Pierce County News

1. Mount Rainier Wildflower season blooms

Mount Rainier Guest Services, a concessionaire to the National Park
Service, announces the annual bloom of the mountain’s striking wildflowers. This event traditionally signals the arrival of summer to the meadows of Paradise. The snow has melted allowing nature’s color palate to bloom in abundance.

Mount Rainier National Park is home to 787 varieties of plants, a large portion of which are the colorful wildflowers. A short walk on any of Mount Rainier’s well-marked trails will provide unforgettable views of the Park’s natural beauty. The Bear Grass and Indian Paintbrush wildflowers are in full bloom.
“For a glimpse of our magnificent wildflowers, plan a visit to the park soon,” said David Wilde, managing director of Mount Rainier Guest Services. Visitors to the Sunrise area will find a brilliant display of wildflowers already in bloom, including Avalanche Lilies, Purple Lupine, and Columbine.

For an additional view of the wildflowers, visit the historic Paradise Inn and enjoy the self-guided Wildflower Lampshade Tour. Take comfort in the lodge’s luxury and grand view, while admiring the hand-painted lampshades depicting native plants and wildflowers found in Mount Rainier National Park. Celebrating its 88th season, the Paradise Inn recently was featured in National Geographic Adventure as one of the “Ten Best Places” to stay in the U.S. National Parks. The inn will close Oct. 10 for the season. A two-year closure is anticipated to allow for rehabilitation and structural improvements.

While gazing upon the majestic view of the mountain, park visitors can experience Paradise Inn’s “Legendary Sunday Brunch.” Overnight accommodations in Mount Rainier National Park are available at the Paradise Inn and National Park Inn. For reservations or information, call 360-569-2275 or visit http://www.guestservices.com/rainier.

2. Open House set for Alderton-McMillin community July 19

Pierce County is holding an open house July 19 to update citizens on the Alderton-McMillin Community Plan. The open house, which will be held between 4 and 8 p.m. at the McMillin Grange, is an informal event where individuals can stay 10 minutes or four hours.

The community plan will be a component of the Pierce County Comprehensive Plan addressing growth and development issues. The plan area extends south of Sumner and around the City of Orting.

This is an opportunity for citizens to learn about the planning process, voice their issues associated with growth and development, and provide feedback to their friends and neighbors who serve on the community planning board. The comments heard and submitted will used to frame community goals, objectives, policies and action steps in the planning document.

3. Public invited to hear about stream restoration project July 19

Pierce County is inviting citizens to a meeting July 19 to hear about Clover Creek restoration efforts in the Parkland area. The public meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Parkland/Spanaway Library, 13718 Pacific Ave. S.

One of the first activities will be a hands-on invasive plant removal along the creek this fall. The county is interested in identifying volunteers at the public meeting who would like to assist.

“Clover Creek is a valuable ecological and community asset that will benefit from restoration,” said Hans Hunger, the county’s capital improvement program manager. “A combination of activities will be necessary, including removing invasive plants, restoring the creek channel and associated flood plains, and re-establishing native vegetation to improve the habitat for birds, wildlife and fish.”

The habitat and flood plain restoration project will occur along the creek between A Street East and the Brookdale Golf Course over the next several years. The location is flood-prone land purchased by the county along with land owned by the Cascade Land Conservancy and interested property owners.

Pierce County is in the process of developing a Habitat Restoration Plan for Clover Creek that identifies specific restoration activities and a timeline for implementation. Staff is encouraging local residents and interested community members to get involved early in this process.

“The July 19 meeting offers the public an opportunity to share knowledge of the creek, exchange restoration ideas with county staff and consultants, and learn how to be involved with the restoration planning efforts,” Hunger said.
Information can be viewed on the Clover Creek Habitat/Flood plain Restoration website at http://www.piercecountywa.org/cloverrest.