Last week, we said goodbye to Matthew Wilkinson, DNDA’s Environmental Outreach Specialist with the Washington Service Corps. Matthew joined us in October 2020, in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic when our volunteer work parties had been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, Matthew was able to partake in a wide variety of activities. He joined the field work with the rest of DNDA’s Nature team, attempting to keep the blackberries, ivy, and other species at bay as best as possible without the assistance of thousands of volunteers each year. Thankfully, shortly after his service began in October, work parties were given the green light to continue in our beloved greenspaces.
Since being given the go-ahead to resume some programming, Matthew has assisted with countless aspects of the Nature program’s daily operations. From conducting water quality tests with students in the community, speaking about environmental career pathways at the Celebration of Careers at Chief Sealth High School, and leading virtual tours of the Delridge Wetland Park for students at Louisa Boren STEM School, Matthew really enjoyed engaging with the community.
Matthew also lead most of our Saturday volunteer events. He has been passionate about being able to involve community members in this important work and attempting to convey the importance of restoration to building a resilient and strong ecosystem while also being able to get to know the Delridge community on a deeper level. He wrapped up his term this past Saturday with his final volunteer event and his final visit to the Delridge Wetland Park. While sad to stop leading these events, Matthew says he is eager to participate in the future as a volunteer at DNDA events, to see how things continue to change as other members of the Nature team and our future AmeriCorps members lead these greenspace restoration projects into the future.