Please join SCA, the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (UWBG), and Seattle Parks and Recreation for Earth Day – a fun day of projects at the Washington Park Arboretum on Saturday, April 13th!
Seattle Earth Day 2012
SCA started in Seattle in 1957 when the first volunteers arrived at Olympic and Grand Teton National Parks. Today SCA’s Northwest regional office administers and supports SCA programming in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Since SCA’s headquarters relocated from Vashon Island to New Hampshire in 1976, we have maintained a steady presence in the area. Our regional office in the heart of Seattle’s International District also operates SCA’s local Community Programs.
The Student Conservation Association (SCA), along with partners North Cascades Institute (NCI), the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, and the UW College of the Environment hosted presentations and a discussion panel at the University of Washington, Kane Hall, on Saturday, September 29. The audience of over 200 youth members, federal service employees, donors, alumni, and community friends were promised an evening of inspirational stories by Master of Ceremonies, King County Councilman Larry Phillips.
The panel to deliver on that promise was SCA’s Founder Liz Putnam, Congressman Norm Dicks, Peter Jackson, and youth conservation leaders, Grace Bogne, Tracey Wong, and Colin Ridgley. Panelists were invited to share their personal stories and reflect on how the late Senator Henry M. Jackson and other leaders’ accomplishments inspired their environmental leadership.
Grace Bogne, an SCA and NCI alum spoke of her immigration to the U.S. from Cameroon and highlighted how her involvement in local environmental organizations changed her life and inspired her to study science. Because of her experiences, she plans to become a healthcare professional- her idea of a healthy community means healthy humans and healthy environments, she stated “public health means taking care of our parks and people.”
She spoke of Senator Henry M. Jackson who spent over 30 years of his life representing Washington State in the U.S. Congress. He promoted legislation that led to the foundation of national parks, including North Cascades National Park and San Juan Island Historic Park, among others.
Next, Tracey Wong shared her stories about growing up in Seattle and enjoying the green spaces that she now cares for. She spoke about how important and meaningful it is for her to restore and protect the public parks that she has enjoyed so much. She introduced and interviewed Liz Titus Putnam, recently honored by President Obama for founding SCA. Liz was one of Senator Jackson’s key witnesses during hearings he chaired in 1971 to gain congressional support for establishment of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC). YCC was in part inspired by SCA work crews Jackson visited in Olympic National Park in the 1960s. Tracey interviewed Liz, asking her questions about her challenges as a female in the male-dominated field. The conversation provided a visual for the meaning of the event and the missions of all of the organizations present: to connect generations and help communities care for the lands.
Congressman Norm Dicks followed talking about his career in politics, including his experience working for Senator Warren G. Magnuson during the early 70s. Environmental issues have been a top priority during his time in office and in addition to supporting Jackson’s environmental legacy, Dicks has built a significant legacy of his own including the restoration of the Elwha valley, restoration of Mount Rainier National Park after the storms of 2006 and the USFS Legacy Road and Trail Remediation program to name just a few. He spoke of continually being inspired by conservationists in the Northwest past and present.
One of those sources of inspiration is Colin Ridgley who delivered a message about the importance of the work that has been done and the challenges ahead. He had several motivational ideas, stating “The key to conservation is not doing less, but doing more.” He challenged young and old audience members to do their part- everyone can and does make a difference.
Peter Jackson concluded the event with a brief discussion with panelists and the audience. He is the son of Senator Jackson and an active conservationist, serving on the North Cascades Institute board and serving as co-chair to the American Alps Legacy project. He reminded the audience that conservation takes work and is vital to our community health. Proof that the event was a success, the audience asked thoughtful questions about how and where they could be more involved.
Lara Iglitzin, Executive Director of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation stated “The Henry M Jackson Foundation was delighted to partner with the Student Conservation Association and North Cascades Institute to mark the Jackson Centennial and continues to celebrate the important role that environment and conservation work plays in the lives of our young people. Both SCA and NCI do vital work to motivate Northwest youth from all walks of life in preserving our natural heritage and developing young leaders in the field.”
On Tuesday, August 21, Community Programs hosted an end-of-summer celebration- a picnic/grill-out to celebrate all of the work done and friendships made this summer! Another successful summer season! Many thanks to all of the work from crew members this summer- in the city greenspaces and state parks/forests!
SCA Northwest Regional Office
Jay A. Satz, Vice President, SCA Northwest
1265 South Main Street, Suite 210
Seattle, WA 98144