New environmental stewardship program to benefit schools

May 28, 2013

By Peter Clark

Ninth-graders at three Issaquah School District high schools will soon benefit from a new environmental stewardship education program that culminates in a field trip and hands-on stewardship event, according to a press release from the Issaquah Schools Foundation.

About 180 students in the “Biodiversity and Lab Concepts” course will participate in the Environmental Stewardship Learning Opportunity program each year, with curriculum developed by the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust. Funding for the program will be made possible by an Issaquah Schools Foundation grant created by Port Blakely Companies and local businesses.

Port Blakely Companies, the parent company of Port Blakely Communities and developer of the Issaquah Highlands, created the grant in celebration of its 20 years of development activity in the highlands, where it has applied principles of environmental stewardship to every aspect of development, the release said.

“We are always on the lookout for new and innovative partnerships that bring additional resources to our students,” Robin Callahan, executive director of the Issaquah Schools Foundation, said in the release. “We were delighted, but not surprised, when Port Blakely Communities approached us with this opportunity, as they have been a tremendous supporter of the foundation and our community over the past 20 years. We are grateful for the legacy that they are leaving to our students.”

“This partnership enables students in Issaquah to learn about the natural world in the forests near their schools,” Cynthia Welti, executive director of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, said in the release. “We applaud Port Blakely, the business community and the Issaquah Schools Foundation for helping to create future caretakers of nearby forests and streams.”

In establishing the Port Blakely Environmental Stewardship Challenge Grant, Port Blakely contributed $20,000 and is challenging other companies doing business in the Issaquah Highlands to contribute. The Issaquah Schools Foundation recently announced that DevCo (developer of the Discovery Heights apartment home neighborhood), Polygon Northwest (developer of two new neighborhoods: Forest Ridge and The Brownstones) and the Issaquah Highlands surgeons of the Proliance Highlands Medical Center have made generous contributions to the program.

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