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Non-profit of the Month

Nature Consortium

We here at Sound Trading Co. are proud to introduce you to the fine folks over at Nature Consortium, a grassroots, community-based organization whose mission is to connect people, arts and nature. This NPO has three arms: they produce a Youth Art Program, an Urban Forest Restoration Project and the annual Arts in Nature Festival at Camp Long in West Seattle.

Nature Consortium hosts volunteer work parties year round several times per week. Currently they're working Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10am-2pm in the West Duwamish Greenbelt located in West Seattle. Each work party begins with a short informal forest ecology workshop. Featured musicians and dancers "play in the woods" during many of their work parties.

During the fall and winter these volunteers remove invasive species, mulch, and plant native plants and trees in the Seattle's largest remaining forest. Other seasons are devoted to maintenance and monitoring.

Nature Consortium's Urban Forest Restoration Project is committed to the long-term stewardship and restoration of the West Duwamish Greenbelt. The Greenbelt is the largest remaining contiguous forest within Seattle city limits, consisting of 182 acres of public park land and another 300 acres of privately owned land. Foxes, red-legged frogs, hawks, and bald eagles are found within the greenbelt. Their main restoration goal is reintroducing native conifer species to the greenbelt, and they also focus on invasive plant removal, site maintenance and environmental education.

The Youth Art Program provides accessible environmentally influenced art classes for youth ages 5-19, designed to increase participants’ artistic skill and environmental knowledge, positive identity, connection to the environment and social competence. These free classes are offered to students at the Yesler Community Center and Rainier Vista Art Studio, and include everything from kite-making to edible art, street dance to music production. Many of the classes culminate in participation at the annual Arts in Nature Festival.

From fire performers and string quartets to dance troupes and an outdoor museum of sound, the Arts~in~Nature Festival has something for everyone. In its 12th year, this annual multidisciplinary event is produced by Nature Consortium and is nestled in the forested arms of Camp Long.

This funky and eclectic little festival showcases an impressive number of locally renowned performing artists, sound artists and ensembles, ranging from experimental & improvised to classical, early, jazz and Americana. Dance troupes perform in various locations throughout the park, and wandering musicians roam the forested landscape between the cabins.

Camp Long’s rustic cabins house the "museum of sound" where artists take up residency for the weekend and create multidisciplinary installations that blend sound, auditory arts, music and visual arts. Most of the cabins have an interactive, hands-on component, allowing attendees to enter and interact with the artists' work. With a serious commitment to conservation, all festival marketing materials are printed on 100% post consumer waste paper. Admission is by donation ~ $5.00 per person.

Our friends at Nature Consortium create opportunities for people to connect to themselves, each other, their community, and the natural world. They foster a journey of discovery for people to find their individual passion, empowerment and action. Like Sound Trading Company, they believe that by creating awareness, we will help individuals to change their behavior in interacting with the world. We are proud to partner with them, as we continue to connect you to organizations and people who share your values - so that together, we can continue creating the kind of world we want to live in.

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