What do trombones, native plants, and Silver Lake have in common? Cari Krippner!
When Cari is not making music with the Rainbow City Band or teaching adults and children about forest wildlife conservation, you will find her leading volunteers as a Forest Steward at Thornton A. Sullivan Park. Cari’s passion and dedication to her community and her skill as a teacher shines in all that she does for the Green Everett Partnership.
A K-8 teacher for thirty years, Cari currently works as a private tutor and substitute teacher with the Everett School District while she pursues an endorsement in Special Education with the University of Washington. She holds a master’s degree in Teaching Conservation Biology from Miami University in Ohio. In addition to volunteering with Green Everett, Cari has served as a docent with Woodland Park Zoo for 18 years, volunteers with the Adopt-A-Road trash pickup, runs a successful pet sitting business, and is very active in her church, Advent Lutheran Church in Mill Creek, where she teaches Sunday school. Phew!
Cari has called Western Washington home for nearly 20 years and the Silver Lake neighborhood of Everett for six. What she values most about living in Everett are the many green space
s to enjoy with her family and dog, the accessibility to cultural and educational opportunities, and the laid back atmosphere. When asked what inspires and motivates her to be involved in Green Everett, Cari tells us: “I really like this project because it is making a direct impact on the future of the parks. I am making a real difference making the park a better place to be. I have ownership in the project and have a stake in the future of the park.”
Check out upcoming work parties with Cari at Thornton A. Sullivan Park, listed on the Green Everett website!
If you want to be a Green Everett Hero, we are looking for new Forest Stewards for Everett Parks! Contact Norah, and stay tuned for an orientation for new volunteers this fall!
Sara Noland brings a generous spirit, dedication, and a passion for the environment to all that she does. As a Forest Steward, she can be found leading work parties at Howarth Park and Rotary Park, supporting staff and volunteers at big events like Green Everett Day, or conducting outreach to the public at Sorticulture. As a wetland biologist, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Green Everett Partnership.
Sara grew up in the Renton area and spent many hours building treehouses in a nearby park. She attended UW and Western Washington University, where she studied zoology and journalism. Sara and her husband bought a teeny house in Everett in the early 1990s and have lived there with numerous cats ever since. As a biologist with a local consulting firm, Sara gets to work outside sometimes, delineating wetlands and doing wildlife surveys. But to counteract the time she has to spend at the computer writing reports, she gardens at the Red Barn Community Farm in the Snohomish Valley, and volunteers with Green Everett Partnership, as well as with King County Parks, Adopt-A-Stream Foundation, and the UW RareCare rare plant monitoring program.
The Green Everett Partnership is just that – a Partnership! Community volunteers are essential to restoring Everett’s forested parks and natural areas to health. In fact, from January to June of 2015, 298 volunteers participated in restoration! Way to go! Volunteers do everything from remove invasive plants, to mulching, and planting native trees and understory – they help with educating and reaching out to friends and neighbors, doing data entry or helping with office tasks, and bringing snacks to volunteer events.
But Forest Stewards like Sara, who have stepped up to adopt a park they love and help get others involved, are the heroes of the Partnership. Without their leadership, we could never hope to care for all of Everett’s amazing forested parks and natural areas. Forest Stewards get special training from Green Everett staff and learn how to lead their own forest restoration projects. They are our eyes and ears on the ground, helping us create a program that truly follows community priorities and brings parks and people together.
…Look for more heroes of Green Everett in the coming months!
If you are interested in becoming a Forest Steward, contact Norah, and stay tuned for an orientation for new volunteers this fall!
Hi, I’ve been asked to speak to you today as a member of the Public Engagement Committee. We are made up of representatives from local government, non-profits and volunteers: the 3 constituents that make up the Green Seattle Partnership. As a group, we work on issues of outreach and engagement for the GSP as a whole. There are the monthly e-blasts to produce and planning for Green Seattle Day (put Nov 8th on your calendars, this is a great way to let the community know what we’re doing). In addition, this group provides an opportunity to consider some longer-range issues. These include working more closely with the community centers, bringing additional partners like local businesses into the GSP and striving to better reach out to the public in vital and inclusive ways so that we can involve the widest possible cross-section of the city in this work we are doing.
I am also speaking to you as a Volunteer Forest Steward. Lewis Park, the park I work in is a 5 acre wooded hillside on the north tip of Beacon Hill. We’re a group that is small, but mighty. My participation as a volunteer began almost 3 years ago at a meeting held by the Friends of Lewis Park. What I heard that day has changed my life in several ways, both large and small. Here is what I took away from that meeting:
Much of the initial work of clearing invasives and then planting and establishing native species had been accomplished. As the landscape was opened up, new challenges and possibilities had appeared. The park which had previously been a barrier between neighbors could become a bridge to bring us together. As the restoration took hold, the effort required would be changing from restoration to stewardship. Over the long term, if the park was to remain healthy and vital, the neighborhood (myself included) needed to take responsibility for it. We were being asked to contribute our ideas, our support and our time. There was a lot of enthusiasm at that meeting and I realized that this was something that I wanted to commit to. I signed on that day. Here I was, the “public” and I had been engaged.
