Trees Inspire Career Path
High School senior Emi Lutz tackled the compilation of a guide to the plants growing in Bellevue's Lewis Creek Park with great enthusiasm. This was Emi's senior project and part of Bellevue's Well Kept Program, offered by the city's Parks and Community Services Department – Natural Resources Division.
The result was an 85-page, full-color guide to plants in the park ranging from the mighty Douglasfir to the lowly slough sedge. Moreover, the experience stimulated Emi's conservation ethic, which, in turn, led to her enrollment in the University of Washington in preparation for a career as a biologist.
"Through working in the Well Kept Program and leading nature walks with citizens, I realized that I enjoyed sharing my interest and knowledge of the outdoors and trees with others," says Emi.
The program offers summer employment helping with park work, teaching life skills, environmental education and instilling young people with self-esteem and good work habits. Were it not for support from the city's natural resources division, Emi would not have received the training that led to her career path.
"It was fun to teach both kids and adults and watch them learn and start caring for the environment," she adds.