As of Saturday, December 12th, the last of almost 4500 plants has been planted in the West Duwamish Greenbelt this year. We have worked to restore and maintain 7 acres of land and racked up over 8000 volunteer hours.
The year kicked off with a new Executive Director and new energy; 140 volunteers working side-by-side with Mayor Ed Murray, Councilman Tom Rasmussen, and Miss West Seattle for our annual MLK Day of Service; and, with the help of 3000 Seattleites Nature Consortium won The Sustainability Leadership Award for our work restoring our urban forest. That was just the first three weeks!
In 2015 we focused on building leadership and building capacity. Restoration Program Interns strengthened their leadership and understanding of how to solve global environmental problems through community-based restoration efforts like ours. Recognition that the forest is healthier today because of our community efforts was another highlight in a great year.
We also worked hard to strengthen mission alignment and build engagement in our programs. The Youth Art Program became the EcoARTs Program, an approach to arts education and environmental learning that truly makes Nature Consortium unique. The support of donors this year made it possible for youth and families living in low-income housing participated in over $90,000 at no cost. The new EcoARTs program also created opportunities for grown-ups to explore the intersections of art and nature in affordable arts classes designed for all-ages and all skill levels.
We have lots of plans for 2016 including new work sites and new ways to get involved. Thank you for your support – whether you volunteered, made a donation, or came out to enjoy one of our many program events – you are an important part of a great 2015!