April 21st, photo of the day: Fresh Air and Blackberry Bushes

This morning started earlier than usual for Isaac and I, because of a volunteer opportunity he’d heard of through REI. We drove down to Tacoma, to Titlow Park specifically, at about 8 0’clock, and joined about 30 volunteers starting to work around 9. Our goal was to rid an area of invading blackberries; both alive and dead plants had taken over like crazy!

I didn’t have my camera with me in the beginning, I wanted to be able to work without worrying about it falling or something, so I left it in the car. If I’d known the amazing progress we were capable of in the following 3 hours, I would have grabbed it just to be able to have a “before” photo to show you.


It’s not easy to tell, but in the photo below, the whole area in the middle that is brown, is the space we cleared. From the bobcat on the road on the left, up to those concrete blocks just behind the girl on the right is the area we cleared.

The following are a few more taken at the end of the event, the majority of the work was already done, but as you can see, everybody was still working hard (okay, mostly everyone)!

Admiring the finished work

Even the kids helped!

Carving away at the blackberries

Grabbing a pile

Digging out a root ball


Raking up a pile

another load

Dragging a load

If you don't dig out the roots, blackberries will grow back in no time

digging out a root ball

Carrying another load to the pile

one last toss

The last few sticks at the end of the day

Tools at rest.

All in all, we got a lot accomplished today, and the Tacoma Parks are planning monthly volunteer days to continue the work we started. In the fall, they plan to be able to plant native plants (not blackberries!) in this area. As we drove away, the area looked so much better than it did when we started. It feels good to get a good (half)day of physical labor in, and help out a park in the process!


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