Tag Archives: Forest Health Watch

The Unlikely Partnership Supporting South Seattle Youth Through Forest Science

CHOOSE 180 Interns Research Hemlock Tree Mortality at Seward Park 

by Ronnie Estoque

Paul Shannon, a forest steward at Green Seattle Partnership and member of Friends of Seward Park, heard Sean Goode speak on the radio last summer, after the police killing of George Floyd, about the importance of community support for racial justice. Inspired and impressed by Goode’s segment, Shannon reached out and became a volunteer for Goode’s organization, CHOOSE 180, which supports young people who are disproportionately impacted by the criminal justice system in King County. 

As the executive director of the organization, Goode seeks to provide job training for youth participants in CHOOSE 180. This summer, for example, they offered an entrepreneurship internship that taught business basics. But Shannon’s expertise offered a unique opportunity to the youth in the program. He just wrapped up leading a six-week paid internship program with CHOOSE 180 to provide three of their interns the opportunity to learn a different kind of trade. Specifically, they worked to assess the die-off of hemlocks, the Washington State tree, in the old-growth forest at Seward Park.

“The outdoors has been largely colonized,” said Goode. “And because it’s been colonized, and it’s been a place of discomfort for many Black and Brown folks, it’s not a natural partnership for us to lean into when we’re thinking about ways to support young people and job training.” 

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