Heroes of Green Everett: Cari Krippner

What do trombones, native plants, and Silver Lake have in common? Cari Krippner!

Cari in red in the back right with her stalwart volunteers at Thornton A. Sullivan
Cari in red in the back right with her stalwart volunteers at Thornton A. Sullivan

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!

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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!

Heroes of Green Everett: Sara Noland

SaraNolandatSorticultureSara 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!

Take volunteering to the next level – Stewards wanted!

MorrillMeadows_creditLauraMarchbanksPhotography_10152011_031Want to join a team of volunteers who make a BIG difference? If you’ve dropped in for a work party with your local Green City Partnership, you have a taste of what volunteer restoration is like. Take it to the next level and see how a longer-term restoration project can transform a park you love. Be a local leader, inspire others to get involved, and learn what it takes to keep urban forests, parks, and natural areas healthy and green.

Nature in the city gives us so much: clean air, beautiful places to enjoy and encourage more frequent exercise, open space to spend time with friends, a local connection with nature that reduces stress and improves mental health, habitat for local wildlife, stormwater retention to reduce flooding, carbon sequestration, and more. Stewards are the VIPs that enable volunteer projects to be successful in taking care of valuable public spaces in their own communities.

Current Stewards have this to say:

“This has been one of the most positive volunteer experiences I have ever had. . . I can’t believe how great the park looks since we started.” – Kaytlyn, Redmond

“The park is full of small, special spots, each with its own story.” – Lex, Seattle

“The Green Kent Partnership has a powerful message, and that is to conserve the beautiful environment that we live in. It is such an honor to be a part of this.” – Danielle, Kent

[Q:What do you get out of this mostly? A:] “Its fun!” – Glenn, Redmond

I look forward to the day that I can walk through a forest that I helped create.’ – Jay, Seattle

HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN YOUR LOCAL PROGRAM:

In REDMOND: Lots of parks, including the top priorities shown on this map, are still looking for their own Forest Steward – could it be you?! An orientation for new Forest Stewards will be held on Monday, April 20th. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

In KIRKLAND: An orientation for new Green Kirkland Stewards on Sunday, May 9th welcomes you to jump in! Contact Katie to be placed on the list.

In EVERETT: This relatively new program is ready for Forest Stewards to take the reins in some awesome parks. Contact Joanna for more information on getting involved.

In TACOMA: There will be an orientation later this year for new Habitat Stewards. Contact Yvonne for more information.

In KENT: Find your own corner of Green Kent and dig in. Contact Desiree to find out when the next orientation will be held for new Stewards.

In SEATTLE: Join a team of Forest Stewards working in a park near you. They’ll be thrilled to have an extra set of helping hands, and you’ll learn hands-on restoration from the pros as you get great work done together. To get connected with a group, contact Andrea.

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The Mulching Season

I work as a Forest Steward and Washington Native Plant Steward at a forest restoration site in the East Duwamish Greenbelt in South Seattle.  The project is part of the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) and encompasses an area of a bit more than one acre.

I took this project on with three teammates who were in the same Washington Native Plant Society class in 2011 and we’ve been working on it ever since.  This coming August will be two years at the site and we’ve made some great progress.  But it has taken a ton of work, and a lot of support from many different people and organizations involved in GSP, especially Seattle Parks and Recreation, Forterra, Student Conservation Association, and EarthCorps.

Photo of mulched bareroots, Green Seattle Partnership
Recently mulched bareroot plants on our Green Seattle Partnership restoration site

Earlier this month we held our regular work party, and I was very pleased with how our bareroot plants were looking.  OK, admittedly, for some reason the Oregon grape doesn’t seem to be doing so well on our site, but really everything else is growing well.  And in early April in Seattle, most of the new native plants were already showing a lot of new leaves!  Of course the best plants were the bareroots that we planted about a year ago, but even those that we planted earlier this year seem to be taking to their new home.  So for this particular work party, a group of about 7 of us spent 3 hours filling buckets with mulch and making sure that these new plants are “tucked in” for the coming dry months.

I felt compelled to share our success with the world, because it seems that many people invest all of the time and energy to remove invasive plants from a site and get them replaced with what promises to be a batch of beautiful native plants.  And they stop there.  But it isn’t planting that is the most valuable part of the process; rather, it is the three years after the plant is in the ground that is critical.  And though moving mulch for three hours on a Saturday morning may seem more mundane than tearing out ivy or demonstrating our dominion over armored blackberry canes, there is a quiet satisfaction in knowing that this simple task is what will make the site great.  The simple act of spreading mulch around new plants will help enrich the soil and hold valuable moisture around the plant’s roots while it establishes its root system.

So here’s to the power of mulching!  I encourage anybody who reads this to find a work party in any Green City and help spread some mulch before things dry out for the year.

Green Everett Partnership Seeks Volunteer Forest Stewards

The Green Everett Partnership is now recruiting volunteer Forest Stewards to implement restoration projects and lead groups of volunteers to rebuild healthy native plant communities within Everett’s forested parks and natural areas. Everett Parks NHowarth Park Group shot 01262013 Joanna Nelsoneed You!

  • Join a Team of Volunteer Leaders
  • Learn about ecological restoration
  • Lead your own active, fun project at a park
  • Get support from trained staff
  • Help other volunteers get involved
  • Impact the park’s environmental health
  • No Experience necessary.
  • All materials, training and support provided by the program.

New Forest Steward Orientation
Saturday May. 18th 9am-noon
Forest Park, Lions Hall – 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd, Everett, WA
For more information contact: greeneverett@forterra.org  or call 425-238-0065

Blog spotlight: new blog posted for Redmond’s Watershed Preserve

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!

Great work, Mike and team – keep it up!