On Vine Street, between Western and Elliott, in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle, a community group called Growing Vine Street has transformed a city block into an urban watershed oasis. This block, known as the Cistern Steps, is a series of terraced plantings designed to clean rainwater as it travels through the city.
Four years ago, IslandWood together with our partner Antioch University Seattle (AUS) welcomed the first 14 students to our Urban Environmental Education Master’s Program (UEE). These pioneers and the 37 students who followed have been a vital part of a journey to redefine environmental education in the urban context.
A couple of weeks into the UEE program, Mitch inspired me to start a new morning routine. This is going back to August of 2017, which might as well be a lifetime ago (if we measured lifetimes in insights, books read, or papers written).
It’s April now. The Martin Luther King Jr.
We stood huddled in a circle outside the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum early on a Friday morning, ready for the day-long experience our professor, Running Grass, had curated for us. One of my classmates led us in a silly song and dance to warm up—it’s such a joy to be with these fellow educators, these friends.
IslandWood graduate student Josh Parker was just the sort of person Mike Schlafmann, Public Services Staff Officer with the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, was looking for.
CJ Goulding loves mountains—the Santa Monica mountains, Grand Tetons, dramatic and wild ones. Lakes too. And he loves sharing this passion, his outdoor skill, and philosophy of stewardship with young people.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” This quote has been one dear to me on my journey to a career in education and has recently taken on a deeper meaning.
It was a calm I hadn’t felt since relocating three months ago from the California Central Valley.
I would never have guessed when I woke up last Monday morning that I would be on the evening news.
A few weeks ago, I went out to the beautiful Cedar River Watershed Outdoor Education Center with my supervisor for my practicum—Green Jobs Research Assistant at Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) and the SPR environmental learning unit, a team of naturalists and environmental educators—to plan 2018’s environmental education.
One of the first things we’ve learned about in class this quarter is how to teach to different learning styles in one lesson plan based on how students perceive and process information. We learned that some students perceive knowledge through their emotions, and others process by absorbing abstract concepts.
“I’ve never seen so many tomatoes in my life! This is great!” I exclaimed as I explored the grounds at my practicum. I had just joined the Urban Food Systems (UFS) team, a program within Seattle Parks and Recreation that provides access to healthy food and was being introduced to the city’s food production lands.
There we were: three people of color trekking through what looked to be an enchanted forest, welcoming us with assortment of tree branches covered in moss and carved paths. To get here, we had traveled our own long paths both literally and figuratively. My daughter and I are from Chicago and Tiffany from New York City.
I used to dislike conferences. Actually, that's not entirely true; I will admit I did find it enjoyable to be in a room of people who had the same aspirations as I did.