On any given day you might see a tall, thin man dripping sweat while hauling old tires, bottles, and half-buried debris out of thickets next to the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Shawn Etchevers has been volunteering for parks and greenbelt cleaning, or doing it quietly on his own, for at least 15 years. “I detest trash and love green areas,” he says. “Kirkland is lucky to have this long, quiet, and beautiful park in the middle of our city. I enjoy nature and want to protect as much of it as possible, so future generations can enjoy it too. That is my reward.”
The Cross Kirkland Corridor is a diamond in the rough. For many years before Kirkland owned it, trash piled up, and invasive plants such as scotch broom, blackberry, and holly took over, choking out native trees and shrubs. The Parks Levy that was approved a few years ago only pays for one full-time-equivalent CKC staff person and twice-yearly mowing. City personnel simply don’t have time to tackle the backlog of garbage and invasive plants.
Thankfully, volunteers like Shawn have stepped in to help fill the gap.
In addition to picking up litter, volunteers have also been removing invasive plants several times a month. If you’d like to help, watch for notices here on Kirkland Views.
None of this could happen without top-down support from the Public Works staff that love the CKC too. Among other tasks, the ground crew picks up Shawn’s trash piles, mountains of removed invasive plants, and the dog poop bags inexplicably flung into the bushes; patrols the corridor for downed trees and damage; repairs erosion; and cuts back encroaching vegetation.
You do not need permission to pick up trash on the CKC, but if you find anything heavy or hazardous (needles, sharp objects, human waste), contact Public Works to have them remove it: PWServiceRequest@kirklandwa.gov.
You do need permission to remove invasive plants. Please contact Public Works for more information.