Mayor presents Ruth Kees award to city park planner

March 19, 2013

By Peter Clark

City Park Planner Margaret Macleod received this year’s Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community.

At a tree-planting event March 6, Mayor Ava Frisinger presented the award to Macleod in praise of her years of dedicated service.

“She has done a tremendous amount of work that far exceeds any of her job descriptions,” Frisinger said in a separate interview. “She has the exceptional ability to coordinate between different agencies that led to the acquisition and funding of open spaces to an almost exponential degree.”

Macleod, who has been with the city Parks & Recreation Department for 20 years, was delighted to receive the award.

“It’s actually a great honor,” she said. “I’m very lucky to be able to work with what I love.”

According to the city, six regional leaders jointly nominated her, including Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust Executive Director Cynthia Welti. Those leaders lauded the protection and expansion of the green space around the Issaquah Alps that have come through Macleod’s extensive partnerships and grant writing. Throughout her tenure, Macleod has secured millions of grant dollars and performed extensive recreation enhancement, they said.

In acceptance of the award, she did not forget her partners’ contribution and local people for their support.

“One thing about Issaquah is that people are extremely aware of environmental issues and concerns,” she said. “We’ve been able to accomplish a lot in our community.”

Macleod, who hails from Santa Barbara, Calif., moved to the area about 21 years ago, finding her position with the city soon after. Because of her longtime service, she had close contact with Ruth Kees and knew her personally.

“I think she would be happy,” Macleod said about her reception of the award. “She’d be thrilled.”

For the ceremony, she chose a dogwood to plant in the Ruth Kees grove and spoke of the fondness she feels for the tree’s spring blossoming.

Annually, the City Council submits a request to the community for nominations of outstanding contributors to the area and its goal of self-sustained preservation of the local environment. The council president and the mayor then review the nominations and decide on the recipient.



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