In 2017, The City of Newcastle acknowledged the Weed Warriors Nature Stewards Program for producing the Newcastle Earth Day event for 10 consecutive years.
In 2016, Grace Stiller received the Conservation Service Award from the National Wildlife Federation, Pacific Region.
Article written by Courtney Sullivan, NWF, Pacific Region Director.
Help us celebrate our 2016 Pacific Region, Conservation Service Award winner, Grace Stiller. We wanted to share her inspiring story of service about her work as a Community Wildlife Habitat team leader and Habitat Steward with National Wildlife Federation, and how she connects with other local organizations to support wildlife conservation and stewardship in her city of Newcastle, WA who registered as a team with NWF in February 2013 and will soon be celebrating their certification! Grace has been an inspiration and mentor to the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife: Community Wildlife Habitat teams members in the Puget Sound region.
Grace is the founder and board president of Weed Warriors, a local non-profit launched their first project in February of 2008 with the massive ivy removal and habitat restoration of the Newcastle Historical Cemetery. Since 2008, volunteers have removed various species of invasive noxious weeds in many locations, reaching over an impressive amount of volunteer time totaling a 13,985 hours through 2015. Weed Warriors are stewards of public places – parks, trails, and open spaces. They are passionate about living in harmony with nature. Their Nature Stewards program empowers communities to connect to the natural landscape, fosters an appreciation and stewardship of the environment and advocates for social responsibility of public areas.
Nature Stewards has grown and evolved since our initial “Boots on the Ground” weed removal and restoration projects in 2008. The Nature Stewards program now includes workshops, events, classroom presentations, nature trail walks, rain garden installations, and advocacy for environmental issues – all activities supporting our mission to impart and nurture the responsibility of environmental stewardship.
Volunteers of all ages learn about the environment and help shape the environmental health of their public places by participating in local restoration projects – removing invasive weeds and planting native plants. Our programs empower youth to find their voices to steward the earth and change the world through education, arts, and creative programming. Nature Stewards advocate for communities to connect with nature and provide habitat for birds, butterflies and pollinators -they encourage everyone to get involved and become an environmental steward. To learn more: http://naturestewardswa.org/
In 2009, the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce awarded the Community Service Diamond Award to the Weed Warriors Organization.
“Thank you to all our valuable volunteers, partners, and Board of Directors that made these awards and honors possible!” Grace Stiller, President and Chief Executive Officer