Evergreen school district thins trees

first_img In previous years, cross country coach Matt Hanson and his team would walk through a grove of trees behind Evergreen High School to pick up trash before each meet.The dense foliage, which includes a portion of the team’s home course, attracted transient camps, drug activity and vandalism.This year’s pre-race routine looks like it will be different. The 5.5 acre plot of land was thinned over the summer, making the space more open and inviting in more sunlight. It also now has a gravel path that it didn’t have before. “I’ve never seen it this clean,” Hanson said. Evergreen Public Schools has been eyeing the problem area for years. Sue Steinbrenner, director of facilities for the school district, said that the driving force behind the project was the safety of the students at the schools in the area. Along with students from Evergreen High School, the forested area is also a shortcut for kids at Cascade Middle School, Legacy High School and nearby Burton Elementary. “We periodically thinned it out, limbed it up, but we continued to have a lot of bad things happen in the woods there,” she said. “It was scary to walk in there.”So after hiring consultants and obtaining permits from the Department of Natural Resources, crews removed 20 truckloads of trees, or 220 tons of logs. And the project paid for itself. Click to enlargelast_img