On Saturday, September 25, twelve Port Townsend area youth in the 4-H Stewardship Program are asking you to join them in the forest! They will lead groups of community volunteers to cleanup the Quilcene-area watershed that supplies Port Townsend’s drinking water. This event is held on National Public Lands Day – a day when thousands of volunteers gather at national parks and forests, reservoirs and other public areas to improve and enhance the resources of those special places where Americans go to enjoy the outdoors. These projects are ones that would not have been accomplished without National Public Lands Day.
When 4-H heard that the U.S. Forest Service was looking to establish leadership opportunities for youth, it seemed natural to ask, “Why not have our youth help lead environmental projects in the Olympic National Forest while getting some fresh air and exercise themselves?”
Through a contract with the USFS, the 4-H Stewardship Program is able to pay the twelve youth participants for the Saturday projects they complete. This gives them a meaningful workforce and leadership experience, provides financial help to families who are in need of a boost, and helps these teens experience the personal satisfaction that comes from making real contributions to their community and to the environment.
Jennifer Fujii with the Hood Canal Ranger District pointed out that, “This event should hold special meaning for the residents of Port Townsend, who receive their drinking water from the targeted cleanup area. I would love to see them turn out in strong numbers – not only because the work will directly benefit their community’s water, but also because the youth involved have put in a lot of effort to organize this cleanup.”
“The City of Port Townsend’s municipal water is supplied by gravity from the Big and Little Quilcene Rivers. The existing surface water system has been in operation since 1928, making it one of the oldest water systems in Washington State. In addition to serving the residents of the City of Port Townsend, water is provided to the Port Townsend Paper Company, Glen Cove, unincorporated area west of the City, and the City wholesales water to Public Utility District No. 1 of Jefferson County (PUD) for the South Hastings Loop.” – City of Port Townsend Public Works – Water Quality
Pamela Roberts, Jefferson County 4-H coordinator emphasized, “We encourage all who are physically able to join us for this important community effort. We require volunteer participants to register beforehand so that we can responsibly plan for tools and group organization. We want to be sure that everyone has a great day outdoors, that they stay safe, enjoy the beauty of nature and fresh air while helping their watershed stay clean.”
Participants will start that day with a required safety meeting at 9 am at the Quilcene Ranger Station before driving into the forest for the cleanup. To register, send your name and contact information to Pamela Roberts, 4-H Coordinator, at or call her at 765-0124.
In partnership with the City of Port Townsend, WSU Beach Watchers,
U.S. Forest Service and Jefferson County 4-H.