The Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area awarded for restoring urban forest in Centralia

Award recipients from left to right: Emil Pierson, Lisa Carlson, Judy Bell, Brian Mittge, Barbara Fandrich, Sheila Gray, Bill Moeller, Bruce Craig, David Underwood, and Joe Scorcio
Award recipients from left to right: Emil Pierson, Lisa Carlson, Judy Bell, Brian Mittge, Barbara Fandrich, Sheila Gray, Bill Moeller, Bruce Craig, David Underwood, and Joe Scorcio

These are friends you want in your backyard! They pull ivy, plant native plants, build trails, and restore natural areas.

Recently, the Friends of the Seminary Hill were recognized for exceptional public service through their extraordinary volunteer efforts with the City of Centralia in Seminary Hill Natural Area.

The Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area have pulled miles and miles of English ivy over the years to preserve the wildland character of this exceptional hidden jewel.

Native plants are growing where there was once a forest of ivy. Volunteers have built trails, installed steps on steep slopes, closed paths to reduce erosion, developed signs and maps, and even graveled a small parking lot in coordination with city staff.

Many events are held throughout the year including wildflower walks, poetry walks, bird watching and children’s activities. The Seminary Hill Natural Area is also an outdoor classroom for several classes from nearby Centralia College.

The Washington Community Forestry Council believes in recognizing those who have made exemplary contributions to urban forestry. Through this award program, the Council provides individuals, businesses and organizations with well-deserved recognition for preserving, planting, and managing forests and trees for public benefits and quality of life.

Many of the founding members of the Friends of the Seminary Hill Natural Area are still actively involved: Sandy and Robert Godsey still provide refreshments for work parties, as well as write the newsletters; Bill Moeller, who signed Seminary Hill into existence as a City Natural Area when he was Mayor of Centralia in 1981; Stellajoe Staebler, as a Girl Scout leader, helped build awareness of the natural area for many years; along with many other long-term committed volunteers.

Upcoming public events include an Earth Day cleanup on April 26. For more information, please email goseminaryhill@gmail.com.

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