The Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River flows just 40 miles from downtown Seattle – the perfect distance for Mark Boyar to escape the city for a weekend in the wilderness. But it was far from picture perfect when Mark first visited the valley in 1990. This beautiful wilderness had become a dangerous place, subjected to illegal dumping and hidden meth labs. Mark saw the potential and put in two summers of hard physical labor and sleepless nights. The payoff was access to trails that have become popular with the public and he continues to galvanize volunteers to maintain improvements through the Weed Watcher Program, training other volunteers to recognize invasive weeds and keep the river banks clear. There’s a lot of work left to do, but Mark is committed to the project.
Environmental Nonprofit of Choice:
Helen Hoenig: Hoenig started picking up trash while walking from her house to the health club. It evolved into a passion for picking up trash. Her yellow trash bags and neon safety vest are easy to spot, and Hoenig's resolve to keep Washington green has made her a colorful local celebrity after being named Grand Marshall of the Duvall Days parade. Armed with her yellow bag and trash grabber, she continues to pick up litter and people's spirits.
Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Mountains to Sound Greenway
Laura James: As an eco-friendly scuba diver, Laura commits her time to cleaning up the Earth’s oceans. She has long recognized the danger of toxins in our waters and spends time removing batteries and other pollutants from the Puget Sound. In addition, Laura volunteers for search and rescue missions.
Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: Sustainable West Seattle
Jane Holmes: Jan’s volunteerism with Beach Watchers inspired her to earn a Master’s degree in Marine Biology, which led to the improved health of the area’s marine environment. Her leadership created extensive research and data collection on more than 30 beaches. Her thirst for knowledge was contagious and she made a significant impact by frequently speaking with students and at public events to motivate others to get involved.
Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: WSU Island County Beach Watchers
Gary Colley: Gary’s donated legal work has been a key element in protecting more than 1,500 acres of land since he and other local citizens established North Olympic Land Trust in 1990. His work in Clallam County protects salmon, other wildlife habitat, sustainable commercial timberland, clean water and air, scenic vistas, open space and cultural heritage areas in addition to farmland.
Environmental Nonprofit of Choice: North Olympic Land Trust
Mike Town: Mike helped turn the Wild Sky Wilderness Act into law. He founded a local grassroots group, spent hundreds of hours documenting every component of Wild Sky – 106,000 acres near Skykomish – and consulted members of Congress and the press lt, a new wilderness was created within an hour’s drive of nearly one million people.
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