2015 Volunteers of the Year!

Written by Lauren Miheli, Volunteer Coordinator

This year two volunteers made an amazing impact at our Ellsworth Creek preserve in southwest Washington, doing any task necessary, whether it be simple or challenging, and helping out as much as possible to restore this former industrial forest to a healthy condition.

Their contributions included removing invasive tansy ragwort, planting native Sitka spruce and hemlock trees, collecting litter, building a rain garden and making repairs to the forestry research shed.  Because of their effort and their enthusiasm and commitment to our mission, Tricia Sears and Julian Lawrence have been named The Nature Conservancy in Washington’s Volunteers of the Year!

Both Tricia and Julian have been volunteering on the Ellsworth Creek Project since 2009.  They’ve joined almost every group restoration party we’ve organized, and have also taken the initiative to tackle smaller and more time intensive tasks on their own, sometimes camping out to complete a project over a weekend or several days, as they did when they built a rain garden at the shed. They have a great attitude, and work in even the wettest weather conditions with smiles on their faces. In the 4 years they’ve been volunteering with us they’ve contributed a combined total of 305 hours!

An interesting fact about our Washington Volunteers of the Year is that they live in Portland!  We know that there are many great volunteer opportunities in Portland and with TNC Oregon, so we really appreciate Tricia and Julian’s commitment to Ellsworth Creek and their willingness to cross the Columbia River to come volunteer for us!

The Nature Conservancy in Washington is grateful to have over 1000 volunteers who work on our projects throughout the state, and exceptional volunteers like Tricia and Julian who contribute 100s of hours and years of service to conservation.  Congratulations to Tricia and Julian, as well as our other Volunteer of the Year nominees, Caitlyn O’Connor, Mary Ann Redeker, Erin Costello, and Stephanie Williams.