2019-20 WCC Crews

Each year, KCD hosts Washington Conservation Corps Crews to implement conservation projects across King County. Crewmembers deepen their understanding of native plants, restoration techniques, and stewardship best management practices through tending plants at KCD’s Native Plant Nursery and habitat improvement projects.

Crew Lead: Haly Rylko

Crew Lead: Haly Rylko

Haly is in her third year as a supervisor for the Washington Conservation Corps’ King Conservation District crews. After studying Environmental Science at the University of Washington she found the WCC and feels lucky to get to implement meaningful projects with enjoyable people around the County she grew up in. She is a pluviophile and enjoys trail running, farming, and working on rogue gardening projects around Seattle.

Connor Webb

Connor Webb

Connor Webb graduated from Tahoma High School in June 2019 with a degree in high school. Having always loved the beauty of forests and the creatures within, he saw an opportunity at WCC to help fight for what he loved via their hands-on restoration efforts. Aside from making lasting friendships, he hopes to gain invaluable experience through his time at WCC that will guide his career choices in college and life.

Taro Katayama

Taro Katayama

Taro Katayama hails from the greatest place on Earth: Long Island. Upon graduating from Colby College with a degree in Environmental Science, he joined the Washington Conservation Corps. Taro is passionate about stream ecology, sustainability, and his ability to hold his breathe (PR of 3min31sec in Intro to Anthropology). Through the year-long service Taro hopes to make an immediate and lasting impact on society, the environment, and salmon. Thank you for reading this far into my biography! I just wanted to let you know…I lost the game.

Allana McCollum

Allana McCollum

Allana was born and raised in King County. She joined the Washington Conservation Corps in March 2019 after attending Pierce College. She decided to serve another term because she recognizes the importance of habitat restoration and strongly believes salmon are people too. When she is not working outside in the rain, she is spontaneously going on adventures with friends or staying inside napping. She hopes her passion for conservation will inspire and educate others of its value.

Ethan Coggins

Ethan Coggins

Ethan has been working with WCC since he graduated from Eastern Washington University with a biology degree in 2018, but this is his first year working with King Conservation District. His first term was spent doing restoration work for Pierce County Surface Water Management and he is excited to continue restoring our natural environment with KCD as well as the learning opportunities and experiences that come as an assistant supervisor. Ethan is especially passionate about noxious weed control and establishing healthy and diverse native plant communities in wonderful King County Washington!

Crew Lead: Matthew Evinger

Crew Lead: Matthew Evinger

Matthew removes weeds and makes water cleaner for salmon and plants trees where the weeds would have been. A joy for Matthew is to be able to be in the wild every day which most of us are not able to do, but Matthew encourages you to get outside and help the wild just like he does. If you see a sunny day go outside, don’t stay inside when you can still do small things like picking up trash. In Matthew’s job there is this cool invention called the raincoat; it protects him from falling droplets of water. As you can see Matthew is not afraid of the elements.

Matthew describes his job as planting trees, removing weeds, and helping the Earth. Here are a few reasons why that this job is very fun. First, Matthew says he likes it because he gets to work outside. He also thinks his job is fun because he gets to work with plants and people and teach them about the environment. Some of the other things that he does in his job is teaching people about the environment and finding ways to work together. He has been in this job for seven years and has rarely had a thought of leaving. Sometimes he even goes on backpacking trips to help trails, and now after seven years of doing this job he still loves to do it.

Matthew loves being able to go outside and teach people about nature and he helps his community by making the world more beautiful and cleaner. He cares about helping both the environment and the people in Washington to have access to the wild for the future.

Excerpted from When you Think of the Wild, Who do you Think of?

Ryan Grate

Ryan Grate

Ryan is an enthusiastic third term WCC corps member who enjoys working outside every day whether on an environmental restoration site or on a backcountry trail in the mountains. In his spare time, Ryan likes backpacking, playing music, and building strong communities. This is Ryan’s first time contracting an editor to record his biography for a website of any kind. I am happy to document Ryan’s WCC profile as dictated even if it is unpaid work. I need the experience; my internships don’t really pay me anything either.

Kieran O'Donnell

Kieran O’Donnell

Kieran started his first term with Washington Conservation Corps at the King Conservation District in October of 2019 upon graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management. Kieran serves at the Production Manager on his crew. Kieran has lived in King County his entire life and is very passionate about doing habitat restoration within his community. He looks forward to all the learning opportunities this year with WCC and KCD presents. When he’s not working, Kieran likes to tend to plants, cook, and play board games with his friends.

Sheryl Cramer

Sheryl Cramer

Sheryl is serving her first term with the Washington Conservation Corps at KCD. She recently graduated from Colby College with a degree in Environmental Science – Conservation Biology and a minor in philosophy. She is passionate about photography, the CBS television show Survivor, and mitigating local effects of climate change. Her previous work experience involves microbiology research, park conservation planning, and organic coffee farming. Hailing from San Diego, she is excited to experience the phenomenon of “rain”. To quote her favorite artist and the noble and distinguished philosopher Kanye West, “I want the world to do better, all I want is dopeness.”

Steve Marin

Steve Marin

Steve is spending his second term with the Washington Conservation Corps at King Conservation District, KCD. Steve brings plenty of spirit and enthusiasm to the KCD team. After spending last year building trails around the state, he’s ready and able to spend the current year improving Washington’s streams, riparian areas and fish habitats that we all care for. When he’s not working Steve likes to spend his days, hiking, exploring new trails, hanging out with his friends and playing board games in and around Seattle.

Crew Lead: Justin Lemay

Crew Lead: Justin Lemay

This is Justin’s first year as a KCD Supervisor. He previously was a supervisor on the Olympic Peninsula but is now back to his happy place of King County working for KCD. Justin loves teaching others restoration skills, especially planting his favorite tree Thuja plicata, and rescuing native plants from Himalayan blackberry and other invasive species.

Aaron Eckrote

Aaron Eckrote

Aaron is a first year Washington Conservation Corps member who recently graduated from the University of Idaho and is looking for inspiration to guide the next chapter of his life. His desire to give back to the communities that have provided ample opportunities to him is what led him to serving with the WCC. He is excited to spend this next year, working closely with King Conservation District on habitat restoration.

Abby Deaton

Abby Deaton

This is Abby’s first year with Washington Conservation Corps. She graduated in June 2019 from University of Washington Tacoma with a degree in environmental studies. Abby has lived in Washington state her entire life and is excited to make it a healthier environment for all of those who also call it home.

Jon Ohashi

Jon Ohashi

Hello, I am Jon a 1st year WCC crew member. Born and raised in king county, I attended local public schools as well as Eastern Washington University. I joined this program to give back to the environment that we have taken so much from, as well as gaining valuable hands on experience. I hope to make the most of my opportunity this year serving the community.

Stefani Rath

Stefani Rath

Stefani is from Philadelphia where cars drive faster and all the plants are different. She came to Washington for adventure and learning, and she is finding both with WCC. Her favorite work activity is grubbing blackberry, followed closely by falling in streams. She is excited to discover more about the area while creating a better natural community for her family.

Sam Hendricks

Sam Hendricks

This is my first year with WCC. I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2018, took a year to explore other passions, then moved up here from California for this program. I love restoration work and am excited to experience it in a new place!

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