sites.

At 360 Trails and Rocky Creek Conservation Area, trail maintenance will include pruning, raking and Scotch broom removal. Kids will have an opportunity to plant young trees.

Girl Scouts will be working at the Home Park to help rake woodchips in the playground. Volunteers are needed there as well as at the children’s playground at the Key Peninsula Civic Center in Vaughn.

“We need as many volunteers as we can get,”said Christina Hallock, Key Pen Parks marketing coordinator/recreation specialist. “Bring gloves, rakes, loppers, shovels and shears.

“Rain or shine, there will be a hot dog lunch for all volunteers at noon at 360 Trails, and they can drive up to the picnic area,”Hallock said.

Lunch is from noon–to 1:30 p.m. Follow the signs if you are unfamiliar with the park location.

Marilyn and Jerry Hartley have been volunteering for park clean-up duty since 2007 and officially adopted the Rocky Creek Conservation Area in 2009.

“We do both sides of the road and four to five miles of trails, trimming once a month and checking daily for litter,”Marilyn Hartley said.

She said she loves Washington and believes it’s a truly beautiful area.

“It hurts when people throw litter out. The worst is the needles. Normally I’m by myself. I’m comfortable there. Some of my neighbors have seen my truck and when they can’t find me and can’t reach my cell, they have been known to call the sheriff,”she said.

Hartley supervises volunteers during Parks Appreciation Day.

“I find spots I need extra help on,”she said. “I’m never dissatisfied with people who come to help. They are very devoted.”

She said that garbage has gotten worse in the area.

“I load it into bags and the county picks it up plus the bigger stuff. There’s furniture, chopped up car parts, boats and trailers.

“I would like to thank those who are careful with their trash and the others who see it and pick it up,” Hartley added.

 For information on Park Appreciation Day contact Christina Hallock at (253) 884-3931,, or visit

Park locations: 360 Trails: 10905 144th Street NW Rocky Creek Conservation Area: SR-302 at 15th Ave. on Crews Road Key Peninsula Civic Center: 17010 South Vaughn Rd, Vaughn Home Park: 17220 8th Ave. Ct. KP N