Over time, my level of commitment grew and this past winter I became a Forest Steward. As I’ve become involved, I realize there is more to this than I first expected. In addition to building our park, we are also building our community. In order to recruit the neighbors who will care for the park in the future, we have to find them, meet them, ask for their input and invite them to join us. In supervising volunteers at work parties, through relationships with school groups and neighborhood teenagers, when hosting community meetings and tabling, and by communicating with other organizations in the neighborhood, we have tried to do just this. There have been a lot of successes but also many unmet challenges. So now, here I am, the “public”, I have been engaged and find myself in the position of needing engage a broader “public”. I am living both sides of this idea of “public engagement”.
So, who are the members of the broader “public” we need to reach? They are our neighbors and coworkers, our children’s schoolmates, the people we ride the bus with, folks who shop where we shop, local business owners and many others. They are all around us every day but it is often difficult to make connections. It is quite possible, and important, to describe a city like Seattle by identifying groups that are distinct and different from each other. You can subdivide the population along the lines of ethnicity, culture, economic resources, language, physical abilities, education, and age to name a few. These distinctions are important. I greatly value the diversity of this city and have learned and gained much from sometimes being a minority in the neighborhood where I live.
As a Forest Steward, I want the volunteers that work in Lewis Park to represent as much of that diversity as possible. The more connections that Green Seattle Partnership can make among the many diverse groups, the stronger our parks will be. If we can achieve this, we can build a demographic of people who love their parks and want to work hard to preserve and protect them. This new group, made up of diverse individuals and united by a common purpose, our forests, will be the next generation of Forest Stewards, valuing our urban forests for decades to come. For that is our true mission within the Green Seattle Partnership.
Deanna at Conservation Alliance helped organized a crew of fantastic volunteers to work with the Green Seattle Partnership out at Westcrest Park a few weeks ago. A fun work party, and a great organization – “The Conservation Alliance is a group of outdoor industry companies that disburses its collective annual membership dues to grassroots environmental organizations. We direct our funding to community-based campaigns to protect threatened wild habitat, preferably where outdoor enthusiasts recreate. The Alliance was founded in 1989 by industry leaders REI, Patagonia, The North Face, and Kelty, who shared the goal of increasing outdoor industry support for conservation efforts. We now have more than 175 member companies, and plan to disburse $1,000,000 in 2011.”
This guest post was written by Chris Blado, who leads the Kid Yoga Fun Club along with Dana
Here’s a riddle: What does yoga have in common with environmental restoration? The answer, according to local yoga instructor Dana Hein-Skaggs of Kid Yoga, is that both can be enjoyed by people of all ages in the beautiful natural areas of the Puget Sound region. Since November of last year, I’ve been helping Dana with her unique program for kids, the Kid Yoga Fun Club (KYFC). At these events, held twice a month in scenic parks around the Seattle area, kids learn fun and relaxing yoga techniques, explore natural areas on educational nature walks, and get their hands dirty pulling invasive weeds. So far we’ve visited several unique Redmond parks, from the sprawling Watershed Preserve to the tucked-away woods of Viewpoint Neighborhood Park. Earlier this summer, we also did yoga on the beach at Discovery Park in Seattle, where we learned about feeder bluffs and erosion processes, and tried to tackle that age-old question of just who makes those cool driftwood huts on the beach.
Want to join in the fun? Head over to the Kid Yoga website and look for “Kid Yoga Fun Club FREE EVENTS” listed in the announcements, and RSVP so they know to bring you a yoga mat!
Redmond Forest Steward Mike just created a new blog for the Watershed Preserve and the work he’s been doing there with other volunteers! The site looks great, and the group is starting a monthly event on the first Saturday of each month that will include walks along the Preserve’s beautiful trails and some volunteer restoration work to help keep the forest healthy. You can check out http://redmondwatershedpreserve.blogspot.com/ to find more information about the scheduled upcoming events, as well as maps, directions, history of the preserve, and links to other programs.
The Watershed Preserve is an amazing 800-acre mature, second-growth forest in northeast Redmond. For those who haven’t been, it’s a real treat to experience such a large natural area thriving within an urban setting, and definitely worth a trip. For those who already know and love the Preserve, these monthly events are the perfect opportunity to give back, help keep the forest healthy, and learn more about this great place!