Vandals can't uproot Tacoma volunteer's resolve

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 5:54 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 24 at 6:01 PM

TACOMA - On a typical day at Tacoma's Garfield Park you'll find kids swinging and racing through the playground, teens shooting hoops or playing soccer and seniors walking the fitness course. You'll also find Rob Girvin tending to a developing evergreen forest. Girvin has spent seven years and a lot of his own money to plant and nurture evergreen seedlings in the ravine next to the park.

"Because of man and our development and invasive plants, evergreens don't have a foothold, they can't get back in," explained Girvin. "So what I'm doing is basically giving the conifers and ecosystem a foothold so it can get re-established."

But now someone has turned much of Girvin's work into stumps and uprooted trees. The young ones were pulled from the ground and tossed into the woods, others were cut off at the bottom and left where they lay. Girvin rescued the ones he could find, took them home and replanted them. He'll nurse them back to health and replant them.

The severed trees cannot be saved.

Police are investigating and neighbors are on alert, but so far there are few leads and nobody can come up with a possible motive.

Girvin wants the culprits caught but won't be intimidated. He spent part of Monday like he has hundreds of days in the last seven years, planting a young evergreen in the ravine. 

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