SCA’s Finest, Seattle’s Best (Crew, not Coffee)

SCA’s Finest with our group contract.

Hello to you from Seattle, Washington! My name is Kalina, a born and raised Seattleite currently attending the University of Washington. I have participated in SCA’s International Crew, its Seattle school year program, and now I’m privileged enough to be the crew leader apprentice for a summer community crew program. I enjoy working with the SCA because of their hands-on and youthful approach to conservation, which keeps me coming back for more. This month, I will be taking you through the adventurous endeavors and experiences of the Delridge (West Seattle) community crew.

This crew is working on a part of the Seattle City Parks Urban Forests, which owns 10% of Seattle’s land. We are working hard to remove several invasive species, mainly Himalayan Blackberry and English Ivy.

Bright and early at 8 AM on Monday, July 1, 2013, the Delridge crew came together with many introductions to both each other and the site. That’s where it all began – our journey to becoming a loving, lighthearted, happy family.

A. A shot of our safety talk – safety always comes first!

B. Crewmember Darrius is holding on one of the larger Himalayan blackberry roots.

C. The first shot of our one-acre site, as the eager workers get started on the large task.

D. Our members are working together to untangle the “group knot”.

On Tuesday, we continued the removal of invasive species, but also established rotating leadership roles that go something like this:

- 1 Leader of the Day: Keeps time and leads the closing circle

- 1 Journalist: Writes an entry of the day and takes photographs

- 1 Tool Master: Keeps track of tools and ensures proper use

- 1 Hydrometer: Makes sure everyone is hydrated and proposes water toasts

- 2 Energizers: Cheers on the team and leads exercises to keep energy up

By the end of Wednesday, the crew had all become professional loppers and master “BB (blackberry) root-ball removers”, as one of our crewmembers, Beemnet, likes to say. During the process, we also gathered an embarrassment of litter from beneath the blackberry stems buried deep in the soil. We found 31 tires (possibly more!), a car dashboard, a rear car door, a car window…basically a whole car, and many other peculiar items.

Thursday… Happy 4th of July!

Back in action with the crew on Friday, which are always Environmental Education Days. This Friday we visited the beautiful and refreshing Marra Farm in South Park, which donates over 17,000 pounds of produce to local food banks each year. We learned about the history of the farm, weeded plants, and harvested many local organic produce.

A. A part of the fresh produce picked out of the farm.

B. Crewmembers in action.

C. One of the most unique carrots I’ve ever seen!

At the end of the last day of the week, we finally decided on a crew name… Meet “SCA’s Finest.”

Thank you so much for enduring this hopefully not dreadful and horrific, blog post.

Until next time,

Kalina

The Crew Leader Apprentice of SCA’s Finest