Employees of Keurig Green Mountain to spruce up Silver Creek

Restoration work will include clearing invasive grasses circling native plants

Staff writerJuly 9, 2014 

In 2013, employees of the Keurig Green Mountain plant in Sumner led a cleanup effort along the Puyallup River where they removed more than 1,000 pounds of trash and debris from the waterway over two days.

This year, the coffee company is doing it again July 10-11, and this time will add July 12 as a separate community cleanup day along Silver Creek — a stream that is part of the Clarks Creek watershed in Puyallup.

“Water is a critical natural resource that is fundamentally important to our company, our consumers, our stakeholders and our supply chain,” said Brian Kelley, president and CEO of Vermont-based Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. “As a business and as global citizens, we have a responsibility to promote good water stewardship in the world. Water restoration efforts are just one way our employees can be directly involved in that stewardship.”

The Puyallup River and Silver Creek cleanup is part of Keurig’s Community Action For Employees volunteerism program. The program allows 52 hours of paid time off per full-time employee per year to encourage giving back to local communities.

This year’s debut effort along Silver Creek is coordinated by the national nonprofit American Rivers, Tacoma-based nonprofit Citizens for a Healthy Bay and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.

“We’re very lucky that Keurig Green Mountain likes to get out and improve their local waters,” said Bill Anderson, executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Bay. “We’re big on that.”

Helping also to coordinate the effort locally is the Pierce Conservation District.

The PCD has been managing the open space for the last eight to nine years, and coordinates all the restoration activities for Silver Creek and Meeker Creek.

“Silver Creek has been in restoration for about eight years. This is one step in getting the site from complete disrepair into the stages of restoration, and hopefully getting into maintenance mode,” said Pierce Conservation District spokeswoman Melissa Buckingham.

Buckingham said employees from Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. will spend several hours on Saturday clearing invasive grasses from around native plants; digging out native blackberry to prepare for replanting in the fall; and adding mulch along the public trail at the site, to provide easier access.

While the majority of those working the site will be from the Sumner coffee plant, Buckingham said the general public is encouraged to attend.

The conservation district will provide tools. The city of Puyallup — another sponsor — will provide material costs.

“It’s an opportunity to get your hands dirty and be able to improve a local urban space in your local community,” Buckingham added.

It’s recommended those attending should wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts and sturdy footwear.

Anderson said Keurig’s commitment is impressive.

“In our efforts to keep Commencement Bay clean and healthy, we work throughout the Puyallup River watershed to protect streams, rivers and natural habitats,” Anderson said. “Silver Creek is one of the integral streams that we must continue to protect, and so we’re excited to have the help and support of Keurig Green Mountain and the local community to restore and preserve Silver Creek.”

if you go

Those participating will meet at 1014 12th Ave. SW in Puyallup. Parking is street side and limited, so carpooling is recommended. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Pre-registration for the July 12 community cleanup day at Silver Creek is online at www.americanrivers.org/gmcr-nrc/sumner-community-cleanup-day/. The event is from 9 a.m. to noon.

Andrew Fickes: 253-552-7001 andrew.fickes@puyallupherald.com Twitter: @herald_andrew

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