Beautifying the community in Puget Sound for Make a Difference Day

Saturday, October 22nd was Make a Difference Day (#MDDay) in the Puget Sound Region. King 5 News Seattle, The Nature Conservancy in Washington, and Lowe’s helped to make this beautification project happen.

This project started a few weeks ago with the removal of concrete to plant rain gardens around Puget Sound. On October 1st, a few members of my motorcycle rights organization, Tacoma Chapter ABATE of Washington, helped remove 3600 square feet of concrete from two median areas surrounding Fallen Rider Outdoor Memorial park in Tacoma, Washington. On that day, our members recognized how sad the park looked. It needed some TLC for when the volunteers returned!

On October 9th, our chapter went to the park to give the space in between the medians a minor facelift. One of our members has been voluntarily mowing the grass at this park for over 15 years and was elated when we all came out to do a massive cleanup. We spent over two hours removing overgrown tree limbs, mowing grass, and raking leaves to make the park look its best for the planting. In total, we removed five truckloads of overgrowth, which we brought to the Tacoma recycling center where they turn it into mulch that gets used throughout the city.

Sarah Volunteer Project

On Saturday, October 22nd, we returned for the final stage of this project – planting trees, plants, and mulch in the rain gardens. Along with 90 other volunteers from King 5 News, The Nature Conservancy in Washington, and Lowe’s, we planted 1600 plants and added 30 yards of bark dust donated by the City of Tacoma to the rain gardens! It only took us about two hours!

We met King 5 News anchor and motorcycle rider Greg Copeland when he inquired about the Tacoma ABATE logo printed on our t-shirts. We chatted about motorcycles of course and how we all could have been out riding on an unusually sunny, 60-degree day in October, but we were all there to lend a hand to help improve the area surrounding the park. When Greg posted about the event on Facebook on Saturday, he gave a shoutout to our group.

Sarah and Leon Volunteer Project


This kind of community volunteering is not new to Tacoma Chapter ABATE. We sponsor a two-mile stretch of Hwy 7 in Spanaway that we have cleaned bi-annually for over 21 years. We also run an annual Santa for Seniors (benefitting Orchard Park Health Center) and Toy Run (benefitting Pierce County YWCA) event where we raise money and gather toys and goods for the seniors and kiddos. We were all overjoyed at the result of the rain gardens and will be on the lookout for projects like this in the future. The season of giving has not yet started for many people, but we have a jump on it by lending a hand for Make a Difference Day #MDDay!

Are you interested in reading more about Make a Difference Day? Check out this post written by The Nature Conservancy.

Sarah is a Web Designer based in Tacoma, WA.