City rolls out sweat, spirit and shovels

By Judy Halone-The Courier-Herald

Bonney Lake residents are getting ready to roll up their sleeves and don their work clothes in preparation for Beautify Bonney Lake Day, now in its fourth year. The communitywide service project will begin at 9 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Pierce Transit Park and Ride lot at 184th Avenue and state Route 410.

The work day provides an opportunity for the community to come together in cleaning and helping to beautify the city, coordinator David Wells said.

“The Beautify Bonney Lake Board, in cooperation with the community, hopes to work with hundreds of volunteers on many projects,” Wells said.

Projects include planting bulbs at the library, City Hall, Public Safety Building, senior center and post office. Several other tasks - litter patrol, performing light repair work on seniors' homes and planting trees and shrubs in the area, for example - will provide opportunities for residents to lend a hand.

Several athletes from Bonney Lake High School are planning on lending their muscle.

“We have around 90 players coming,” football coach Jeff Gardner said. He was confident other teams may also represent the school, including girls soccer, volleyball and golf.

“Last year, those people worked awfully hard,” Gardner said. “We pulled out garbage from creek beds, tore down old tree forts and pulled weeds around Lake Bonney. I'm just really proud of what these kids do.”

One of two major highlights to this year's event will be the creation of a pondless waterfall at Gateway Ascent Park by Dan Roper of Waterscapes Northwest. The design will resemble 120-foot Victor Falls, which lies southwest of the location.

“They are donating most of the cost and the city is picking up about $5,000 of it,” Community Services Director Gary Leaf said. “Retail, this would be an $18,000 item.”

The city's ultimate goal is to build a public viewpoint that will provide a birds-eye vista of the falls.

Another highlight features the “Big Dig” - when several flowering pear trees and shrubs will be planted at the corner of Locust Avenue and Sumner-Buckley Highway. Heading up that project are Ray and Mary Miller, former owners of Big “E” Nursery in Buckley.

“A city is judged by how it provides parks for its people,” Mary Miller said. “We're also planting 125 cans of heather to provide year-round beauty.”

The number of volunteers for Beautify Bonney Lake Day has grown steadily since its 2003 inception, Leaf said. “The first year, we had 175 show up; the second year we had 350. Last year there were 500 volunteers. This year we expect to see at least 600.”

The city is offering souvenir T-shirts in either cyber pink or cornflower blue to the first 600 volunteers, along with breakfast and a pizza lunch.

The Bonney Lake Food Bank will be at the Park and Ride lot throughout the event to accept donations of nonperishable food.

For more information, contact Carol Wells-Reed at 253-863-8500.

Judy Halone can be reached at

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