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We Put the “Party” in “Work Party”

Nature Consortium will once again celebrate Dow Constantine’s birthday by restoring his favorite park. Join us on Thursday, November 15, 10am-2pm at College Street Ravine in West Seattle for a Nature Consortium-style birthday party complete with live music by Dan Pearson. Dow Constantine is a West Seattle local who got involved in politics through his environmental work with the Friends of the College Street Ravine many years ago. Before becoming King County Executive, Dow worked with his local community to save the 5 acre green space from threats of development. It’s a story that we at Nature Consortium can relate…

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3 Tips to Help Native Plants Thrive In Your Garden

It’s planting season again, and it’s great time to start adding native plants to your garden. Plants that are native to Western Washington will survive best in our climate without watering, pesticides, or fertilizers. Plus they make the best habitat and food for our native wildlife. Here’s a list of some of our favorite native plants for gardening, plus a few tips for success. A Few Of Our Favorites Western red cedar – These trees stay green all year round and repel most pests. Salmonberry – A good substitute for invasive blackberry patches, salmonberries taste similar to blackberries and ripen…

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Toddler Tree Planting Dates Announced

It’s that time again! We had so much fun planting trees with toddlers last year that we’re announcing three new dates for this season. Bring your little ones out to the woods for an outdoor adventure with Nature Consortium. In addition to tree planting, we’ll also go on a nature hike and explore local plants. Register today by emailing us at volunteer@naturec.org. Families and preschool classes welcome. Toddler Tree Planting Nov. 16, 10-11:30AM FULL! Dec. 7, 10-11:30AM FULL! Feb. 15, 10-11:30AM FULL! Thank you to everyone who already signed up! Check out our photos and stories from last year‘s toddler tree…

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Youth of Today, Leaders of Tomorrow

This week I got the chance to visit the greenbelt and hang out with the teens in our summer Restoration BootCamp. We offered BootCamp this year in partnership with Camp Long and Cleveland High School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program, which offers classes that help students prepare for the high-tech careers that will help shape our future. Students spent the week in the greenbelt our Restoration Team getting hands-on training in forest restoration and monitoring techniques that pros use every day. On the day I visited, the team was deep in the woods examining plants in their plot of land. I…

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A Farewell Message from Philip: My Year with AmeriCorps at Nature Consortium

It hardly seems like 10 months ago when I first entered the Nature Consortium office as new AmeriCorps volunteer. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of excitement, learning and connecting people, arts and nature. I came to Nature Consortium with a desire to become engaged with environmental service along the Duwamish River. My experiences over the past 10 months have deepened my passion for sustainable engagement with environment, art and community. The organization has allowed me to grow as individual and a professional; it’s given me a new pride in myself and inspired me to dedicate my life to the…

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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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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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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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Duwamish Alive: the restoration doesn’t stop here

First off, we’d like to give a HUGE thank you to all the volunteers that came out with us for Duwamish Alive last Saturday. The work you’ve done is important, and together we have made a huge impact on the Duwamish watershed.  Saving our watershed Decades of industrial pollution, urban runoff, and sewage overflow have made the Duwamish River one of the most polluted rivers in the country. As citizens of the river’s watershed, we’ve banded together as a community to do our part to make the river clean again. Last Saturday, hundreds of volunteers gathered at 14 different sites throughout the…

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