Save Seattle’s (and other King county) parks with free training program
A report just out and reported on in the Seattle PI “Report: Tree canopy declining in Seattle’s parks and forests“, by LARRY LANGE, SPECIAL TO SEATTLEPI.COM struck close to home for me. I became a native plant steward the year before the first survey listed in this report. To know that 10 years later things are sliding backwards faster than volunteers and city employees can keep up is disheartening.
Although I KNOW I made a difference in the green space I stewarded for over a year – because I walk thru it 10 years later and it looks better than when I started (and the people who came after me who helped) it is still frustrating that hundreds of people bust their butts and sweat buckets in pouring rain and blazing sun and we’re losing ground. But I am an eternal optimist (otherwise how could I stay a real estate broker, right?). Fortunately the Washington Native Plant Society managed to get funding for another native plant steward traiing in King county in 2011. The application deadline is April 10th, so don’t wait. Interviews are on April 15th.
I trained to become a Native Plant Steward 10 years ago and it was free in exchange for 100 hours of my time over the following year managing a specific green space of my choice. Every person in the training took on a space somewhere in a community near them and did direct work and organized volunteer work parties. You too can get involved to save our parks. I really enjoyed my training, it gave me great skills. I never regretted the time commmitment, I really made a difference in the 3 acre greenspace adjacent to Longfellow Creek just east of Chief Sealth Internationanal High School. I walk my dog there now and take pride in starting restoration in this area after volunteering and doing work with the Westwood Neighborhood Council, the community where this park resides.
I report on this training program every year it is available, hoping to spread the word further that such a thing exists to help those who are passionate about plants and parks. It’s clear it has become extremely important to make a difference now, before it is too late!
Training takes place beginning April 29th, at Camp Long and Pritchard Beach April 29 thru July 9, Fridays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm for 10 weeks. It is serious training that will make you fluent in plants and trees and managing volunteers and how to tackle projects. Everything you need to be successful to save our forests and make a huge difference by also utilizing large groups of volunteers is available to you for free.