A Night to Remember

Wow! What an evening!

As ECO begins its 15th anniversary year, we could not be more grateful for your support and for the whole ECO community. ECO’s 3rd Annual Garden Party was our most successful yet, with donors stepping up to create 23 new scholarships for hands-on ecology lessons, after school programs, field trips, and outdoor summer camp!

Tanna Engdahl serves on the board of the    Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Preserve    with ECO’s Executive Director, Alex Earl.    All photos by Wasim Muklashy   .

Tanna Engdahl serves on the board of the Friends of Ridgefield National Wildlife Preserve with ECO’s Executive Director, Alex Earl. All photos by Wasim Muklashy.

We had the honor of receiving a land dedication led by Tanna Engdahl, the spiritual leader of the Cowlitz Tribe, who gave our event a truly meaningful and appropriate start. She recounted the history of tribal people in the region and said ECO and its community are walking in the footsteps of those who came before us, as stewards of the land. 

Julie Baweja led us all in a hands-on plant ID activity. All our guests experienced the hands on, interactive, fun activities that students love. 

We heard from our Board President Jess Martin, who reflected on ECO’s 14 incredible years, and then introduced our new Executive Director, Alex Earl, who described the amazing opportunities ECO will embrace as it moves forward. Our co-founders, Sarah Woods and Bethany Shetterly Thomas, were just a little excited.

We also watched a video about the Avangrid Live Greener Grant from the Trailblazers Foundation. It’s one of the many incredible partners that ECO is honored to work with.

We raised a paddle, played Last Hero Standing, and drew a raffle winner for a deluxe Burley Bike trailer! Thank you so much to Burley for donating this amazing prize.

Throughout the evening, quotes from students, teachers, and parents reminded us why we were gathered to support ECO:

“Ecology can change my life by knowing what I can do to make the environment a better place” ~ a 4th grader at Bilquist Elementary School

“ECO opens our eyes to the fact that a lot of kids have no prior knowledge or exposure to ecological education. This program is motivational for both students and teachers. It unites communities and expands our limited vision of nature around us.” ~Teacher feedback from Kelly Elementary School

“Nature makes me feel free!” ~ a dear nature letter from a student

Your generosity is making a profound impact and difference. In the 2019/2020 school year, you will reach over 6,000 students in 14 school districts, as ECO serves students in grades k-12—more than ever before.

On behalf of the ECO Team, thank you so much for your support!

Left to right: Alex Earl, Claire Baldwin, Maura Milder, Julie Baweja, Becca Strohm, Sarah Woods, and Reade Weber. Please note: we have additional fabulous staff members who are not pictured here!

Left to right: Alex Earl, Claire Baldwin, Maura Milder, Julie Baweja, Becca Strohm, Sarah Woods, and Reade Weber. Please note: we have additional fabulous staff members who are not pictured here!

And a big thank you to our event sponsors:

garden part sponsors.jpg