It’s like pulling weeds.
That old saying sums up what 30 teens did this spring and summer in the Student Conservation Corps.
Working for the Bainbridge Island Metro Parks & Recreation District, they spent more than 2,000 hours removing invasive weeds so native plants could thrive. They worked in 15 parks and removed over 100 yards of ivy, scotch broom, holly, blackberry, butterfly bush and more.
SCC is a summer employment opportunity for students 15-18. They came back this year after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The teens spent nine weeks removing invasive species at parks, including Fay Bainbridge, Blakely Harbor and Moritani Preserve.
At lunchtime, they heard from conservation professionals, including an introduction to wilderness first aid and fire safety from Jared Moravec of the Bainbridge Island Fire Department, an inside look at forestry and arboriculture with Malloree Weinheimer from Chickadee Forestry, and life on a research vessel with NOAA scientist Meredith Everett, conducted via Zoom from the Johnson Atoll southwest of Hawaii.
The park district has hosted SCC for 12 seasons with support from its trails foundation, Bainbridge Community and the state’s Summer Experiences & Enrichment for Kids programs.