Barbara Brock

Keeping water in our rivers and caring for our lakes.
— Barbara Brock's better ground reason

Barbara has valued the outdoors since she was a child. Kayaking introduced her to the shoreline and river processes, and the efforts to protect them, which led her to ever-increasing involvement in watershed management and salmon recovery. On Camano Island, she has served on the Island County Water Resources Advisory Committee (WRAC) since it formed in 1999 and serves on the Salmon Technical Advisory Group. She was and continues to be instrumental in monitoring and protecting Kristoferson Creek, one of the few salmon-bearing streams on Camano Island.  

In addition, she is an active Beach Watcher and member of Friends of Camano Island Parks, and not only educates the community as a naturalist but participates in trail maintenance and noxious weed removal on a regular basis. Barbara gives to the community in ways too numerous to mention in a short biography.  Suffice it to say that her contributions are felt by those all around the region, and we think she is remarkable.

Barbara poses in the forest with a basket of chanterelle mushrooms.

Suzi Wong-Swint

To empower the next generation of stewards.
— Suzi Wong-Swint's better ground reason

Protecting Snohomish County and Camano Island’s natural resources is Suzi’s passion. She has decades of service as a volunteer board member for various local non-profit organizations to protect and restore salmon habitat and improve our community’s quality of life.   Most notably, her service with the Cama Beach Foundation (current), Stilly Snohomish Fisheries Enhancement Task Force (Sound Salmon Solutions), and Puget Sound Partnership has been vital to the many successful projects these organizations have contributed to our region.

Suzi created Snohomish County’s watershed education program 20 years ago and has managed it since its inception. This educaton program is now the largest local government education program in western Washington. She is highly effective at developing innovative and creative parttnerships, and thinks outside-the-box to overcome challenges and achieve meaningful results. 

Suzi poses for a photo while teaching students about macroinvertebrates.

Andrew Albert

To project a positive image of farmers and farming to the community and to help keep agriculture a viable industry for years to come.
— Andrew Albert's better ground reason

ndrew is a great example of what we hope to find in our next generation of farmers and in our ag communities. On his farm, he consistently and sustainably balances the need for an economically viable local agriculture industry with the need for protecting our natural resources. He’s progressive in implementing numerous practices on his farm including nutrient management, compost utilization, soil health management, controlled-release fertilizers, conservation tillage, and perennial cropping. Additionally, he’s always willing to help neighboring farms and is an active member of his community.

Andrew Albert poses next to his Albert Family Farm sign. 

Karen & Scott Clark

To protect our environment for the future of our children.
— Karen & Scott Clark's better ground reason

Karen and Scott practice Sound Horsekeeping and make an effort to reach out to other horse and livestock owners. They manage mud with a heavy use area, gutters and downspouts, and regular manure cleanup. They are also very conscious of not overgrazing their pastures even though they don’t have much land. Karen saw our manure compost bin display at the fair in 2013 and Scott built their bins according to the plans. Not only have they done a good job on their property, they also hosted a farm tour in 2014 and helped us reach out to the Sultan community by providing a good example of real-life practices in action.

Karen Clark poses with her Sound Horsekeeping sign next to her compost bins

Karen Clark poses with her Sound Horsekeeping sign next to her compost bins

Heather Margo

So we have wonderful land to hand over to our children.
— Heather Margo's better ground reason

Heather worked with her neighborhood to restore a small section of stream in her neighborhood. She has organized hundreds of volunteers to plant and maintain the site. Heather first contacted SCD to look at a small piece of right-of-way at the end of her cul-de-sac, adjacent to her property. She wanted to remove invasive species and plant a riparian buffer. Heather worked with us to get materials and organized several neighborhood events to remove weeds and plant trees and shrubs. 

Katherine Staberow poses in front of her house.

Katherine Staberow

We need to be a part of the solution for urban sprawl.
— Katherine Staberow's better ground reason

Katherine has been a huge driver of restoration and stormwater work on her own property and her neighborhood NGPA. She has led projects with enthusiasm, working cooperatively with this group of over 30 properties. Her initiative has been a huge driver in implementing these conservation efforts, as she has brought great enthusiasm and easy communication. In December, Katherine coordinated a volunteer planting event to kick off restoration activities, with over 20 neighbors coming together to plant over 400 plants! 

