Toledo Unveils Urban Forest Project

This Saturday, the Urban Forest Project – an outdoor exhibition of urban-forest themed banners designed by local artists – opened in Toledo. Following in the footsteps of New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Denver, Albuquerque, and San Francisco, the Toledo Urban Forest Project will display banners in public spaces to raise awareness about the importance of trees and forested space within the city. At the end of the exhibition, the banners are recycled into tote bags to be sold to benefit a local urban forestry or arts initiative – in this case, the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo’s Young Artists at Work Program (YAAW).

You can take a look at the beautiful and thought-provoking work represented on the banners at the project’s website. Anyone in the Toledo area should look out for them hanging on light poles!

Call for Artists at Carkeek Park Outdoor Art Exhibit

In collaboration with the Carkeek Park Advisory Council, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Associated Recreation Council, CoCA will present “Heaven and Earth 2,” the second exhibition of temporary, outdoor sculptural installations in Carkeek Park, from June 26 – September 26, 2010.

As in 2009, the exhibition will focus on interpretations of nature in a world of dynamic change. Sculptural works can be constructed of any material and should leave “no trace” following removal. Interactive (kinetic) artworks are particularly welcome, as are any proposals that incorporate the process of change (weathering, erosion, over-growth, etc.) throughout the three-month display period.

Deadline is May 14, 2010.

For more information, download the PDF announcement here.

Tacoma Parks and Recreation Operations and Maintenance Levy

Vote! Election Day is April 27, 2010

This is an all-mail election. Registered voters within the Metro Parks boundaries (Tacoma, Browns Point and Dash Point) will receive ballots and Voter Guides for the April 27 Park & Recreation Maintenance and Operations Levy.

More information about the levy can be found at the Metro Parks Tacoma website.

Mike Town Wins National Award for Environmental Education

We’ve been hearing about Mike Town’s great work for years, so we were thrilled to hear about the incredible award he won last week for his work with environmental science students at Redmond High School. He was presented with the $25,000 inaugural Green Prize in Environmental Education from the NEA Foundation last Monday, and was the unanimous choice for the award of a very prestigious panel.

From the Seattle Times: “Town’s program, “Cool School Challenge,” shows kids how to do energy audits of their school buildings and, using math and science, reduce the carbon footprint by powering down computers at night, turning out lights that aren’t being used, recycling, composting and a range of other strategies. About 150 participating schools across the country have saved an estimated 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions.”

Many of his students also happen to be Green Redmond volunteers.

The NEA Foundation is an independent public charity that offers grants and programs to support educators’ efforts to close the achievement gaps, increase classroom innovations, provide professional development, and salute excellence in education.

Congratulations, Mr. Town!

Congratulations to Puget Creek Restoration Society

for receiving the 2010 City of Destiny Award in the Environmental Sustainability category!

Puget Creek Restoration Society, a Metro Parks Tacoma CHIPin! partner, is committed to the restoration of salmon habitat. From hauling debris out of the creek bed to removing invasive species that inhabit the 66-acre natural area Puget Gulch in Tacoma’s North End, this group works diligently to care for this one of only three salmon-bearing streams within the Tacoma city limits.

Awards will be presented at a special ceremony on May 11th at Stadium High School’s auditorium from 7pm to 9pm, and televised on TV Tacoma. The public is welcome to attend!

Green Redmond Forest Steward Profile: Doug Schmitt

Doug Schmitt, Forest Steward at Hartman Park

Doug is in his second year as a Forest Steward at Jonathan Hartman Park.  As a Redmond resident with a degree from the University of Washington in restoration ecology, he felt it was important to get involved with the restoration efforts in Redmond’s parks.

“If you have a desire to make a difference, it’s great,” he said.

Doug is active at two sites in Hartman Park, a 40-acre park featuring both recreational amenities and forested areas.  He is currently replanting an area near the parking lot, and also does some restoration on the nearby trail.

Doug credits the Green Redmond Partnership in aiding his restoration effort at Hartman Park.

“The Partnership has been fantastic,” he said.  “Between the training classes and volunteer coordination, it provides a lot of support.”

While his background is in forest restoration, the community-building aspect of being a Forest Steward is also rewarding for Doug.

“It’s a good way to give back to the community,” he said, “and you meet lots of engaged, interesting people.”

Thanks for your hard work, Doug!  We’re glad to have such dedicated Forest Stewards in Redmond’s parks.

Doug has prior experience in forest restoration, but not all of our Forest Stewards do.  A willingness to learn and a commitment to a forested park is all we ask of our new Forest Stewards.  To find out how YOU can become a Forest Steward, or to volunteer in one of Redmond’s parks, visit www.greenredmond.org.

Kent: tell us what you think about parks and natural areas

We’re hosting a public meeting on April 8th about the new Green Kent Partnership, and we want to talk to you. If you’ve never heard of the Green Kent Partnership before, if you’ve heard and are curious about how you might fit in, if you love Kent’s parks, forests, and natural areas, if you’ve volunteered with the City of Kent before or would like to help ensure a healthy urban environment for generations to come – join us! Feedback will make our program as strong as possible.

While an RSVP is not required, it is extremely helpful in our planning. RSVPs, questions, and ideas can be directed to greenkent@cascadeland.org. And check out www.greenkent.org for more!

Hope to see you there!