• Massive restoration underway from damage left by 'Moleman'

    By: David Ham


    SEATTLE, Wash. - Seattle Parks workers have covered about 3 acres of Cheasty Greenspace near Jefferson Park Golf Course will burlap as part of its restoration project.

    In July, the city said it would start repairing the protected parkland damaged by a camper who dug a trail of elaborate tunnels nicknamed the "Moleman".

    "We have begun restoration in the Cheasty Greenbelt where a camper did extensive damage to the hillside. We have filled all the holes we found, installed some erosion control, and will follow up with covering the area with wood chips and mulch and restoring vegetation. We continue to look for the camper, but have not found him," said Joelle Hammerstad, spokesperson for Seattle Parks and Recreation.

    "I think it went on far too long and we would like to see the parks department move in earlier so it doesn't get that expensive," said Mark Holland who lives nearby.

    The city estimates the restoration will cost taxpayers about $50,000 for the repair work.

    "As for schedule, we have done all that we can do for now. We don’t put plants in the ground at this time of year, but we will in the fall - during regular planting season. So, you can say that the project will be complete later this fall," said Hammerstad.

    The city said it has posted a no trespass order to make sure the camper also known as "James" does not return.

    Parks officials add they do want to connect him with social services and Veterans Affairs so he can find a new place to live.

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