Volunteers with RAVE's program partner EarthGen install a rain garden at Seahurst Elementary. (Photo courtesy: Seattle Sounders FC)
This year, Weyerhaeuser is supporting RAVE Foundation — the charitable arm of Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer — as its official partner in sustainability. Through this new partnership, we are helping RAVE with several projects at Seahurst Elementary School, located just south of Seattle, including the installation of a rain garden, outdoor learning space and mini-soccer field this spring, and then a forest restoration project in the fall at nearby Seahurst Park.
"We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with RAVE Foundation," says Ara Erickson, director of corporate sustainability. "RAVE’s mission is to create spaces where kids can freely play outdoors, and they have a deep commitment to serving marginalized, under-resourced communities. We’re excited to help RAVE expand their impact by contributing some of our expertise in environmental stewardship and sustainable forestry."
The first phase of the project — creating the garden — is currently under way, with RAVE program partner EarthGen leading the design and installation. In addition to providing an engaging learning area for students, the rain garden will serve as a natural stormwater management system for the next phase: building a mini-soccer field for the students and surrounding community. Construction on the field is slated to be completed before summer, and Weyerhaeuser will be on the ground to take part in the celebration when it’s ready.
An artist's rendering of the mini-soccer field that will be constructed soon.
"It is wonderful to have begun what we hope will be a long-term partnership with Weyerhaeuser to further our goals in two Sounders FC social justice arenas for change – Defending the Right to Play and Protecting the Planet," says Ashley Fosberg, executive director of RAVE Foundation. "Thanks to Weyerhaeuser, the Seahurst community will soon have an inviting, sustainable outdoor space to play and learn."
In October, Weyerhaeuser will then sponsor a forest restoration project — together with a local nonprofit, Forterra, and the Green Burien Partnership — to help replant a forest at Seahurst Park. The park is right down the street from Seahurst Elementary, and we’re donating the native trees, shrubs and groundcover to build a young forest ecosystem. We’re also supporting a crew that will help prep the site and lead a volunteer event where the plants will be planted in the park’s natural areas.
"This restoration project is a great opportunity for the students — and everyone in the community — to be part of regrowing a future healthy forest ecosystem in their neighborhood," says Katie Cava, corporate sustainability manager for Weyerhaeuser, who is helping coordinate the project. "Seahurst Park is already a tremendous community resource, and we’re excited to help restore part of this natural area for everyone to experience and enjoy."