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: Justin LeMay
This is Justin’s second year as a WCC 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.
Howdy! I’m Bretta. I’m a first-year corps member with KCD. I’m originally from Seattle and I’m excited to spend the year outside working in the environment I grew up in. I’m passionate about ecology and learning about the ways humans can interact responsibly with the environment in this moment in history. I’m looking forward to working with landowners and learning about native plants and local ecology. When I’m not working, I love to cook, hike, and play with my dog.
This is Gavin’s first full year term with WCC. Gavin graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management in the Spring of 2020. Throughout this year, he aims to learn all there is to know about the flora and fauna of King County. In his free time, he likes to read, disc golf, and think about snails.
Sam is currently serving his second WCC year at KCD. Originally from California’s central coast, he graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2018 with B.A.’s in both Environmental Studies and Geography. In 2019, he moved to Seattle to do restoration work in a beautiful new setting. Outside of work, he enjoys recording music and setting up concerts when there isn’t a pandemic.
Macy graduated from Central Washington University in 2019 with a degree in Biology and a specialization in Ecology and Evolution as well as a degree in Spanish. She has a great passion for the outdoors and spends much of her free time hiking and backpacking throughout Washington state. Banjos and harmonicas often occupy her headspace and she very poorly tries to play both. She hopes to use this service year as a stepping stone into the field of ecology and conservation, and looks forward to traveling once it’s safe to do so again!
Hi! Brandy here. I was born and raised in Lacey, Washington and am currently residing in Seattle. I graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington and began my first WCC year immediately after graduation with the Department of Natural Resources and Parks. I became an environmentalist when I watched Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth in 5th grade and since then I wanted to plant as many trees as I could and convince my peers to change their personal choices to reduce their carbon footprints! Now that I’m older, I understand that real impact comes from changing institutions and culture, therefore I am aspiring to attend the Evans School of Public Policy to gain skills and perspective on how our current institutions work and where we can make change.
Crew Lead: Stephen Richardson
From the end of nowhere, Sekiu, Washington. As the locals describe it “a quaint drinking town with a fishing problem”. Earned a B.S. in ecology and conservation biology from CWU. Joined WCC in 2014 serving on the Port Hadlock Crew. Did a second year there as the assistant. Hired on as a supervisor a few months after that in Yakima, 2 years there, ½ a year in Belfair with HCSEG, 1 year in Snoqualmie with the tribe ENR, now at KCD.
Born in Los Angeles and raised nomadically across borders, Quinn is on their very own adventure for the first time and it couldn’t be more daunting, exciting and revelatory. Quinn joined KCD to develop a stronger bond with nature and to learn what it means to build relationships within a group while navigating harsh and unpredictable conditions. Quinn values honesty, accountability, and being of service to others all of which have coalesced seamlessly in their first year with the WCC.
My name is Nico Orint, and I am a first-year Corps member with one of the King Conservation District crews. I am a Seattle native who grew up exploring the natural beauty of western Washington, and in that time I developed a need to do something to preserve it. Working as a corps member has been excellent because every day I do something which undoes human damage to the environment, and measurably improves the uniqueness and diversity of the region. After this year, I intend to return to Oregon State University to finish my computer science degree, but in the meantime I’m satisfied that I can contribute in my small way to ecological restoration.
Originally from King County, Washington, Lara is a recent graduate from Boston University who wanted to do hands on restoration. She joined WCC because not only is she interest in restoration and conservation, she specifically wanted to work in the best place on Earth: the Pacific Northwest. New England wasn’t cutting it. When she is not working, she is probably staring at a bird (and will probably tell you what it is whether you ask or not).
Paige recently moved to the Seattle area after receiving an Engineering Science degree from Colorado State University. She is incredibly passionate about restoration, sustainability and adventure. This is her first year with WCC and loves learning about the beauty of the land and the great work KCD and WCC are doing to restore the native habitats.
This is Daniel’s first year as a WCC crew member with KCD. Daniel is ecstatic to learn more about native plants in Washington. Furthermore, Daniel is very happy getting his hands dirty restoring habitat. Before KCD Daniel went to Pacific Lutheran University where he majored in Mathematics and Environmental Studies, with minors in Economics and Religion. At PLU Daniel loved educating other students about sustainability. Daniel also liked finding new ways PLU could be sustainable such as finding ways to use reusable dishes, or finding ways to recycle year-round. In the future Daniel wants to learn more about how mathematics and data analytics can be a lens to help conserve the environment. In his free time Daniel likes to run, play video games, read and knit.
Matthew Evinger – supervisor
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?
AJ Braun is a 22-year-old native of the greater Seattle area who recently graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in physics. Driven by his love for hiking and the outdoors in general, he found his way onto a WCC crew through KCD. When not found on the trail or planting trees along a stream, AJ enjoys cooking and baking, rock climbing, playing video games, and weight lifting. He dreams of eventually becoming a field researcher to help further our understanding of humanity’s role in climate change while also trying to improve the issue as a whole.
This is Zoë’s first term with WCC and KCD. She graduated from Western Washington University in June 2020 with a major in Geography and a minor in Environmental Studies. She worked her second season with Bellingham Parks and Recreation’s Horticulture Crew, and then joined the WCC team in October. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking and backpacking, yoga, plant and fungi identification, and sleeping in. She isn’t a fan of the cold, but loves the outdoors, and looks forward to growing her communication skills and plant knowledge as she helps to restore streams and riparian areas for salmon and the people of King County.
Emmanuelle is serving her second term with Washington Conservation Corps with KCD. She is an environmental enthusiast who enjoys being outdoors in her free time. Recently new to Washington she is enjoying the accessibility to parks and waterfronts. She is optimistic about this term eager to learn more about the native species in the Pacific Northwest
This is Katrina’s second year with WCC, first year with KCD. After graduating from Western Washington University with a degree in geology she applied for a position at Deparment of Natural Resources and Parks. She received the position and after a fantastic year of service decided she to do a second year, only this time with KCD. Having previously met KCD supervisor Matthew Evinger at the March Cispus training week she knew that she would get along swimmingly with him. She hopes to use this year to expand her knowledge of environmental stewardship.
Eliza is a first year Washington Conservation Corps member sponsored by KCD. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2017 with a degree in Biology. Previously, Eliza has worked at research institutions across the country, including the Oregon Health and Science University, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and most recently the University of California, Los Angeles. Eliza’s passion for preserving the outdoors led her to switch her career focus from microbiology to conservation biology. She is looking forward to assisting with restoration projects in both urban and rural riparian areas throughout King County, in addition to learning essential practices for invasive species management.