Sat, Jul 31, 2021
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Willapa Harbor Herald
Lewis County News
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Volunteers get first sunny ‘Clean Up the Coop’ on Saturday

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(Left to right) Volunteers Becky Aheren, Mary Greenreich and Viola Chickese unload new planters to be placed along First St.

Local volunteers had their first dry Clean Up the Coop event this Saturday and were able to tackle a number of long-standing projects around town.

Part of the monthly cleanup efforts of the Winlock Cleanup Committee, April’s cleanup day found volunteers spending time in Winlock’s downtown core, as well as spreading to the nearby business district on Cedar Crest Dr.

An embankment on the south side of the business district, by SR 505, has perpetually been overtaken by invasive Scotch broom, a wild shrub common throughout the West Coast and lacking in local natural predators. Growing unchecked, the plant can take over entire hillsides, and is notoriously difficult to eliminate due to the durability of its branches.

To overcome such durability, volunteers took to using chains saws to bring down the shrubs and were able to eliminate all the Scotch broom along the embankment before the day was over.

Similarly, overgrown shrubs and rhododendrons were cut back significantly from outside the Community Building as a start to several ongoing projects planned for the facility. Committee Organizer Viola Chickese said the Community Building is among local structures volunteers are hoping to provide with a fresh coat of paint during upcoming cleanup days.

But some plants are meant to grow where they are placed, such as those in the decorative planters found outside businesses along First St. Owned by the Lions Club, many of these planters had begun to deteriorate with age and new planters were brought in and filled to replace the old ones. Chichese said the committee had been able to acquire these new planters and their potting soil through local businesses, including True Value Hardware and Brosey’s Hardware. Other companies participating in the event included Tyler Rentals, who again provided heavy equipment free of charge to help clean up the town.

The next cleanup day is scheduled for May 10, and those with questions or interested in helping plan events may call (360) 785-0178.

Chichese (right) and fellow volunteer Kathy Sundberg (left) fill one of the new planters with potting material acquired locally from Brosey's Hardware.

Volunteers help slash away piles of Scotch broom and other overgrowth along SR 505 Saturday as part of the monthly Clean Up the Coop events.

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