NWEI Executive Director Mike Mercer plants a tree in Tualatin, OR on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

NWEI Executive Director Mike Mercer plants a tree in Tualatin, OR on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

For the first time in its 20 year history, Northwest Earth Institute has designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a day of volunteerism and service for NWEI staff. NWEI staffers spent the day with over 40 other volunteers planting trees along the I-5 corridor in a riparian area near Tualatin, Oregon.

Fellow Portland area non-profit Friends of Trees, which restores green spaces and natural areas in the Portland metro region by planting native trees, recruited a number of local volunteers with the help of Hands on Greater Portland. The trees and shrubs volunteers planted will help diversify the ecosystem and create a better habitat for native salmon.

NWEI staff planted 57 shrubs and helped to thin out a number of black berry root systems, which are considered an invasive species.

NWEI Director of Outreach and Technology Rob Nathan said, “I was inspired that so many people sacrificed their mornings and did something for our natural and human community on their day off. After just a few hours, the whole area seemed transformed. It is a perfect example of how a lot of people making small changes can make a huge impact.”

NWEI staffers Amanda Green, Rob Nathan, Liz Zavodsky and Mike Mercer get ready to volunteer on MLK Jr. Day

NWEI staffers Amanda Green, Rob Nathan, Liz Zavodsky and Mike Mercer get ready to volunteer on MLK Jr. Day

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