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Sharing A Little Love With Friends

A special message from Nature Consortium volunteer Allison Vasallo Growing up near redwood forests in California, I discovered my love for cool and shady forested hikes. As a transplant into the Pacific Northwest, what drives me now is the understanding of the important role salmon play in our ecosystem from the coast to all the way inland upstream to their spawning site. I feel as if residents of our region relate to the salmon’s uphill/upstream struggle and we incorporate that into our own lives and work ethic. I have been volunteering with Nature Consortium since the winter of 2012. When…

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What I Learned by Teaching

A special message from Nature Consortium teaching artist Tara Migliore I came to Nature Consortium as a volunteer because their mission and programs resonated deeply with me. I believe that by using art and nature to bring people together, I can make a difference in my community. Now, as a Nature Consortium team member and garden educator at Pathfinder K-8 School, I am able to bring that vision to life with students every week. In our outdoor classroom, students grow and share healthy food, study science, make art, build community, and practice collaborative approaches to group work. Weaving all of…

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Announcing Our New Executive Director

  The past year has been a year of transition for Nature Consortium. It was a year ago that I initially took leave of my position as Executive Director. I enjoyed a wonderful break and had time for more family-based and self-reflective activities. The staff continued carrying forward the mission while encountering a few bumps in the road. In late summer I was invited to come back on an interim basis while a new leadership search was undertaken. The organization spent 4-months networking in the community and working with a search firm to find just the right fit. I am…

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Leading The Way With Talented Teachers

To kick off the new school year, Nature Consortium selected 11 talented local artists to be part of our 2014/15 Teaching Artist Roster. In early September, thanks to a generous grant from The Boeing Company, we gathered these artists together for an inaugural Teaching Artist Training and roundtable discussion led by Carol Williams, our Arts Education Manager. It was an opportunity for artists from various disciplines to come together to discuss teaching strategies, issues of social justice, and the role of art in community building. We also discussed our vision for how to create access, exposure and opportunities in the…

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Meeting Jack Johnson at the Gorge

Are you a Jack Johnson fan? We sure are! Every time Jack comes to town to perform, he donates a portion of the concert proceeds to local environmental nonprofits. Nature Consortium is proud to be among his list of hand-selected local nonprofits for nearly five years! In 2008, Jack Johnson created All At Once, an initiative that helps connect his fans with the environmental causes he supports. This summer, Jack and All At Once invited Nature Consortium to his concert at the Gorge Ampitheater in Quincy, WA to connect with fans face to face. It was so much fun! In…

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Discovering Wildlife in the Busy City

As August begins and I celebrate my 2 month anniversary as the Forest Restoration Director at Nature Consortium, I am taking time to reflect on what I’ve experienced here. I have had the pleasure of working with over 200 volunteers thus far, including Boeing employees, French software developers, local high school students, a church group, exchange students from Mexico, Nature Consortium Summer Camp students, and some of Nature Consortium’s most dedicated long-term volunteers. In addition to the great people I’ve met and the work we’ve accomplished, I’ve also enjoyed witnessing the West Duwamish Greenbelt’s vibrant ecosystem. We have seen American…

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Eco Arts Summer Camp

This summer, Nature Consortium hosted an Eco Arts Summer Camp for youth at Yesler Terrace and Rainier Vista. It was a smashing success, and we had a jam packed week exploring art and the outdoors. The Rainier Vista camp kicked off with a walking field trip to Cheasty Greenspace, a forested park in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle. Cheasty is just blocks away from the Rainier Vista community, so it makes a great place to start on our outdoor adventure. Students explored the local vegetation and learned the difference between native and invasive plants. After our plant lesson, we…

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Building Leadership in the Arts

  Her bubbly smile and positive attitude are contagious. When you meet her, you’ll know exactly what we mean. Carol R. Williams is the newest member of the Nature Consortium team. She brings more than 20 years of experience working with youth, young adults, and teachers in arts education and job readiness programs. Her list of accolades and accomplishments is miles long. As the new Arts Education Manager, Carol will oversee all aspects of the Youth Art Program, from designing curriculum and hiring teachers to deepening relationships with the communities we serve. One of her first major projects will be…

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Meet Lizzie, Our New Restoration Director

Nature Consortium is proud to welcome Lizzie Zemke as our new Restoration Director. The following is a guest post from Lizzie. Since moving to Seattle from western New York State 30 years ago, I have had the good fortune of working as a plant ecologist and wetland scientist in Puget Sound, Alaska, Oregon, Montana, and even in the Sandhills of Nebraska. I have a passion for botany and natural history, but I also have a passion for community, and I see Nature Consortium as a place to realize both goals. I am very excited about this new chapter in my…

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Field Excursions Bring Art To The Outdoors

As warmer weather arrives, we have more opportunities to connect youth to the outdoors. Amy Pille, who teaches Eco Arts at our Rainier Vista location, along with our Executive Director Renee Mona, recently took students on an outdoor excursion to create nature art around their neighborhood. She drew inspiration for her lesson from the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a professional artist who creates sculptures from materials found in nature. Before sending students off to create their own sculptures, Amy guided them in a discussion on the importance of creating art with natural materials. Nature art is waste-free, can be done anywhere,…

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