Mythbusters: Nonprofit Edition

The Greenway staff reunion in early June 2021

This year our favorite holiday, AKA National Nonprofit Day is on August 17, 2021. We’re celebrating by busting some common nonprofit myths and leaning into some truths as well. Whether you’ve worked in this sector or you never have, the chances that you’ve heard about some stereotypes throughout the years are pretty high.

We took a very informal poll amongst our staff of environmental nonprofit employees to get their thoughts on what rings true and what’s pure myth when it comes to working at the Greenway and nonprofits in general.

Spoiler alert: we’re not all vegetarians, but you can definitely find at least five reusable water bottles in our homes…

 

Myth #1

Environmental nonprofit work is a hobby, not a career.

Truth

Heck no! Nonprofit work is a professional job and although it’s not always easy (is any job?!) at the end of the day, one of the biggest differences is just a tax code. Some of our staff work mostly at computers and some of our full-time and seasonal people are out in the field ten months of the year. We’re just like you, except some of the better days are when we get to spend a day out in the Greenway (an undeniable perk of the job) and still get paid!

Some staffers at National Public Lands Day in the Middle Fork in 2019

 

Myth #2

We all drive Subarus (or Prii aka the plural word for Prius)

The Greenway Carter Subaru in the wild

Truth

Okay, you have us there… about 50% of our staff have Subarus. We even have our own Greenway Subaru courtesy of our friends at Carter Subaru!

 

Myth #3

Everyone wears Chacos or Blundstones

This could have been taken in the Greenway office… shockingly it wasn’t

Truth

In a plot twist, not everyone has a pair (but a lot of us do). They are both undeniably great outdoor shoes (*not sponsored).

 

Myth #4

Everyone has a dog and that dog likely goes with you everywhere

Truth

This isn’t Ruffwear headquarters! Roughly 25% of us have dogs, but more of us own cats!

How Noodle the Pup feels about the lack of office dogs

 

 

 

Myth #5

We aren’t into sports (professional or otherwise)

Truth

Although most of our staff is pretty indifferent to the cause, we have at least a couple of very passionate baseball, basketball, and football fans. We even had a Greenway Mariners staff outing in 2019!

Circa 2019 some of our staff at a Mariners game!

Myth #6

We like all weather.

Truth

GOOD ONE. We certainly do not… A shout out to our seasonal restoration and trail crew who are out in whatever decides to come our way here in the PNW. Whether it’s a light and steady drizzle of rain in the winter or sunny beautiful days in Kittitas County, they are out in it. Every. Single. Day.

David of the Restoration Crew improvises some rain gear while out in the field

 

 

Myth #7

We are all vegetarians/probably make granola?!

Truth

Sure there are some vegetarians, but this is NOT a vegetarian staff, with just one or two claiming that title. Homemade granola makers were also few and far between. Smoothies on the other hand! Don’t even get us started on those! (We are into them.)

A non-vegetarian backcountry meal prepared by Trail Crew members

Environmental Conservation Nonprofit Work-Related Myths

Myth #1

Trails are free!

Truth

Bet you could have guessed that this is NOT TRUE. In fact, trails can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Not to mention the hours of time that goes into designing, building, and then maintaining them!

One of our Trail Crew members works on a boardwalk in the Middle Fork

 

Myth #2

Hey, do you know what kind of plant that is?

So what is that plant again?

Truth

Maybe?? But probably not unless you’re Dan or Katy (our fearless Restoration team leaders). As one of our staffers put it, “just because I work outdoors doesn’t mean I can identify that weed!”

 

True-isms

One of our staffers personal collection of Greenway and agency shirts
  • Many of us have in fact hugged a tree.
  • We own more reusable water bottles than any single human could ever need.
  • We own way more tote bags or t-shirts than one could ever wear.
  • We are all members at REI.
  • If it has the logo on it, or if was a t-shirt from an organizational/partner event, it’s acceptable “work wear.”
  • We’re an avid group (outdoorspeople, sports, crafts, reading…). We take our hobbies seriously (because we don’t know how to give less than 100%).

 

 

And the biggest truth…?

We care. A lot. We’re in this field because we want to make the world a better place.

 

If you’d like to continue to help us with our work across the Greenway, you can donate here. 

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