March is Women’s History Month, so for the past month, we’ve been thinking about what this means for us at the Green Seattle Partnership.

From Rachel Carson to Deb Haaland, women have made critical contributions to the conservation movement–but in this historically male-dominated field, women’s achievements are often overlooked. Conservation researchers in Colorado found that women in the conservation field are often excluded from decision-making, assumed to be inadequate at their jobs, excluded from the hiring and advancement processes, and are underpaid in their positions. Lots of STEM fields, including conservation, aren’t known for being accessible to women or non-binary folks, or for making these voices feel valued. The Green Seattle Partnership is proud to be helping shift this paradigm by uplifting staff and community members who identify as women.

As we start to feel the impacts of climate change more and more, women are disproportionately impacted. As climate change reduces the availability of traditional food sources and changes patterns of floods and droughts, women across the world will face disproportionate loss of income and a lack of food and water. Despite the unique impacts of climate change, women tend to be underrepresented in international governance on climate change.

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we shouldn’t stop thinking about these problems. The global impacts of climate change and gender inequity can feel impossible to tackle, but you can start by making a difference in your own community! Learn about women in conservation and how to support organizations that connect intersectional communities to the outdoors.

Women of GSP

This is by no means a comprehensive list–just some of the women who make our partnership powerful!

Maya Klem

Maya is a biologist, environmentalist, land steward, and leader in the Green Seattle Partnership. She joined Forterra in 2018 as an AmeriCorps Stewardship Associate, and now works as a project manager with GSP. Maya has a true understanding of what it means to steward the land and she continues to learn from the wisdom and knowledge of the Indigenous people before her. Read Maya’s interview with Forterra!

Emilene Castillo

Emilene is an environmentalist and advocate. She has been supporting the Green Seattle Partnership as an AmeriCorps Stewardship Associate since September 2021; you may have seen her out leading GSP events over the past year! A California native and graduate of San Francisco State University, Emilene has found a passion for conserving Pacific Northwest forests and advocating for BIPOC equity. As she puts it, “Negative impacts of environmental degradation disproportionately affect People of Color. We need to find ways to bring the BIPOC community into this work equitably because representation matters.” Read Emilene’s full interview!

Katherine Lynch

Katherine is a biologist and innovator in Seattle’s environmental world through her work at Seattle Public Utilities, a partner in the Green Seattle Partnership. She has drawn attention to the ‘liver’ of Thornton Creek: the hyporheic zone. This zone is found under the streambed, and is comprised of wet sediment, stones, and small creatures like worms, aquatic insects, microbes, tardigrades, and more. When cities urbanize creeks, it can damage this crucial zone. Katherine realized that this was the case in Thornton Creek, and fought an uphill battle to restore it. She was proved successful in 2018, when Chinook salmon spawned in the restored hyporheic zone of Thornton Creek. Read more about Katherine and the restoration of Thornton Creek.

Andrea Ostrovsky and GSP Forest Stewards

Andrea is the Vice Chair on Forterra’s Board of Directors, and has been a GSP Forest Steward for over ten years. She is also the co-founder of the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountainview, a volunteer community group dedicated to restoring Cheasty Greenspace, a 43-acre greenspace in the Rainier Valley. In 2013, Andrea received a Denny Award for Conservation and Environmental Stewardship. Read Andrea’s interview with Forterra to learn more about her amazing work!

In addition to Andrea, there are over 90 GSP Forest Stewards who identify as women. Thank you to all of these incredible women who lead our community as we all deepen our relationship with Mother Earth — we are so grateful for all of you!

Learn more

Learn more about the women of GSP by checking out our blog highlight.

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