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Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust leads and inspires action to conserve and enhance the landscape from Seattle across the Cascade Mountains to Central Washington, ensuring a long-term balance between people and nature.

By coalescing around a specific corridor and focusing on building coalitions and public/private relationships, they have demonstrated the ability to consistently meet their goals and make a difference in the Puget Sound region’s environment. SVP supported the Greenway Trust from 2010-2015.

Total Giving: $225,000

Interim Executive Director: Elizabeth Lunney
SVP Lead Partner:
Arlene Levy

Strengthening Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

In partnership with SVP, the Greenway Trust tackles projects like:

  • Leadership Development: Advancing staff facilitation skills so they can successfully lead diverse groups in productive & collaborative meetings (worked with SVP Partners Susan Carlson,)
  • Information Technology: Mapping out a transition from a customized database to an “out-of-the-box” database that will require less ongoing maintenance (worked with SVP Partner and paid consultant Brad Struss)
  • Leadership Development: Training staff in “Smallify” a facilitation tool used to lead a successful summit gathering for Mountains to Sound Greenway leaders (worked with SVP Partner Susan Carlson)
  • Finance: Creating a dashboard with easily digestible information so Mountains to Sound Greenway’s Board can track the  financial health of their organization (worked with SVP Partner Mike Cadigan)
  • Leadership Development: Coaching staff who are taking on greater responsibility within the organization – particularly in the areas of goal setting, delegation and evaluation (worked with SVP Partner Matt Shaw)
  • Organizational Development: Completing an in depth board mapping project — tracking the skills, relationships, and connections among the Greenway Trust’s 60-person board to increase engagement (worked with SVP Partners Meredith Shank, Heather and Dan Berger)
  • Fund Development: Working to re-frame and strengthen their fundraising efforts (worked with paid consultants Emily Anthony and Julie Edsforth)

SVP’s Impact — In Their Words

The Greenway Trust wanted to develop its staff expertise in creating community involvement, especially by improving staff members’ ability to facilitate meetings.

SVP Partner Susan Carlson took this on whole-heartedly.  She interviewed staff members until she probably had a better understanding of the situation than we did.  And what in my mind had been a simple 1 ½ hour training became a series of workshops and coaching sessions:

  • An all staff introduction. Susan delivered this on June 4 to great acclaim by all.  It included facilitation 101, difference between facilitating and leading a meeting, importance of preparation, handling challenges.  Susan sent pre-reading to all and modeled each aspect of what she taught, with the value of preparation shining through all.
  • A follow-up session. After a month for people to try out their new skills, Susan reconvened us to go into more in-depth tools, including word choice, network weaving and Smallify, with exercises and role plays.  Smallify struck a chord with Snoqualmie Valley Program Manager Jenn McKeown who saw an immediate use for it.
  • A custom implementation. Based on her new confidence and Smallify techniques, Jenn offered for the Greenway Trust to lead the upcoming Snoqualmie Valley Key Leader Summit, and annual gathering of some 6o leaders in the valley. Susan coached her and attended as well as they successfully led a visioning exercise and then a session where they selected 4 projects to launch this fall. Jenn came back aglow with the news saying the group had been so primed to move from beyond planning to collective action.

This project, beyond the specifics of several staff members now thinking of how to empower others first, had the benefit of giving staff a present: training they can use.  And many were lifted watching Jenn grow in her capacity.  At the September  Snoqualmie farm dinner partners were raving about how instrumental she has been, from King County managers, to farmers, to chamber business leaders.

– Cynthia Welti, Executive Director

Stories about Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust

Protecting Our Natural Heritage from Mountains to Sound

The Mountains to Sound Greenway is a special place. Evergreen trees still blanket the hillsides and valleys. The air is still fresh; the water is still clean. Cougars still pad through deep woods. Even though millions of people live here, in the hundred miles from Seattle to Ellensburg, these things remain true.

How? Not by accident.

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4 Ways to Celebrate Earth Week with Mountains to Sound Greenway

In honor of Earth Week 2012, we've asked two of our Environmental Investees to share ways of spreading the celebration of our planet with friends and family. In this post, Mountains to Sound Greenway finishes the list. Happy Earth Week!

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Amy Spens on the Greenway

It used to be that as you drove toward the Front Street exit you could see Tiger Mountain’s lush forests and the Issaquah Plateau’s open fields. Then a little while ago I noticed the first house visible from I-90. More and more houses came, dropping into neat, clean rows and columns over the horizon. It makes me think: How long would it be before another parcel of pristine forest and trail system disappeared?

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