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Whistle while you weed

POULSBO — Gloves? Check.

Gardening tools? Check.

Comfortable shoes, a bottle of water and an arsenal of elbow grease ready to be put to good use? Check, check and check.

The Centennial Park citizens committee is getting its work party started, and Poulsbo residents are invited to drop by.

Volunteers will pitch in to eradicate ivy, blackberries and black bamboo from the Century City’s featured esplanade this morning at 10 a.m. as the Centennial Park community cleanup effort blossoms to a start.

And while residents turn the tatterdemalion grounds into pleasant parkland, they’ll be able to take a little piece home themselves, as the Poulsbo Parks and Recreation Department is selling five- and 10-gallon pots of black bamboo to raise funds for further improvements.

The 2.5-acre park sits at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Iverson Street near the Poulsbo Library. The city will celebrate its grand opening Sept. 13.

But before that happens, the six-member citizen steering committee is ready to employ a handful of helpers in taming the brush along and west of Dogfish Creek.

Poulsbo Parks and Recreation director Mary McCluskey said she is hoping at least 20 people come out to lend a hand. All ages are welcome.

“Everyone can pull out weeds and blackberry and ivy,” McCluskey said.

Volunteers simply need to bring their own pair of work gloves and any tools they may want to use. Today’s task is general brush cleanup; in the future new signs, trails, plantings, bridge enhancements and a picnic table are expected to be added.

“This is just the very first step, and it’s literally cleaning up the bad stuff,” McCluskey said.

She said after the city received inquiries regarding the black bamboo, the department decided to sell it to raise funds for future park improvements.

Although black bamboo is an invasive species, it can create screenings, help stabilize embankments and won’t spread like green bamboo.

The work party will run until 1 p.m. today. Other future improvements include parking lot grating and an entryway sculpture at the corner of Seventh and Iverson. McCluskey said the Poulsbo City Council allotted $50,000 to help make the park revamping possible.

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