Each year, the King County Noxious Weed Control Program gets a great boost of support from the Puget SoundCorps, a branch of the Washington Conservation Corps’ AmeriCorps Program. Just when we need it most, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources provides our program with the time of six hardworking young adults who help us tackle some of the county’s toughest noxious weeds.
This summer, the crew is spending fourteen days battling knotweed on three sites along the Snoqualmie River* under the guidance of Justin Brooks, riparian team lead for the Snoqualmie River. I met up with the corps members at the last of the three sites, on the South Fork Snoqualmie River just north of downtown North Bend. (Our crew calls this site “the Lost Forest” because it’s easy to lose your way out there.) This year’s team came to us from EarthCorps, a Seattle-based organization that joins AmeriCorps members and international young adults to work on conservation projects. By the time I arrived, most of the crew was already out controlling knotweed. Crew Leader Hannah Supplee was waiting for me at her truck. Fording the river, we hiked downstream to join the rest of the team.
The crew had split into two groups, each of which was methodically controlling knotweed on the South Fork Snoqualmie’s riverbanks. The area had been partially treated for the last three years, and the infestation was spotty. Corps members told me the earlier control had made their job a lot easier. Still, it was hard work.
Hannah’s team had come from all over the country—and world—including Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, India, and Morocco. They’ve swiftly become a tight-knit group. When I ask them the best part of their job, they’re quick to answer: “Getting to hang out with the crew.”
The hardest part? “Having to make trails. Once make it, it gets a lot easier.”
Many thanks to the Puget SoundCorps crew for all its help!
Have a question about this article, battling your own knotweed, or anything else noxious-weed-related? Feel free to call us at 206-477-WEED (206-477-9333) or email email@example.com.
*Specifically, the three sites are:
- River bank right of the main stem Snoqualmie above Snoqualmie Falls, between the Hwy 202 bridge and the Meadowbrook bridge. This is river miles 38.7 through 40.3
- River bank right of the South Fork Snoqualmie between river miles 0.9 and 1.3.
- River bank left of the South Fork Snoqualmie between river miles 0.2 and 1.5.