The volunteers that came to help plant the garden beds this month represent the area’s largest minority community, Riley said. The district staff worked with the Monroe Public Library, the Edmonds Community College Latino Education Training Institute and other organizations for outreach, she said.
Monroe has one of the highest populations of people who are Latino and Hispanic in Snohomish County, Riley said.
Ten percent of Snohomish County’s population is Hispanic or Latino, according to the most recent census data. That number is closer to 20 percent for Monroe, according to the City of Monroe.
“It takes all of us to do something on our own property, and that is what the chamber wanted to exemplify,” Riley said.
The city and Snohomish Conservation District teamed up for the planting project, which was conceived in 2014. That’s when Bertrand and Alex Pittman got together, “when the emails started flying.”
Pittman was looking for a way to cool down water in the French Creek sub-basin. Warm temperatures affect the amount of dissolved oxygen in its tributaries. Low levels create a chronic barrier to fish passage, according to the conservation district.
Cripple Creek enters the Monroe Wetlands to the north, and then exits via the southwest corner. The waterway connects with French Creek, which then flows into the Snohomish River.
The conservation district has been focused on French Creek for a while, according to Pittman. Salmon struggle to survive in its warm waters.