Mike Arizona has spent 15 years working in an office next to the Duwamish River.
Two years ago he had seen enough of the jungle of invasive plants choking off the native plants along the river in Tukwila, so he started chopping, slicing and pulling away the invaders.
On Friday, Arizona’s employer, BECU, will join with the City of Tukwila and the conservation group, Forterra, to launch an official partnership based on Arizona’s efforts.
Arizona started by himself but has since become the leader of an army of co-workers, city staff and other volunteers who are clearing the views and access to the river. By replacing the blackberries and other invasive species with native plants, the group is able to attract native birds and animals that depend on them.
It’s not easy - the group has to continually manage the areas it has cleared to keep the plants from coming back and prevent other invasive from moving in.
The public is invited to the official launch of the partnership at the Duwamish , but be advised: Arizona will put you to work.