WHY IT MATTERS
"Planting Seeds for a Sustainable Future" would support the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trust’s environmental education program, which each year connects 5,000 young people in the King County, Washington area to the outdoors through classroom sessions, field study trips, and ecological restoration events.
The goal of our education program is to plant the seeds for a more sustainable future by teaching and inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards and conservation leaders. We work with some of the nation’s most diverse school districts, often providing first-time experiences in the outdoors for students with limited opportunities to interact with the natural world. Recruitment for our education program focuses on schools with a high free and/or reduced lunch rate; half of our partner schools have a free and/or reduced lunch rate of 50% or greater. Our program begins with two in-class lessons, followed by a field study trip to a local forest. Then, students are invited to participate in an ecological restoration event.
These restoration events are focused on Issaquah Creek in Lake Sammamish State Park. Lake Sammamish State Park provides important habitat for several species of salmon, many birds – including bald eagles, great blue herons, and red tailed hawks – and a wide variety of amphibians, insects and other wildlife, but currently the area is extremely degraded by invasive weeds. Students work together to restore this landscape by removing invasive plant species and planting native trees and shrubs throughout the park. This experience allows students to move beyond their textbooks and make a direct, positive impact on the health of streams that drain to Puget Sound, while learning about watersheds and how to improve the ecological health of their communities.