Restoration continues in the face of vandalism

This sad news comes to us from King5.com, reporting yesterday on vandalism to the forest restoration effort at Garfield Park in Tacoma. Green Tacoma Partnership Habitat Steward Rob Girvin has been working for the past seven years to re-establish conifers and maintain a healthy forest in the ravine next to the park, logging over 500 hours to date of his own time and leading other volunteers who contributed 255 hours last year alone, says Metro Parks Tacoma. Last week he arrived at the park to find many new plantings destroyed. From King5.com:

The young ones were pulled from the ground and tossed into the woods, others were cut off at the bottom and left where they lay. Girvin rescued the ones he could find, took them home and replanted them. He’ll nurse them back to health and replant them.

The severed trees cannot be saved.

Police are investigating and neighbors are on alert, but so far there are few leads and nobody can come up with a possible motive.

Girvin wants the culprits caught but won’t be intimidated. He spent part of Monday like he has hundreds of days in the last seven years, planting a young evergreen in the ravine.

We were very upset to hear this news, but are inspired by Rob’s unwavering dedication to the park. We encourage anyone who can to join in the next Garfield Park work party and help this great project continue. Visit the Green Tacoma Partnership website to see upcoming volunteer opportunities, or sign up for the listserve to have them emailed to you each week.

Metro Parks Tacoma also reported on the event here, including a small correction to the King5 video: conifers to be planted this week were purchased through a grant from Sustainable Tacoma, not by the DaVita Corporation. Employees from DaVita will volunteer at Garfield Park this Thursday to help Rob replant some of the destroyed site in response to the recent vandalism.

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