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Solving Global Environmental Crises with Community Based Restoration

Guest post from Kyle Miller, Restoration Program Intern As a senior in UW Bothell’s Environmental Studies program I often feel like I can sum up what I’ve learned in one word: Depressing. It’s hard not to use this word and I feel like most of my classmates would agree. Every day in the classroom we’re exposed to the myriad of environmental problems threatening the stability of our biosphere. We learn to appreciate the beauty and importance of species diversity only to be reminded that they are going extinct at a rate 1,000 times the normal background rate, with 10-30% of…

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Fruit of Your Labor

Good news for anyone who has helped Nature Consortium plant native trees in the West Duwamish Greenbelt! Just south of Pathfinder School, in the relatively open meadow area west of the main trail into Pigeon Point Park, there is a sure sign that our restoration efforts are getting somewhere. A beautiful Douglas fir tree that was planted by a volunteer at some point in the past 5 years is producing cones! That’s right—one of our own baby trees has grown big enough to produce cones. These cones produce seeds and may very possibly give rise to some new Douglas fir seedlings…

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Meet Our New Interns

Meet our newest team members! Our Forest Restoration Program is steadily expanding, and to support our growth we’ve brought on two interns. You can meet Heather and Kyle at any of our Tuesday work parties during their three-month term. Heather has been volunteering with Nature Consortium since the beginning of 2015 and has now joined us as an intern. She is “really excited to be a part of such a great organization,” to have the opportunity to give back to our community’s green spaces, and make them a healthier place. Heather was inspired to help restore our forest because of her own experiences within…

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Middle Fork Inspires New Connections

To celebrate the completion of Merica’s first 90 days as Executive Director, the Nature Consortium staff ventured out to lunch in South Lake Union. On our way to the restaurant we spotted a breathtakingly enormous sculpture in the window of a nearby shop. Tim Detweiler, the director of the MadArt gallery space, invited us in to take a closer look. Middle Fork, Tim explained, is a life-sized sculpture of a hemlock tree made from a plaster cast of a 140-year-old tree that still stands today in North Bend, WA. The sculpture is the work of Seattle artist John Grade, who…

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Spring in Bloom: Native Flowers to See Right Now

Spring has arrived in the West Duwamish Greenbelt! This week in the greenbelt you can find two different native shrubs with bright pink flowers – red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), a member of the gooseberry family and salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), a member of the Rose family. Red Flowering Currant This shrub is covered with drooping clusters of small bright pink and white flowers. Right now the leaves have not quite emerged and by the time the leaves are fully visible, the flowers will be fading. Later in the summer the flowers will develop into round black fruits, which are not believed…

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EcoARTS: A Brand New Vision

For many years, our Youth Art Program (YAP) served two anchor locations in the Yesler Terrace and Rainier Vista communities in partnership with Seattle Housing Authority. Though the YAP program saw tremendous success, it also faced a number of challenges. This time last year we began developing a new program model to address some of those challenges. Our goal is to more closely align our arts education program with our mission and state academic standards while increasing access to our program within our home base of Southwest Seattle. This period of change inspired us to take our new program model…

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Keely Wolfram on Why it Pays to Give

Keely Wolfram is a long-time Nature Consortium supporter who is passionate about youth and the outdoors. She served as Nature Consortium’s board president from 2009 to 2012 and continues her support with monthly donations. In a recent interview, Keely shared her story of what inspires her to give. Q. What initially drew you to become involved with Nature Consortium as a volunteer? Keely Wolfram: As a team member with Seattle Works Team Works program, I came out one Saturday to pull ivy with Nature Consortium. Our time out in the woods, right in the middle of the city, was pretty…

Modo Yoga Supports Nature Consortium

The wonderful folks at Modo Yoga in Greenwood dedicate one class per week to the community. Rather than charging the typical class fee, participants in their Karma Modo classes each Friday pay only a $5 donation which goes to support a local nonprofit. For January and February, Modo Yoga has chosen to donate proceeds from their Karma Modo classes to Nature Consortium! From now through February 28th, visit Modo Yoga’s Karma Modo classes on Fridays at 7:30pm to support Nature Consortium and a great local business. Thank you, Modo!

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Nature Consortium Wins Sustainability Leadership Award

We won! On January 23, Nature Consortium was awarded the Sustainability Leadership Award in the “Transforming Spaces” category in a three-way tie. The Highland Park Improvement Club and the Duwamish River Coalition were also honored with the award. “The judges felt strongly about highlighting the projects going on in South Seattle,” said Terri Butler, executive director of Sustainable Seattle, who hosted the award ceremony at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Merica Whitehall, Nature Consortium’s new executive director, was there to receive the award. Nature Consortium is committed to serving Southwest Seattle and the Duwamish region. We recognize the…

"Nature Consortium's MLK Day of Service 2015"

MLK Day of Service Success

Last Monday, staff and volunteers at Nature Consortium gathered in the West Duwamish Greebelt to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service – and it was a huge success! We had the pleasure of meeting Mayor Ed Murray, City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, and Miss Seattle (an outstanding student from West Seattle High School), who all joined us in the greenbelt to pitch in. Here’s a look at what you accomplished: 140 volunteers attended 560 native plants installed 6 cubic yards of mulch spread 3 musicians performed 32 art project participants Students from local universities, as well as neighbors…

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