Seattle City (spot)Light: Crystal Raymond

It’s no secret that Climate Change Strategic Advisor Crystal Raymond has a great love of the outdoors. If her places of residence didn’t give it away (she’s also lived in Vermont and Utah), you might’ve guessed by her educational background which includes a Ph.D and Master of Science in Ecosystem Ecology from University of Washington and a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resource Management from University of California, Berkeley.

Her expertise has been recognized by the NW Energy Coalition, receiving the 4 under Forty award—which honors clean energy leaders who model the passion and knowledge needed to achieve a clean and affordable energy future. With Earth Day celebrated across the globe this past weekend, we couldn’t think of a more fitting person to feature in this week’s (spot)Light.

Crystal ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado

“I did a lot of camping in my childhood. My dad was an old-school recreation type who liked to hunt and fish. I grew up in rural Vermont in a town with about 750 people. We always had people on our land hunting for deer and fishing. That helped to develop my love for the outdoors, the natural environment, and a deep appreciation for natural resources.”

“I live in Mount Baker. It has good access to parks and Lake Washington. I do A LOT of outdoor recreational activities. Back country skiing is my favorite, but I also enjoy mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing. I go all over the Cascades—North Cascades, Snoqualmie Pass, Eastern Washington. I have a nine-month baby who my husband and I are now just taking out hiking. We’ve already taken him back country skiing. I’m excited to share my love of the outdoors with him and introduce him to all these fun sports.”

“I always wanted to do environmental science of some sort. I thought about doing it more on the political advocacy side, but when I got to college, I was more interested in the science and was drawn to the analysis of it all. When I did advocacy work, I always wanted to know more about the science behind the policies, so I moved from politics and law to a more science-based approach.”

“My job is to make sure the utility is prepared for the impacts of climate change—to understand how our operations and infrastructure might be affected. That includes warmer temperatures, but also more frequent natural hazards like wildfires and landslides as well as changes in snow pack and stream flow for our dams. It’s understanding how all the different parts of the utility can be affected and helping to come up with ways that we can prepare for that.”

“One of the ways we’re doing this is by supporting climate research and developing an adaption plan. I am forming a steering committee to help implement the plan. I’m building a team to get more input and engagement and make sure that the adaption plan is doing its job of helping other people in the utility get prepared for climate change.”

“My Ph.D advisor at the University of Washington gave me a strong sense of the importance of science in guiding what we do in that it can be neutral and unbiased—that having good science as a basis for what we do is important for the decisions we make.”

Thank you Crystal for the important work you do for our environment and for making such an impact at City Light these past four years!

Seattle Parks volunteers log nearly 13,000 hours during Earth Month

April was Earth Month, and Seattle Parks and Recreation volunteers donated more than 12,775 hours to improving our parks and other greenspaces. The hard work and commitment of volunteer trailblazers, forest builders, environmental educators and urban farmers expands the depth and breadth of our programs. These volunteers and the community members they inspire represent the current and future generation of environmental leaders, and we’re so thankful for all they do.

There were 108 work parties hosted in April by various community partners. For more information on getting involved with our volunteer programs, go here.


There’s still time! Find an Earth Month event near you

At Seattle Parks and Recreation, we work toward improving the quality of life for Seattle residents every day. Because our parks and natural areas provide tremendous educational and recreational opportunities, it is vital to maintain them; but we can’t do it without your help.

Volunteers play a crucial role in the City and their contributions are invaluable to Seattle Parks and Recreation. In 2014, 36,633 volunteers donated nearly 260,000 of hours of service to the department.

This April, we’ve been hosting work parties and other volunteer events in honor of Earth Month, and there are still plenty of opportunities to pitch in.

For a complete list of volunteer opportunities, visit the online calendar. Always call ahead to ensure that the volunteer event is still taking place.

Tuesdays in the Garden, 9:30 a.m.-noon, April 14, Kubota Garden
Head to Kubota Garden for a volunteer work party. This is a great opportunity to work with experts in horticulture.
Details here.

Restore Deadhorse Canyon, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 15
Join volunteers for a restoration work party at Lakeridge Park.
Details here.

Carkeek Park’s 35th Earth Day celebration, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Join Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project for Carkeek Park’s 35th Annual Earth Day event. This inspiring day of service will include both one-time, day-of volunteer projects, such as a beach cleanup and trail restoration, as well as an opportunity to learn more about and sign up with volunteer groups and organizations that work in the park year-round.
Details here.

DuwamishAlive! 10-year anniversary event, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 18
Join DuwamishAlive! for its 10-year restoration event! Hundreds of volunteers will be working in 12-plus Duwamish Watershed sites to make lasting improvements in the vitality and health of native habitats.
Details here.

Golden Gardens Earth Week Work Party, 10 a.m., April 18
Help remove blackberry and other invasive plant species from Golden Gardens Park!.
Details here.

