Youth Programs

Tenacious Roots Youth Leadership Program Inspires Future Conservationists

Current cohort with participants from Franklin High School concludes with forest restoration events at Seward Park.

Seattle, WA (May 20, 2017) — The Seward Park Audubon Center will celebrate the culmination of the school year’s final cohort of its teen leadership program, Tenacious Roots, with restoration events taking place throughout the month. The final event for the fourth cohort, “Friends of the Trees,” will take place on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10:00am - 1:00pm at Seward Park Audubon Center.

Over 100 teens have participated in Tenacious Roots since it was established in 2014. The conservation mission of Audubon and the old growth forest of Seward Park makes it the ideal setting to provide leadership training and inspire youth from diverse communities to take action on environmental issues. Participants earn service learning hours by addressing the local impacts of climate change and protecting plants and wildlife through civic engagement, community organizing, and restoring the forest of Seward Park.

Dustin Do is one of 14 Franklin High School students participating in the Friends of the Trees cohort. “My generation is the first to grow up with the impact of climate change already underway, and will inherit a perilous future if we do not take action,” said Do. “Tenacious Roots has given me the courage and knowledge to stand up for change, and I can confidently say I have learned enough to teach my peers about what we can do and motivate the next generation of leaders.”

With its 277-acres of old growth forest and shoreline habitat, Seward Park is a wondrous outdoor classroom. It is home to the only stand of old-growth forest left in Seattle, and many of the trees are more than 200 years old. Restoration events are designed to remove invasive plants to allow native species like the Douglas-fir, Western red-cedar, Vine Maple, and giant Sword Ferns to grow and thrive. Previous Tenacious Roots cohorts focused on taking action against climate change, building environmental advocacy skills, and restoring bird habitats.

“It is so inspiring to watch teens transition from not knowing very much about climate change and forestry to becoming advocates for change,” said Marina Pita, Seward Park Audubon Center Community Programs Manager, who leads the program. “Two of our young women from Cleveland High School have been given early acceptance to the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science tracks at the University of Washington because of their passion for the environment which they attribute to their involvement with Tenacious Roots. This really shows that Tenacious Roots is creating the conservation leaders of the future.”

Funds for Tenacious Roots were provided by the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program administered through the State of Washington Department of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forestry Program. The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Thanks to these funds, registration fees have been eliminated, allowing every interested student access to the program. For more information about Tenacious Roots, please visit

About Audubon Washington
Established in 1981, Audubon Washington works statewide with its 25 independent chapters and 24,000 members on the conservation of the sagebrush shrub steppe ecosystem in Eastern Washington, protection of coastal estuaries, and actions that address climate change, the number one threat to birds today. Through the Seward Park Audubon Center, we provide science, nature and environmental education programs for youth and families. Learn more at

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