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WTA Crews to Tackle New Ground in the City

Posted by Anna Roth at Apr 01, 2016 10:10 AM |

WTA staff members are busy across Washington state for our 50th Anniversary. But that means loose ends at home. Read about one generous donation helping us keep tidy yards while we're away.

Since 2016 is WTA's 50th Anniversary, staff has been especially hard at work making the year's calendar of special events happen. Whether it's keeping the website up to date, hosting outreach events, lobbying in Olympia or leading volunteer work parties six days a week, every staff member across the state has a full schedule.

But the extra-heavy snow and rain this winter combined with recent warm temperatures has brought about a spring bloom like no other. While the vibrant green is energizing and the blooming flowers are scintillating, WTA staffers have realized that they just don't have the time to keep up with their jobs, get outside, and do their yard work. Their neighbors have noticed, too. One especially concerned and philanthropic neighbor, Avril Phulls, has established a temporary fund to support several work parties being held in WTA staffers' yards.

smiling volunteer brushing on mf snoqualmie greg friend
Coming soon to WTA staffers' yards -- volunteer work parties! Photo by Greg Friend

When asked what prompted the generous donation, she said, "I just hope this helps relieve some of the stress I know my neighbor's been under. It seems like he's always leaving early and coming home late; he just never has time for the yard. This grant might just make it easier for him to relax on the weekends, you know? And maybe it'll get his blackberries out of my yard, too."

Kindra Ramos, Communications Director puts it in perspective. "In our house, it really just comes down to 'Are we gonna hike on the weekend or are we gonna weed the yard? And we always go hiking.' " The mental and physical benefits of hiking are well-documented, so it's no surprise that Kindra chooses to step onto trails rather than roll up her sleeves at home most weekends. But her yard is catching up with her.

"There's so much to do. I've got a fence that needs rebuilding (thanks to the windstorm last winter), a French drain to build, even a rock wall! I've made a list for when the work crew gets here."

Loren's backyard tyler lepard
The LePard-Drummond household is enjoying the new growth, but crews are standing by to clean up when it becomes too much. Photo by Tyler LePard.

Loren Drummond, Digital Content Manager is taking a laissez-faire approach. "We've always wanted a native garden (above), so I thought, why not just let it grow? Sure, we might have a crew come in here and brush once every three months or so, but for now I'm happy to have all the greenery!"

Others are taking a more drastic approach. Elliott Skopin, Volunteer Program Coordinator, has elected to simply replace all the grass on his landlord's lawn with rock. "In the end, it's better for the environment. Less water used, and it's great exercise for the volunteers who want to get a few rock-lifting reps in." When asked what his landlord thought of the proposal, Skopin said, "Oh, he doesn't know. But I'm sure he'll appreciate it when we're done. Less to maintain, you know?"

A rare animal sighting in Skopin's desolate yard. Photo by Randal Ternes.
A rare animal sighting in Skopin's desolate yard. Photo by Randal Ternes.

The list of WTA staffers who need help is long, but we're tackling yards one at a time. Sign up now for the first of many work parties, and help us make our 50th Anniversary year just a little more unique!