Seattle Tilth Drop-in Wetland Work Party, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., April 18
Drop in for a few hours (or the whole day!) and help Seattle Tilth staff, famers, volunteers and neighbors restore six acres of wetlands and forests on Seattle’s largest urban farm.
Details here.

Jackson Park Perimeter Trail Work Party, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 18
Help maintain one of Seattle’s newest walking trails surround Jackson Park Golf Course.
Details here.

Friends of Lincoln Park Work Party, 9 a.m. – noon, April 19
Head to the shores of Puget Sound and do your part to maintain Lincoln Park’s 80 acres of stunning, mature forest.
Details here.

Green Lake Litter Patrol, 9 – 11 a.m., April 19
Get some fresh air and exercise as you walk around Green Lake and help pick up litter.
Details here.

Llandover Woods Work Party, 9 a.m. – noon, April 19
Join the Friends of Llandover Woods for a Sunday work party.
Details here.

Greenwood Park Native Planting and Clean Up, 10 a.m. – noon, April 19
Help restore the southeast corner of Greenwood Park with native plantings including ferns, salal and huckleberry.
Details here.

Fremont Peak Park Work Party, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 19
Join the Friends of Fremont Peak Park and help weed and tidy the park in honor of Earth Day.
Details here.

Spring Cleaning at Linden Orchard Park, noon – 3 p.m., April 19
Join in a work party at Linden Orchard Park.
Details here.

Work Party in Discovery Park, 1- 4 p.m., April 19
Join the Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration work party at Discovery Park.
Details here.

Alki Beach Earth Day Cleanup, 2 – 4 p.m., April 22
Join Surfrider and help keep one of our beloved beaches clean.
Details here.

Earth Day Work Party at Crown Hill Glen Park, 4 – 7 p.m., April 22
Celebrate Earth Day by weeding, trimming or moving mulch in the park.
Details here.

North Beach Park Work Party, 9 a.m. – noon, April 25
Join Green Seattle Partnership for a work party in North Beach Park.
Details here.

Revive Forest Habitat at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, 9 a.m. – noon, April 25
Join Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration work party at Me-Kwa-Mooks Park.
Details here.

Work Party at Kirke Park, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 25
Help volunteers spread bark chips in the north end of Kirke Park.
Details here.

Sea Shepherd Earth Day Beach Cleanup, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., April 25
Join the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in cleaning up Alki Beach.
Details here.

St. Mark’s Spring Abundance, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 25
Join Green Seattle Partnership for a restoration work party in St. Mark’s Greenbelt.
Details here.

Dakota Place Park Spring Cleanup, 9 a.m. – noon, April 26
Join Seattle Parks and Recreation for a spring work party at Dakota Place.
Details here.

Volunteer Park Trust Spring Restoration Day, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., April 26
Join Volunteer Park Trust in Volunteer Park to help remove invasive plants, mulch and prevent weed growth.
Details here.


Join in Carkeek Park’s 35th Annual Earth Day celebration

Join Seattle Parks and Recreation, Seattle Public Utilities, the Carkeek Park Advisory Council and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project for Carkeek Park’s 35th Annual Earth Day event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. This inspiring day of service will include both one-time, day-of volunteer projects, such as a beach cleanup and trail restoration, as well as an opportunity to learn more about and sign up with volunteer groups and organizations that work in the park year-round.

Other activities include a nature walk with a park naturalist, visiting and feeding salmon fry in the Carkeek Park Imprint Pond, tours of the King County Wastewater Pump Station and a guided tour of Piper’s Orchard.

If you’re interested in volunteering in the park on the day of the event, please wear appropriate clothing and shoes.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

Celebrate Earth Month with Seattle Parks

Earth Day 2014 volunteers picking up litter at Golden Gardens Park

“I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.”  – Kermit the Frog

It’s not that easy being green, but it’s definitely worth it. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, and we’re encouraging everyone to try their hand at being green. Throughout April, in partnership with other environmentally minded organizations, we’re hosting dozens of Earth Day work parties and events.

Last year during Earth Month, we estimated that 3,150 volunteers donated nearly 10,000 hours through Seattle Parks and our partner organizations, and we’re hoping to outdo ourselves in 2015.

We’ve got work spanning from beaches to forests to gardens. Take a look at our Event Calendar and find the outing that’s the best fit for you. It can be easy being green, especially with the support of friends.

If digging in the dirt isn’t your thing, there are other ways to show Mother Nature some love this month.

  1. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Have clothes, toys, accessories that are no longer being used at your house? Organize a swap event at your school, club or church.
  2. Get into home composting! The City of Seattle is asking us to keep food scraps out of our garbage cans. Build a home composting bin, help out the City and reap the benefits of your own rich fertilizer. Seattle Tilth has great composting resources here.
  3. Turn off lights when you leave a room and never let the faucet run when not in use.
  4. Walk, bike, bus or carpool to work.
  5. Make homemade wild bird treats with the kids.
  6. Cook an Earth Day meal using locally grown, organic ingredients.

Tell us how you’re celebrating Earth Month at @seattleparks on Twitter.