Desimone Levee Planting
Microsoft employees volunteer to improve fish and wildlife habitat
Nearly one hundred Microsoft employees, organized through the United Way of King County Day of Caring (September 13, 2002), volunteered to help reduce the risk of major flood damage and improve fish and wildlife habitat damage in the lower Green River Valley.
The Microsoft volunteers broke a good sweat (as well as a few hand tools) under the hot sun as they planted their way along a quarter-mile segment of the Desimone levee. Within six hours, the volunteers, aided by young adults from the Earthcorps program, planted 3,420 native plants -- a number that exceeded the wildest expectations of the King County project managers.
Microsoft Employees working on the levee (put mouse on photo to see larger)
King County continues to use volunteer groups to help complete projects that stabilize riverbanks along the lower Green River. These projects include the addition or replacement of large rock along the riverbank and large logs for fish habitat. Also, blackberry- and grass-covered banks are being replaced with a diverse community of native plants. Native vegetation helps reduce erosion and thus the risk of flooding. The native plants also provide more diverse shoreline habitat for both fish and wildlife, and provide shade to help keep the river cool for salmonids.
The project team would like to thank these hard working volunteers, as well as Earthcorps, for their efforts to improve the riverbank for fish and wildlife along this critical levee and popular recreational trail.
For information about volunteer opportunities on King County's flood control facilities, contact John Koon, Engineer, River and Floodplain Management Section.