Thankful for Helping to Make a Difference


“My investment in SCA is the hard work of protecting our natural resources.”

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, those of us at SCA reflect on all that we are thankful for – from our members, to our federal and local partners, to our generous donors who make all that we accomplish possible. 
Clydia Cuykendall has supported SCA for over 15 years, as well as serving as SCA’s Board Director from 2003 – 2009.  Clydia was born and raised in Olympia, WA and developed her connection with nature as an avid lifelong lake swimmer.  She also gained an appreciation of the outdoors from her parents.   
“My parents honey-mooned in Yellowstone National Park and most of our family vacations growing up were camping trips exploring the local, state, and national parks of the West.”
Clydia attended Stanford University and earned a law degree from the University of Washington.  She became a lawyer in the oil industry living for several years in Saudi Arabia.  During her time in the Middle East, Clydia found many important parallels between the Islamic culture and her commitment to conservation.  “SCA fits into my personal conservation mission because it is all about stewardship of Nature.”
She refers to an Islamic text that says the primary goal of Islamic law is “the freeing of Man from the grip of his own whims and fancy, so that he may be the servant of Nature by choice, just as he is one without it.” 

Clydia with Senator Henry M. Jackson, author of the National Environmental Policy Act, in 1967.
Clydia was introduced to SCA by a fellow lawyer and came to realize the impact that SCA has on young people who are committed to protecting our parks and green-spaces.  “The value SCA provides to its members is the satisfaction that the work done by them will likely last more than their lifetime.  Supporting such work makes a partnership or contribution to SCA more than worthwhile.”
As Clydia learned more about SCA, she decided to take a leadership role in the Board.  During her time on the board, she helped launch SCA’s Mount Rainier Recovery Program after the park was devastated by massive floods in late 2006. 
Clydia continues to support SCA today and is grateful to be associated with an organization that provides so much to our youth and our land.  “I think it is the best youth conservation organization on the planet. What I get from my investment in SCA is the hard work of protecting our natural resources.  Yes, it’s down and dirty, but making a difference counts more than making an impression.”