Volunteers embrace landscaping at 78th Street interchange on I5

first_imgCome springtime, motorists on Interstate 5 will see thousands of yellow daffodils blooming along the 78th Street exit ramps — a first sign of landscaping at an interchange completed 11 years ago. Volunteers planted young trees and bulbs Saturday morning as part of an effort to beautify the gateway to Northeast Hazel Dell. The landscaping project was spurred in January when Vicki Fitzsimmons, board member of the Hazel Dell Salmon Creek Business Association and the Northeast Hazel Dell Neighborhood Association, approached the Washington Sate Department of Transportation. She also adopted the section of the freeway between 99th Street and Main Street, which includes the interchange.Fitzsimmons, who works in Hazel Dell, said the work at the interchange is part of a larger effort to improve the area’s quality of life.“It’s just bothered me,” she said. “Everything that you see is just weeds.” The neighborhood association solicited donations from community members that were matched by the business association, along with $500 from Cost Less Auto Parts, $500 from Grover Electric and Plumbing and contributions from the county. Yard n’ Garden donated the bark dust and set up the trees in the four ramp sections before Saturday morning. “It looks like the dickens,” said Ila Stanek as she dug through overgrown grass on the southwest side of the interchange. “We’ve got to make it better, because we all live here and we don’t want people to think it’s a bad place.”last_img