In September of 2013, we welcomed our first group of students from Soundview International Baccalaureate. This year, 5th graders from that group are in 8th grade and recently visited us for their last school visit. It's been wonderful watching them grow, as they in turn watch the plants they've nurtured grow. Our relationship with this school is unique in that the students are able to come back once a month for at least a school year, this allows them to experience long lasting relationships with the space they've helped to restore. We were recently gifted with student authored essays written in reflection of their times with us. Please take a moment to read Derek's thoughts on his service learning experience:
Forest Research Expo
Upper Restoration Sites (note - location has changed)
All are welcome and refreshments will be provided at this open house style forest exploration event.
The Upper Restoration Sites (#4, #5) are at the corner of NE 204th Pl and 108th Ave NE (you can use our office address: 20218 108th Ave NE, Bothell WA 98011 for navigation).
We are excited to once again have students from the Soundview School visit monthly to help take care of North Creek Forest. This month, the entire 8th grade came out to explore the forest and help keep invasive blackberry and bindweed at bay. Education Committee member, Emily Sunblade took students on an un-nature hike to hone their observation skills and explore deeper into the forest. Thank you Soundview! We always appreciate your hard work and enthusiasm!
We enjoyed welcoming both the Northshore YMCA's Teen Quest Program and Woodinville Montessori's summer campers into North Creek Forest this summer. Not only did the campers get the chance to explore the forest, learn how to navigate with compasses, and spot things that were out of place on an un-nature hike, they also helped weed, prune and mulch, all of which helps our restoration sites stay healthy. The new plantings are looking fantastic because of your hard work!
Would you like to help with the restoration? We have two more public work parties this month! Click over to our Volunteer Page for more info and to sign up!
Hello all, my name is Alice Tsoodle and I am just joining the Friends of North Creek Forest team as the Education Manager. Having just graduated from UW Seattle with a Master’s Degree in Education, I am excited to continuing growing in the same place that I started my outdoor education journey. Years ago, in 2012, I transferred to UW Bothell, from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and eventually graduated with a degree in environmental studies. I was directed to sign up for one of Dr. Amy Lambert’s classes and she promptly led us all into the North Creek Forest. It was here that I fell in love with the land and waters of this place and decided to pursue a career that would allow me to be outside as much as possible. I had a class with Robert Turner at UWB which required I spend some time planning a lesson and actually teaching it to real kids! I never imagined myself as a teacher, but with children of my own and coming from a family full of teachers, it came to me naturally.
We once again extend our thanks, this time to the Peach Foundation, for a grant in support of our Education Program. The Peach Foundation enabled our Education Program to get started a few years ago, and we are so excited to take it to new heights in the coming year with their support!
We are incredibly honored to receive a grant from the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund. This grant will help support our ever-growing Stewardship Program, which helps improve the health of North Creek Forest and brings depth to the greater community’s understanding of nature and how to protect our natural resources. Support from the Tulalip Tribes will allow us to develop and document systems and increase capacity so our volunteers continue to have a positive experience.
This grant will also support an educational partnership with the Northwest Indian College. We will work with NWIC faculty to support classroom learning about forest ecology and local traditional ecological knowledge with field experiences and project based learning.
We thank The Tulalip Tribes for their generosity support of our work and the work of many other organizations in our community.
Our Soundview IB School volunteers have spent the fall exploring, learning, and helping in North Creek Forest. Students have learned about water quality and how to identify native trees. They have learned from experience about invasive weed removal, and how to give native plantings the best chance of success. They have also learned about the peace and inspiration that comes from sitting quietly in the forest. A gift that North Creek Forest will soon provide for our whole community for generations to come.
We have been restoring parts of North Creek Forest since 2011. We developed a routine that attracts many volunteers from UW Bothell, Cascadia College, and area schools. In our third year we cleared blackberries away to discover a nightmare of a site: deep mud, abandoned cars, piles of concrete rubble... Then Ian found us.
Ian was a force. He brought his own tools, the very best. He blended into the crowd, leaned into the work and began teaching details about plant roots, methods, shade requirements and so much more. His depth of knowledge was astonishing. He was an undergraduate student at UW and we experienced what it was like to be adopted by Ian.
Ian loved to teach. Students were enchanted by his stories. Everything he said seemed simple but if you listened long enough you would see he was giving out hints of an almost unfathomably large and intricate web of life, a forest ecology. The Jr High kids, like everyone else, loved him.
Ian studied with Dr. Amy Lambert that year and worked in the forest as a volunteer. He worked at the greenhouse on campus, the UW Wetlands, and worked and studied in many capacities with Dr. Warren Gold. His teachers and fellow students are heart sick to lose him.
"He was one of the brightest individuals I have ever met. His passion and enthusiasm for our great outdoors was contagious and everyone who met him learned so much from him. He was a beautiful soul..." Sarah Park
This is a tragedy we will not recover from soon. That is expected. However, people will be coming to North Creek Forest for a long time. The trees Ian cleared a place for and planted will be here for them. Great grandchildren of the students he taught may be moved by the presence of those trees. Someday the trees will even be called "ancient". People won't know who planted them. But does it matter? Probably not to Ian. He was just doing his art.
"No form of life was insignificant to you. You could educate people and get them excited about the smallest things. You had an appreciation for this earth that most people wouldn't understand. You had such impact on so many people's lives, often without even knowing it. You were happy to live simply, just you and the trees, or the barren desert. A couple of books, a camp stove and a can of beans would keep you happy. I miss you so much my love." Lana Mack
Ian, you made a difference. We love you and cherish your work.
Rest in Peace.
Please join us to honor and celebrate the life of Ian Barlow on November 28th, 1:00 PM, UW Horticultural Center.