Volunteers Give Back on MLK Day of Service 2019 at the Union Bay Natural Area

Volunteers helping out in the Union Bay Natural Area, 2019 MLK Day of Service

“The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King Jr. While championing civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr. was also a strong advocate for environmental justice. In honor of MLK Day of Service 2019, over 30 dedicated volunteers came ready to work to help restore valuable habitat for wildlife in the Union Bay Natural Area (UBNA) at the Center for Urban Horticulture. 

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Service in Numbers: Reflecting on my time with UW Botanic Gardens

A woman smiles at the camera. There is water and a beaver lodge in the background.

My name is Rebecca Janssen and I am an AmeriCorps member serving with UW Botanic Gardens as the Adult Environmental Education Coordinator. The day that this is posted, August 15th, is the final day of my service. I was looking recently at a little half-sheet flyer promoting summer and some fall adult education programs. As I was reading through the list, it was really exciting to realize how many of those I had been involved with – 15 of the 22 classes listed! 

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AmeriCorps Volunteer: Rebecca Janssen

Rebecca Janssen

Rebecca Janssen is the Adult Environmental Education Coordinator. Specifically, she’s helping coordinate continuing education programs for Ecological Restoration professionals, public programs on topics like native plants and sustainable gardening practices, and helping UW Botanic Gardens better understand their audience and what people are getting out of the adult education programs. Rebecca is a Seattle native. She has a BS in Interior Design from Oregon State University, and completed a Master’s degree in Museology at UW. 

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AmeriCorps Volunteer: Gretchen Rude

Gretchen Rude

AmeriCorps volunteer Gretchen Rude is the Education Outreach Specialist for UW Botanic Gardens. She will be pioneering a youth leadership program over the summer that will aim to bring a diverse group of students to the Washington Park Arboretum. The program will build leadership and team working skills, as well as provide experience working in outdoor education. Gretchen moved up to Seattle from Portland where she graduated from the University of Oregon. 

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Aspiring Plant Geek

posted on behalf of UW Student and Arboretum volunteer extraordinaire, Lora Mitchell This quarter I signed up for an environmental studies course that offered service learning. Upon first learning about the service learning program I was intrigued, but slightly hesitant until I saw a position at the Washington State Arboretum. Thrilled at the idea of working with plants the entire quarter I immediately signed up for that position. 

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