Over here on Southeast Tanner Road, along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, just past the cow-turned-show mule pasture where the Snoqualmie Valley Trail crosses North Bend Way on your way up to Truck Town, we’re watching the Cascade Canyon community join ours off of our tiny, just-barely-fit-for-two-way-traffic street. Along with this new development, another novelty has emerged in our neighborhood — a bunch of litter scattered from the construction activity.
From what I can tell, the construction workers building Cascade Canyon are hydrated by Gatorade, lots of bottled water, Coke and Pepsi, and getting a drink with their drive-thru meals. And then they’re leaving their trash alongside Tanner Road, and, from what we can see from looking in, all over the job site too.
All this trash can find its way into the Middle Folk simply by flowing downhill towards it during a heavy rain, or through the new stormwater infrastructure that Cascade Canyon boasts that funnels rainfall off of hard surfaces (as well as anything that the precipitation picks up including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, oil that has leaked from cars and machinery, loose sediment, and litter) into a pipe that dumps directly into the Middle Folk along Tanner Road, with Mount Si Road just across the waterway.
Our neighborhood has spent the summer cleaning up the litter we can access in an attempt to preserve the landscape we all moved out here for. The soon-to-be residents of Cascade Canyon surely won’t trash their brand-new neighborhood. Still, there’s no reason that any of us in Snoqualmie Valley should tolerate construction activity trashing our streets and waterways during the process.
We’ve all had to accept new growth in our beloved small towns, but we must not accept litter and impaired water quality alongside it. That’s a growing pain that we just don’t need.