The Washington State Department of Ecology has been working on cleaning up the soil in Burien’s Dottie Harper Park, and we found an update on their website.
“This work is part of the Soil Safety Program, which cleans up park, school, childcare, and camp play areas contaminated by air emissions from the old Asarco smelter in Tacoma,” states their website.
To give you an idea of what Ecology’s program looks like, here is a series of photos and captions they posted showing their work in Dottie Harper Park (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):
Digging up contaminated soil around the popular Richard Beyer old growth stump sculpture.
We don’t normally clean up wooded areas of parks because digging can damage trees. In this case, kids often use the slide (on the right edge of the photo). There is a lot of exposed dirt, so we covered it with bark to reduce possible exposure.
Under the play structures did not need any cleanup, but children also play in the surrounding grassy area. We dug up the contaminated soils and this picture shows the new soil we put in, all ready to be seeded with grass.
The bark is all finished. The slide in the background has a black fabric liner underneath and will soon be getting play chips. The play chips look different and are better for fall protection than the landscaping bark you see here.
To read our previous coverage on the local effects of Asarco pollution, click here.