Burien Awards Profile #2: Kevin Alexander

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by Gina Bourdage

And The Award Goes To…

Each year the City of Burien takes nominations for outstanding efforts from extraordinary community members that are making a significant and positive difference in our community.

For 2009 the winners are nothing short of remarkable people we had the pleasure of speaking with, including the 2009 Environmental Leader Kevin Alexander.

“I think it’s because I have the time to work with different projects.” Said Kevin Alexander when asked why he though he received the nomination. “It’s good exercise and it makes me feel good.”

If you have the privilege to spend time with Mr. Alexander, you will see that it takes a lot more than free time to tackle the projects he has underway. While he welcomes community volunteers, Kevin spends a lot of his time taking care of the parks and beaches by removing invasive plants such as ivy from trees.

“Ivy can add around 2,000 pound of weight to a tree if not kept under control. In a heavy rain or wind storm some of those trees don’t stand a chance with all of that extra weight.” Said Alexander.

Working with the city to bring green methods of removing these plants, Kevin also assists in the management of 100 goats that are chowing down on plants that pose as a threat to native species.

“The City of Burien has been great in assisting, providing tools and support. The Parks Department has a limited budget but they do what they can with what they have.” Said Alexander.

Mr. Alexander has strong hopes for the building of the educational building plans for Seahurst Park. The Environmental Science Center will provide education to the public about our diverse marine life. If you would like to learn more about the projects in progress, to volunteer or learn more about our environment, visit www.seahurstpark.org. Puget Sound residents can also make efforts to keep water clean and request a test kit for their neighborhood at www.soundcitizen.org . Events such as educational moonlight beach walks, area clean up efforts and salmon restoration information available at these sites.

Kevin Alexander, and a long list of volunteers, hope not only to stop the contamination and degradation of our parks and wetlands, but to see actual improvements so that we can enjoy them for generations to come.

Here’s what the City of Burien had to say about Mr. Alexander:

Instrumental in acquiring the necessary Army Corps of Engineer permitting, allowing the removal of sediment from a lower detention pond in the Seahurst Park.

This work was critical to support the salmon hatchery program managed by the Highline School District Marine Technology Program, as it removed accumulated sediments deposited within the salmon rearing pond.

Removing the sediment provided the salmon access to their original watershed, which allowed for egg collection and future hatchery release.

Spends considerable time removing invasive plants with much of his focus spent on tackling invasive Holly.

His webmaster skills have provided vivid images and lots of useful information to countless, long distance visitors at www.seahurstpark.org.  Here you can see pictures of Seahurst Park, read about the park’s history, get involved in volunteer opportunities, or take advantage of the links to a variety of community resources.

Founding member of the organization Sustainable Burien.  The organization’s goal is to involve residents and businesses in the process of creating a sustainable local community by sharing their ideas, passions, knowledge and talents.  For information on this group please visit (yes, again Kevin) www.sustainableburien.org.

And here’s a video showing some of the fruits of his efforts for the restoration of Seahurst Park:


You can meet Mr. Alexander in person (along with the other three award winners) at the City of Burien and Discover Burien’s Annual Awards Dinner/Auction, which takes place Friday, March 6th at Karuna Yoga Studios in Olde Burien.

Cost is $25 per person.

For more information call Burien City Hall at (206) 241-4647 or Discover Burien at (206) 433-2882.

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