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Institute Receives USFS Conservation Award

April 14th, 2011 | Posted by in Institute News

Who would have dreamed that a national forest, a housing non-profit and an environmental education organization would team up to provide Seattle-based Asian and Pacific Islanders with meaningful outdoor experiences? Starting in 2001, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the North Cascades Institute and the International District Housing Alliance began a partnership that has expanded over the years to include intergenerational learning for elders, stewardship projects for youth and paid internships for youth. The partnership sparks a better understanding of the connection between the forest and urban environment, and provides mentoring and leadership opportunities.

The United States Forest Service recently awarded these partners with the 2011 Urban Communities in Conservation Award. The conservation award is part of the Forest Service’s Wings Across the Americas program, which works to conserve birds, bats, butterflies and dragonflies.

Each of the three partners plays a distinct role in the program. The first partner, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in the Puget Sound Region of Washington State, is the largest urban forest in Region Six of the Forest Service. The staff works directly with the program’s youth to get hands on experience in a natural setting, often their first time outside the urban environment. The second partner, the North Cascades Institute, is a non-profit organization focusing on education. The International District Housing Alliance, the third partner, is a non-profit organization located in Seattle’s International District…that has successfully worked to improve the quality of life for Asian and Pacific Islanders by providing community building and housing related services to low-income individuals and families.

Youth and elders from Seattle’s International District learn about old growth forests and tree ecology from Rockport State Park staff

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Jeff Geisen on Cascades River

Kulshan kids wing it

February 3rd, 2010 | Posted by in Institute News

What do Bald Eagles mean to you?

This was a question a group of 10 high school students from the International District Housing Alliance’s (IDHA) Wilderness Inner-city Leadership Development program (WILD), and 30 students of almost all grades from Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Program, discovered over the weekend. The North Cascades Institute, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, assisted the groups to help find some answers. The day of discovery began with a discussion of Bald Eagle biology ranging in topics from migration and diet, to anatomy and reproduction. The wonderful examples of Bald Eagle skulls, talons and eggs added to the excitement.

Bald Eagle roosting(Title) IDHA group discussing salmon (Above) A Bald Eagle roosting

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