Welcoming Three New Staff Members to the Greenway Trust Stewardship Team

We are so excited to welcome three new staff members to the Greenway Trust’s stewardship team! Kate, Michael, and Swan came on board in early February and have jumped right in to all things Greenway. And, you may even recognize them already, as they all have worked with the Greenway Trust in some capacity previously.

We hope you’ll have the opportunity to meet them out on the landscape soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to do a little Q&A to help us all get to know them and their new roles a bit better. If you see them out and about, be sure to say hello!

 

Kate Fancher, Restoration Coordinator

Kate joins the Greenway Trust as a Restoration Coordinator after multiple seasons with the Restoration Crew. She was born and raised in Seattle where she fell in love with learning about the plants and animals throughout the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2018 with a degree in Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management with a focus in Restoration Ecology and Environmental Horticulture and completed the Wetland Science and Management Program in 2020. In her spare time, she enjoys catching up on her favorite tv shows, reading, seeing live music, and camping.

Why did you decide to join the Greenway Trust?

After working seasonally for the Greenway Trust for the past several years, I wanted to continue to move forward in the restoration field and learn more about project planning and reporting. I love the camaraderie within the organization and the unique projects and sites I get the opportunity to work at within the Mountains to Sound Greenway.

What will be the primary responsibilities of your role as a Restoration Coordinator?

My primary responsibilities will include planning restoration projects throughout the Greenway, supervising the Restoration Crew, and completing project reports. I will be working closely with the other members of the Restoration Program.

What aspect of your new job excites you most? Why?

I’m most excited about being a part of the planning process for many different restoration projects and sites. I really enjoy determining the most logical way to tackle invasive weeds and deciding which native species are the most appropriate for certain sites.

What is your favorite place in the Greenway?

My favorite place in the Greenway is along the Cle Elum River within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. I grew up camping there and love to explore the area and identify different plant species.

What led you to this career?

Growing up in Seattle gave me the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the unique landscape the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I had amazing science teachers in high school and college that helped me figure out that I wanted to work in the environmental science field.

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

I would love to be an expert in all things plants! There are so many species out there, both native and non-native, that I would love to know more about, along with having a greater understanding of plant morphology and anatomy.

 

 

Michael Sanchez, Restoration Coordinator

Michael moved from Yakima to Seattle to obtain his B.S. degree in Environmental Science and Resource Management from the University of Washington. Michael brings experience leading restoration crews on private and public lands in Washington, academic knowledge in the environmental and forestry fields, and community engagement expertise through his internship at Trees for Seattle. His first experience with the Greenway Trust came as an AmeriCorps Member in 2019, assisting with restoration projects and volunteer events. In his spare time, Michael loves camping and hiking in national parks, biking on urban trails in Seattle, playing sports with friends, and rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.

Why did you decide to join the Greenway Trust?

After my AmeriCorps service term, I wanted to join an organization that believes in their mission and values, and its commitment to give back to their community members and partners.

What will be the primary responsibilities of your role as Restoration Coordinator?

My primary responsibilities as the Restoration Coordinator are to schedule and supervise our Restoration Crew members in the Greenway. I will also help with day-to-day tasks at our field base in Issaquah and help maintain our growing nursery.

What aspect of your new job excites you most? Why?

Being the lead on many of the Greenway’s restoration projects because it provides new challenges and problem solving that I feel ready to take on with my new team.

What is your favorite place in the Greenway?

My favorite place in the Greenway is the wildlife overpass over I-90. I love to tell friends and family that I worked on the overpass to see their surprised faces.

What led you to this career?

Having experience being on a field crew and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science has made me want to help restore the landscape for future generations to enjoy.

What is one goal you have for your first year at the Greenway Trust?

One goal I have for my first year is to further develop my leadership skills. I’ve led restoration crews before as a crew leader, but with my new position I will be more of a supervisor and hopefully I can grow my skills in that field.

 

Sornesarwanh (Swan) Phongwarinr, Volunteer Coordinator

As the Greenway Trust’s Volunteer Coordinator, Sornesarwanh (Swan) is responsible for engaging with the public and coordinating volunteer projects at ecological restoration sites throughout the Greenway. Sornesarwanh first joined the Greenway Trust as a Restoration Crew member in 2020 after moving from Maryland. She received a degree in Biology and a minor in Geography from the University of South Carolina, and has spent the last few years in Washington exploring its natural and diverse landscapes. When not working, Sornesarwanh is probably increasing her Spotify minute count, getting into new hobbies, or basking in the sun.

Why did you decide to join the Greenway Trust?

I worked with the Greenway Trust as a seasonal crew member and saw the potential to work with great people in an organization where I thought I could make an impact on the community. When positions opened up, I took the chance and applied.

What will be the primary responsibilities of your role as Volunteer Coordinator?

My role as the Volunteer Coordinator will mainly focus on organizing and leading volunteer events throughout the Greenway and connecting with the community through this.

What aspect of your new job excites you most? Why?

Connecting with partners and connecting people to their communities is something I am looking forward to. Getting people to invest in their environment and empowering them to do so can be extremely fun and rewarding.

What is your favorite place in the Greenway?

The Middle Fork Valley is my favorite part of the Greenway. There is so much to offer all over, but there is where I had my most influential introduction to the Greenway and it has stuck with me since. I’ve worked on projects there and spent a good amount of free time there as well.

If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?

If I could be an expert in something I would be a polyglot. Languages have always been a forefront of interest for me coming from a bilingual household. Just knowing that people think in different perspectives because of linguistical differences and that changes how they perceive time and events is incredible to me.

What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?

On the weekends I am always trying to take advantage of nice weather. Being outside biking, surfing, hiking, or trying any new fun activity with friends is what makes me the happiest. That and a good brunch.

 

Want to work with us? It’s a ton of fun! Keep an eye on our careers page for current and future opportunities.

Priority Areas:
Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley, Snoqualmie River Valley, Urban Communities
Post Categories:
News, Restoration, Volunteer