Katherine Staberow poses in front of her house.

Lorraine (Rainy) MacDuff, Rainy Day Caffe

When it’s the right thing, you just have to do it.
— Rainy MacDuff's better ground reason

Rainy was dedicated to making the ‘I Love Lake’ pledge program a part of her business model, and eagerly dove into conversations with her patrons about the campaign’s conservation goals - encouraging her fellow community members to take action. Rainy Day Caffe exemplifies a true community-minded business model and demonstrates the possibility of businesses to be environmental leaders in their community. Rainy demonstrates many of the key qualities of a sound business leader - dedication, passion, and effective communication.

Rainy MacDuff poses with an I Love Lake tote bag outside of her cafe.

Colleen Keller

Children, they’re the ones that will impact our communities for years to come.
— Colleen Keller's better ground reason

Colleen is Principal of Utsalady Elementary, Colleen leads her school’s fantastic work to lighten their footprint on the environment. She involves students in teaching their peers and others how to implement more sustainable practices, and she supports her teachers and students in their ongoing efforts to reach more sustainability goals. She supported student teams that taught their peers how to recycle and they’ve now reduced their cafeteria waste by half! Colleen helped with the 5th grader/kindergartner buddy program in the school garden. This year she is working to initiate composting.  

Colleen Keller poses during a bike trip close to the water.

Scott Moore

Respect and wonder for the intricacies of the natural world.
— Scott Moore's better ground reason

Scott’s experience and expertise in both stream restoration and nursery management have been invaluable resources for us. By generously allowing shared use of the County’s Native Plant Nursery, we’ve had the opportunity to sponsor our own conservation crew and to grow native plants for our own restoration projects. Both of these changes have increased our capacity to implement on-the-ground conservation projects, and neither would have been possible without Scott’s advocacy and help.

Scott Moore performing stream restoration observation from a boat.

Dr. Jim Weisenbach

To protect the places where people can roam and explore.
— Dr. Jim's better ground reason

Dr. Jim initially volunteered to help out at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church planting near Marysville. He then became a backyard Habitat Steward and has volunteered many days at the Conservation District Native Plant Sale. He is continually engaged with the District and regularly gives updates to us on what he is doing in his community. Dr. Jim is dedicated to conservation and to working with us to achieve it. We’re so grateful for his enthusiasm, dedication, and willingness to donate his time. 

Dr. Jim volunteering at the Plant Sale.

Dr. Jim volunteering at the Plant Sale.

Carlos Aranda

Because the earth is an important place for humans.
— Carlos Aranda's better ground reason

Carlos is a fifth-grade student at Discovery Elementary School. The school started its first community garden last year and he has been one of the most involved students. He volunteered his time to come in on weekends and during the summer. He has so much enthusiasm and a protective nature when it comes to the garden and inspires others to feel the same. He has a desire to be very involved in all aspects of the garden and its care. Based on his love for the garden as well as his leadership qualities, he has been appointed the president of his school’s Verde Garden Club!

Carlos Aranda poses with a friend and volunteer in the Discovery school garden.

Diana Cantini

To work together to achieve something that is much greater than what one person could do alone.
— -Diana Cantini's better ground reason

Diana is passionate and smart about supporting her community as she helps with the ecosystem positive projects of Farmer Frog. She understands water conservation, habitat restoration, and ecologically sound food growing in the city. Diana works hard to grow food for low income families, distributing and selling to people at the farmers market. She observes pollinators and ensures others understand that by protecting the habitat we help our own organic food patches. She sends the message: people cannot exist without a healthy and thriving environment.

Diana Cantini poses with produce grown in her school garden that they brought to their local farmers market.

Jack McManis

To preserve being in the outdoors and observing birds and wildlife for future generations.
— -Jack McManis' better ground reason

When Jack heard about the MEco Outdoor Classroom project at his former elementary school in his freshman year of high school, he wholeheartedly joined the effort to restore two acres of forgotten, overgrown forest into an outdoor classroom for students to connect and study nature. His passion for and knowledge of birding inspired him to design and build a bird blind and a wheelchair accessible trail on site. He has also planned and implemented efforts to control erosion on a hillside and to replant the outdoor classroom with native species. 

Jack McManis poses by sign-in table fore a work party at Mukilteo Elementary