Apply for the Jane’s Fellowship program to develop leadership skills and help Pierce County communities

If you are a grassroots leader in Pierce County and would like to develop leadership skills and build a stronger community, consider applying for the Jane’s Fellowship Program with The Russell Family Foundation. Up to 13 people will be selected for the next program, which runs from January 2017 – March 2018. Participants receive free training, a $6,000 stipend and a supportive peer network.

Applications are due October 3, 2016 and are available on The Russell Family Foundation’s website. To learn more, attend a public information session — several sessions will be held in August and September. Check out this video to hear what some Jane’s Fellows think about the program. Good luck!

Nonprofits – register by April 6 to participate in GiveBIG

Nonprofits in the King County area — if you’d like to participate in the one-day online giving event called GiveBIG, please register with the Seattle Foundation by April 6. Many nonprofits in Pierce and Snohomish counties also participate.

In 2015, GiveBIG raised over $16 million in 24-hours to help local nonprofits in the areas of health, education, food, housing, environment and more. Social media helps encourage people to give generously on this one day. Many other organizations provide matches and additional funding.

Logo of GiveBIG

Custom logo that nonprofits can use to promote GiveBIG. Credit: Seattle Foundation.

The Seattle Foundation provides a toolkit of templates, logos and marketing materials to help nonprofits promote GiveBIG.

They also offer webinars to explain how to promote the event and make the most of “stretch funds.”

Here is a link to the online registration form due April 6. Best wishes!


Returning a trail back to the forest at Sehmel Homestead Park

Photo of volunteers at Sehmel Homestead Park

Volunteers take care of the trail at Sehmel Homestead Park.

Thank you to the volunteers who replaced an unwanted trail with rocks, branches and trees and planted new plants at Sehmel Homestead Park on Saturday. This “Art of Wilderness Gardening” returned the old trail back to the forest.

Photo of volunteer

Volunteers made a difference and had fun, too!

Great Peninsula Conservancy organized this “trail decommissioning” event and partnered with PenMet Parks, Pierce County Master Gardeners, WA Native Plant Society, and Gig Harbor High School. Thank you for your time and for making a difference in our parks and natural areas!

More pictures of the Nov. 7 trail stewardship day are available on Flickr and YouTube.

Disclaimer: Engage Northwest is a communications consultant for Great Peninsula Conservancy on this project.

Learning about nature at Sehmel Homestead Park

Photo of walking tour

Exploring and learning about plants, trees and animals at Sehmel Homestead Park

Families and neighbors learned more about Sehmel Homestead Park at a September 27 talk and tour. Great Peninsula Conservancy organized this event to encourage people to explore the park’s natural areas.

Photo of Bill Sehmel

Bill Sehmel talks about his family’s homestead

Several speakers explained how local government and community organizations came together to acquire the 120-year old homestead, making this 98-acres the “diamond” of PenMet Parks.

We visited a demonstration garden (even saw a tomato-potato plant!) and walked along meadows, wetlands and a mature forest. Kids looked for different leaves and pinecones, trying to identify plants and trees.

Active recreation and natural areas

Sehmel Homestead Park in Gig Harbor includes 22 acres of active recreation, such as top-notch soccer and baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, and a playground for kids of all abilities.

In addition, the park features 75 acres of natural areas protected by a conservation easement. Great Peninsula Conservancy holds this conservation easement, and encourages neighbors to connect with nature close to home.

Trail project: November 7, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Help take care of Sehmel Homestead Park by restoring an old trail back to nature. In this “Art of Wilderness Gardening,” Great Peninsula Conservancy will show how to replace an unwanted trail with rocks, branches and leaves. We’ll also plant new plants. After we’re done, this “decommissioned trail” will be part of the forest again. Contact Kate for more information or to RSVP at (360) 373-3500 and

See the flyer for the Nov. 7 trail stewardship day.

More pictures of the Sept. 27 nature walk are available on Flickr:

Disclaimer: Engage Northwest is a communications consultant for Great Peninsula Conservancy on this project.

Explore nature on Sept. 27 tour at Sehmel Homestead Park

Photo of Sehmel Homestead Park

Walk on the trail at Sehmel Homestead Park

Sehmel Homestead Park in Gig Harbor boasts some of the best baseball and soccer fields in the South Sound. Did you know that most of this park consists of natural areas — meadows, ponds and forests? Find out more on a guided trail walk, September 27 from 2-4 pm. This free event is open to everyone!

You can learn about the park’s history, life on the homestead and opportunities to take care of the trail. Refreshments are provided. See the event flyer for details.

For more information, contact Great Peninsula Conservancy. Hope to see you there!

Disclaimer: Engage Northwest is a communications consultant for Great Peninsula Conservancy on this project.