The Story of Doreen Johnson added to the Green River Gorge Greenway website in honor of the upcoming ordinance, On Tuesday January 31st. a proposed ordinance will be considered by the King County Council Transportation Economy and Environment Committee to rename an area within the Green River Natural Area in honor of Doreen Johnson, to recognize her service, dedication and profound influence in southeast King County.
Lisa Parsons, author of this website, met Doreen Johnson in 2000 when she started working on formulating a plan to protect the area called Icy Creek on the Green River Gorge. Doreen was one of very few environmental advocates on the plateau for years and her legacy was instrumental in setting the stage for those who came after her.
Doreen had watched the plateau change over the years. She talked about what the walk to Icy Creek used to look like. She remembered trees towering over head in the upland forest of Cedars, Douglas Fir, and Western Hemlock. The sounds of birds filled the cool forest air as she and her husband walked down to the Green River Gorge from the Enumclaw Franklin Rd.
When Lisa started working on conservation of the headwaters of Icy Creek, the towering forests were gone and in their place a 10-year old tree farm. She worked with Doreen to found the Middle Green River Coalition with the first effort being to preserve the uplands so that, one day, it could return to being an old growth forest and protect the headwaters of Icy Creek.
Doreen’s historical reference for what the area used to be like and what it was like now was a harbinger of things to come unless people like Doreen, Lisa, and others continued to advocate for the environment. Lisa was a newcomer to the plateau but realized, like Doreen, that there were important resources that needed to be managed responsibly and areas that needed to be conserved.
Doreen’s contributions were invaluable, as was her knowledge of the area. As with Wolf Bauer, their contributions can not be understated. It is important to understand the efforts of those who came before us so we can chart an effective path forward building on their legacies.
She will be greatly missed but not forgotten!
On Friday, February 3, come to the opening of the photography exhibit to learn more about the Green River Gorge and Doreen’s contribution.
The City of Enumclaw's Gallery 2017 presents:
February 2, 2017 through February 28, 2017
Join Photographer, River Conservationist and Adventurer
for a Gallery Opening
on Friday February 3rd from 3—5pm