World Affairs Council

Creating change across the world

Last week we had the honor of meeting a few upcoming leaders from South Africa, including the leaders of three youth-serving nonprofits and a member of the South African parliament. Our visitors came to the U.S. as part of the World Affairs Council‘s International Visitor Leadership Program to learn about youth empowerment and development. On their tour around the country, they stopped in Seattle to learn about Nature Consortium’s programs and share ideas. As we went around the room sharing our experiences, it was clear we had a lot in common. In two short hours, the conversation covered a wide…

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1 + 1 + 1 = Impact: How small gestures make a big difference

“I’m only one person. How can I make a difference?” When faced with a big problem, it can be hard to see how small gestures could change the world. One light bulb, one art class, or one tree planted might not be enough to stop global warming or transform a community, but what about one thousand? Or a million? When you add up the small efforts of billions of people around the world it can add up to a big impact. (Here are a few photos of Earth Day 2012 from around the world.) To show off this idea, we…

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Training the next generation of forest stewards

With the forest only a few hundred yards away, students at South Seattle Community College don’t have to go far to get in touch with nature. This makes the college a perfect place to learn about forest restoration. Through Nature Consortium’s partnership with SSCC and Seattle Parks, the West Duwamish Greenbelt is being used as a living lab for the Horticulture Department’s Restoration Ecology class. This class was offered for the first time by instructor Van Bobbitt this past winter quarter and proved to be an immense success in teaching best management practices in Pacific Northwest ecology, connecting students to…

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Celebrate the spirit of service during AmeriCorps Week

This week at Nature Consortium, we’re one of thousands of organizations around the nation celebrating Americorps Week. Every year, we choose one Americorps volunteer to work on our Forest Restoration Team and give them on-the-job training in plant ecology, restoration techniques, leadership, and volunteer management. Our Americorps volunteers lead work parties, teach environmental workshops, and represent Nature Consortium out in the community. During Americorps Week, we celebrate volunteers past and present for their hard work and reflect on the impact they’ve made here at NatureC and all over the nation. When you volunteer, not only do you help a great…

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Hometown heroes – Why I donate to Nature Consortium

Rebecca Saldana grew up near the West Duwamish Greenbelt and spent many childhood summers playing in the woods. “One day the city came and cut everything back,” she said in a recent interview. “I don’t know what their plan was, but the sticker bushes and everything that was invasive took over, and we were no longer able to access that space.” Decades later, Nature Consortium and their volunteers work hard to remove invasive plants from the greenbelt and install native trees and shrubs. “Having a group like Nature Consortium working on the greenbelt, which is connected to the play area…

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NatureC founder tells how it all started

“It all started with a shirt.” In an exclusive interview with our friends at earthbongo, former NatureC director Nancy Whitlock tells how she got the idea to bring her community together around arts and nature. How was Nature Consortium born? “It all started with a shirt.  When my son Ian was born in 1996 I decided to quit working and stay home.  We didn’t have any family in the area and were the first amongst our group of friends to make the leap towards having kids.  We had been doing a lot of mountain biking and rock climbing with friends, which…

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Continuing Dr. King’s Legacy: A personal story

Guest post by Philip Pantaleo, Nature Consortium’s 2011-2012 Americorps volunteer As a community member of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhood, South Park, I am confronted with the realities of environmental injustice every day.  Living a block from the Duwamish river and the superfund site along the river’s banks, I see the impact on my community from not having safe and equal access to the local environment.  The soil in South Park was so contaminated with pollutants introduced by local industry that it was not safe to grow food in our front yards. Our water is so dirty and unsafe that we…

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2011: A look back, a leap ahead

Now that the year is coming to an end, we’d like to take the time to share a few highlights. 2011 was a year of exciting changes and success at Nature Consortium. Through our Youth Art Program, we’ve engaged 2,295 youth through 1,346 after school and summer art classes across 15 different sites. We covered a wide range of art forms including street art, green cuisine, guitar lessons, fashion design, hiphop dance, organic gardening, mosaics, and more. The restoration team hosted 150 work parties with 3,107 hard-working volunteers.  The 2011 Arts in Nature Festival was our biggest one yet! We hosted…

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Toddler Tree Planting

When the Restoration Team first discussed the idea of inviting preschool classrooms out to the greenbelt, we weren’t sure what kind of response that we would get.  Soon after our invitation went out to local pre-schools, phone calls and e-mails started pouring in from teachers who loved the idea of a planting event. To prep the land for planting, we enlisted the help of our fabulous regular volunteers. We cleared over 10,000 square feet of Himalayan blackberry to create room to plant fresh Douglas firs and snowberries. After a few more preparations, we were ready for the toddlers that braved…

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Giving thanks to our community

As Thanksgiving nears, we’d like to take time to think about everything we have to be thankful for. It’s been a great year here at Nature Consortium, full of new faces, new opportunities, and new ideas. We are thankful to have such a great community of support every step of the way.  Most of all, we’re thankful for YOU, our supporters, volunteers, donors, staff, neighbors, and friends who inspire us every day. You believe in our mission and share our passion for creating community through art and nature. Together, we can fulfill our vision of creating a more artful and sustainable…

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