An Outstanding Habitat Steward

Congratulations Grace Stiller!

To celebrate our 2016 Pacific Region, Conservation Service Award winner, Grace Stiller, we are sharing her inspiring story of service as a Community Wildlife Habitat team leader and Habitat Steward with the National Wildlife Federation, and how she connects with other local organizations to support wildlife conservation and stewardship in her city of Newcastle, WA. 

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. Her city has even registered as a team with NWF in February 2013 and will soon be celebrating their certification!

As the founder and board president of Weed Warriors, Grace has led the local non-profit since they 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.

Photo by Grace Stiller
Photo by Grace Stiller

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. Our 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.

An Example of Nature Stewards Programs:

  • “Up-Cycling Native Plants” Stewards Rescue Native Plants
  • “Discover Art in Nature” Connects Kids to the Nature through Art and Culture Activities
  • “Eat Your Garden” Explores Sustainable Gardening Practices
  • “Celebrate Earth Day” Provides Educational Outreach for Environmental Sustainability
  • “Boots on the Ground” Encourages Environmental Stewardship
  • “Knights of the Living Forest” Develops Advocacy for Causes in Support of the Natural landscape and Wildlife
  • “Get Your Earth On!” Engages and Connects Kids to the Natural Environment
  • “Earth Heroes” Awards Students for their Earth Friendly Classroom Activities
  • “Living in Harmony with Nature” Encourages the Use of Native Plants in Landscapes to Support Wildlife.
  • “Climate Outloud” Panel Discussions about Climate Change
Photo by Grace Stiller
Photo by Grace Stiller

Volunteers of all ages help shape the environmental health of their public places by participating in local restoration projects such as removing invasive weeds and planting native plants. They empower youth to find their voices to steward the earth and change the world through education, arts, and creative programming. Weed Warriors and 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. Click here to learn more about Weed Warriors.

Follow Grace’s example and become an NWF Habitat Steward in your area today!