Thank you – Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner for your Fairhaven Park Work Party

Last year we planted 286 native plants as part of our Fairhaven Park Trail and Boardwalk project. It is now our job to keep these plants alive! We have protected the plants with deer fencing to keep hungry intruders out. But that doesn’t keep out the invasive species! I went for a walk with Perry Welch, our wetland biologist, to see how the plants were doing. Good news: the plants are doing great. The bad news: so is the invasive vegetation growing up in our “paddocks”- mostly buttercup, some thistle and horsetails. Here’s Perry standing in the middle of the mess: 

Back for a second year in a row, the partners and their families from Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner, led our volunteers to tackle the problem. Thank you also to NSEA for loaning us the right tools for the job. 

My theme for the day was, “Eliminate the Competition!” Well, that and have fun getting some work done. The work party was all hands on deck and it was great to have the kids back again. They found joy in getting in the totes and getting dirty. 

David Brown has his hands full! Not only with his kids, but with a load of buttercup that he’s hauling out. The kids took on the job of shuttling the debris and stomping it into the totes. Great team. 

We had a lot to take on and everybody chose a spot and a job and went for it! There was a lot of overgrown buttercup to get rid of to help our native plants survive! 

Matt Conner brought his family again. In the shade of the tree, Jack helps his dad out with getting to the bottom of things with a hefty tool (loaned to us from NSEA) to dig in the dirt and remove the base roots of the buttercup. 

Also joining the work party was this friendly guy. Ok, David Brannon is a good friend and it was great to have him show up and tackle the task. Always with a smile on his face. 

A close up of David shows the dedication he and the rest of our volunteers had in clearing ample space for our young plants to survive. 

Thank you Paula McCandlis for approaching us last year and offering to support our valuable work in Fairhaven Park. We appreciate your corporate responsibility to our community, not only for Recreation Northwest, but many other local organizations. Getting the other partners and their families out for a day of work is also admirable. Thanks also for getting in and getting your hands dirty too. 

At the end of the day, we parted ways and went about our business. Well, all of us except one – Monica. This was Monica’s first time as a volunteer with us and I realize that I didn’t get her photo, documenting her dedication to the project. 

She stayed after and single handedly put the icing on the cake- topping off all of the plants with an extra measure of mulch. I went back the following day to capture what we and Monica accomplished. 

I am honored to be supported by members of the community to have this project be a continued success. Thank you to the partners and their families at Brett McCandlis Brown & Conner and our volunteers who came out for a solid effort. 


Todd Elsworth 

As co-founder and executive director of Recreation Northwest, Todd promotes outdoor recreation and brings people together to enjoy, preserve and improve the places where we play.


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