Despite the rain, community members gathered at Lewis Creek Park on April 20 to celebrate Arbor Day-Earth Day. This year, the city hosted several activities to facilitate public awareness of and involvement with the environment.
More than 300 volunteers participated in park enhancement projects including native planting, noxious weed removal and trail improvements. Inside the visitors center, families learned ways to help protect the environment through a variety of eco-stations.
Penjor Ngudup and his daughter Samaya of Bothell came to the city celebration with their Tibetan Language and Culture Class (TLCC) of Seattle. Ngudup said their family has been watching documentaries and Samaya who is 6, has been asking questions.
“It’s hard to explain that to a 6 year old but she understands that we have to do something,” he said. “Now that I have a growing [daughter], I think it’s important to practice what you preach.”
As part of their Earth Day outing, the TLCC planted about 15 rose bushes and learned how to take care of the planet.
At an April 15 city council meeting, Mayor John Chelminiak declared April 20, 2019, as Arbor Day-Earth Day in Bellevue. Chelminiak urged all citizens to participate in the planting of trees to help advance the well-being of present and future generations.
“Bellevue is committed to working with its residents and businesses and continuing to “build a healthy community by planting trees,” the proclamation states.
This year, the city received its 28th Tree City USA Award and 26th Growth Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
During the Arbor Day-Earth Day Recognition Ceremony, Bellevue park rangers, elected officials and young children planted a ceremonial tree and recognized environmental volunteers. This year, they planted a coast redwood tree. Overall, volunteers planted 2,200 native trees and shrubs.
“We enjoy having people coming out to learn about the importance of trees and learning the history of Arbor Day,” park ranger and environmental program coordinator Laura Harper said. “It’s also a huge restoration effort for the City of Bellevue Parks Department to try [to] increase canopy covering and restore specific areas.”