One of my earliest memories as a young girl was backpacking up to a mountain meadow below the snow covered summit of Mt. Adams in southwestern Washington...
My brother and I would spend our days exploring the area around our tent. We'd find small fish or colored stones in the icy cold streams. We'd watch the bees and marvel at the petals on different high mountain flowers. We'd listen to the random chorus of Picas or Marmots. We'd imagine bears breathing just outside our tent under a sky so packed with stars there was barely room for the night.
My parents were avid backpackers and in the summer while my father was on break from teaching we would venture into the Cascades, the Olympics, and eventually the Rocky Mountains for our summer vacations. It is in these mountains that I learned to see nature from an artistic point of view. My mother is a painter and she would often talk about the different colors of red, or black that wasn't really black, and how color changed with shadow and light. She's say "oh, look at that line. Isn't that interesting how that horizon line leads your eye to that other peak off in the distance.
I think it was that combination of art and nature growing up that led me to study printmaking and graphic design in college and then eventually use my artistic skills along with my photography to passionately advocate for conservation of important nature areas in southeast King County. The artist, the activist, and the child all realized how places like Cedar Creek Park and the Green River Gorge were on the verge of disappearing as our region's human population exploded!
Deciding what nonprofit organization would receive the funding that would be donated by the Cox Foundation in partnership with KIRO TV and the Trust for Public Land was tough. There are so many great organizations in our region doing invaluable work to preserve, restore, and advocate for our environment. These organizations are filled with thoughtful, dynamic, and talented people who often have true passion for what they do.
I realized the work we are all doing is needed indefinitely and that if we want to continue moving forward it take fostering values and understanding that move across generations not in the present. So with that in mind I realized that I wanted to share similar experiences that had helped shaped my future and outlook about art and nature. I decided to donate the funding to the Nature Consortium.
Nature Consortium’s core mission is connecting people, arts, and nature. Their Quality Programming with an Environmental Lens is their EcoARTs Program. It offers a unique blend of arts and environmental education for youth and adults in King County. Their classes foster discovery and creativity while connecting students with the natural world.
Nature Consortium strives to enrich communities by providing access, exposure, and opportunity to quality arts programming where it’s needed most. We believe that everyone should have access to creative expression, a healthy environment, and pathways to excellence. To learn more, visit our Private Group Classes page.
Join me in supporting the Nature Consortium.
$5000 will be donated to the Nature Consortium but if you vote and Lisa Parsons's wins they could get an additional $5000.