Professor Sadie Rosenthal, (Cascadia CC) visits Friends table
Friends of North Creek Forest would like to thank Maximilian Dixon and the whole UW/Cascadia Earth Day team for organizing this great event. We were encouraged by the steady stream of faculty and students who stopped to ask a question and stayed for a conversation.
The interest in the North Creek Forest is deep and broad and well informed. Visitor to our table learned about our current efforts but were already educated about the concepts and they shared them with us. Some are obvious. Others are often overlooked. For example:
After we answered questions about the forest visitors would emphasis their own perspective. Their observations ranged from biology, open space, salmon recovery, quality of life, carbon sequestration, forest ecology, education opportunities, wildlife corridors and matrix, and stewardship. These topics could be expected and added details to an already rich understanding of the forest. There were less common observations as well.
A developer, CamWest, owns part of the forest. Before the housing market crashed the developer hoped to build houses along the upper part of the forest. That lead to a classic confrontation between development and forest loving people out of which stereotypes can too easily take root. What is not spoken of enough, and was refreshing to mention, is that CamWest is very green in their philosophy. CamWest is a supporter of Cascade Land Conservancy and a significant contributor to the design of "walkable communities". When we told people about this they showed interest. One conservation minded business student said, "That is the ethic we need!" Amen.
Did we spend much time talking about developers? No. But when the topic fit we were able to put a more realistic light on solutions that include the good will of all parties. Because it will take all of us to save this forest. It's a team deal.
The other topic which received much attention and came from faculty was about stewardship. While Bothell Parks would be the official custodian of the forest it takes a lot of work to ensure needs are met. A good amount of time was spent brainstorming ways stewardship can grow out of education programs. If you are reading this and have ideas about who "pulls the weeds" leave a comment for us.
Perhaps most hopeful were the students we met. They not only saw the North Creek Forest as a sign of hope for education and conservation. Many offered to help. No. We didn't ask. They just offered. So students, if we boosted your optimism a bit you boosted ours too. Thank you!
We welcome your comments below...
Next venue, Earth Day at Bastyr. See our Explore page for a link.