Our Heroic Movement was Featured on the Front Page of the Seattle Weekly

On Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 the Seattle Weekly published Sara Bernard’s wonderful front page article on our Seattle chapter of Plant For The Planet! Read it online and also listen (via SoundCloud) to Ambassadors Joey and Grace discuss challenges they face in getting policymakers to take action on climate change, and the frustrations they feel. The text of the article is as follows:

It’s a Friday night at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, and Joey and Grace, ages 9 and 11—tiny, wiry, and ebony-haired—are tumbling over each other to tell me what they know about climate change. Their introduction to the concept is pretty difficult to pinpoint, though, since it’s always been there, “like all those other facts,” says Grace.

“It’s just, like, a regular thing,” adds Joey.

Still, for my benefit, the siblings cast their minds back to the old days, when they knew about climate change, but they didn’t know that much about it.

“We knew it was caused by people burning oil and gas, but we didn’t understand what it meant,” offers Grace.

“We didn’t know how it works, we didn’t understand the effects, we didn’t understand how fast it was happening,” Joey says at a rapid clip. “We thought it happened in, like, 150 years, the big effects?”

“Something like that,” says Grace.

But now they’re aware that “the big effects are already somewhat happening,” says Joey. “There’s natural global warming . . . but this isn’t natural.” And then, with some gravitas: “If we don’t make some big changes by 2020, it won’t matter how much we try to help after.”

They share their feelings about that.

“Frustration . . . anger.”

“Frustration . . . annoyance. And kind of like . . . nobody getting it!”

“And a little bit this desperate need, like, ‘We need to do something! Why won’t you understand that?! Whyyyy?!’ ”

We’re at the tail end of a monthly meeting of the Seattle chapter of Plant for the Planet, an international environmental club with 34,000 young members in 50 countries who have collectively planted more than 14.2 billion trees. There are snacks and games, as you’d expect at a kid meeting—muffins, cookies, carrot sticks, a swift round of hide and seek, some dashing about and shrieking and breathless laughter.

But mostly it’s quite serious. Moderated by the group’s 13-year-old president, Gabe Mandell, the young activists are celebrating the myriad climate wins of 2015—Shell is out of the Arctic! Obama vetoed Keystone XL!—and planning their next tree-planting workshops and retreats, as well as discussing the climate news of the day, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial trade agreement that could allow multinational corporations to skirt carbon policies.

These are the kids, aged 8 to 14, who’ve trained to become “Climate Justice Ambassadors”—the official title of every member of Plant for the Planet who participates in a day-long “Academy”—giving ebullient speeches to their peers at school and at climate events. They’ve shown up at Shell, Keystone, oil train, and Gates Divest protests; they’ve testified at climate conferences and hearings; they’ve urged the Seattle City Council to put warning labels on gas pumps. They’ve also spent time with Governor Jay Inslee and former Vice President Al Gore and been featured in the HBO documentary Saving My Tomorrow; they’ve planted 11,000 trees and started a state-level challenge to plant a billion. They’ve co-hosted workshops and trainings all over the Puget Sound area and inspired the creation of a Plant for the Planet chapter in Portland. They’re about 375 strong since their inception in early 2013, with a few dozen active members. And eight of them were plaintiffs in a highly publicized lawsuit petitioning the Washington State Department of Ecology to develop a carbon-emissions rule for the sake of their fundamental rights—a lawsuit that they almost won.

“A lot of the times when I hear bad things about [climate change], I start to cry, and I feel pretty depressed,” says Sierra Gersdorf-Duncan, an 11-year-old fifth-grader so gripped by the crisis of ocean acidification that she’s been interviewed for a Philippe Cousteau documentary on the topic. But that kind of climate despair, she says, in herself and others, is “what we need to change. We have to tell them, ‘You’re right, these terrible things are happening, but we can do something about it.’ ”

If you, like Sierra, are 11 today, you were born not long before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Then, nearly every year of your existence, the world has seen epic climate-related disasters: Hurricane Sandy, Typhoon Haiyan, massive flooding in Pakistan, Pacific islands slipping underwater, Alaskan villages toppling from coastal bluffs, endless drought in California, and catastrophic wildfires in Washington. Every year seems to surpass the last as the “hottest year on record”; 2015 just beat out 2014 for the highest global average temperatures ever recorded, and 15 of the planet’s 16 hottest years occurred after 2001.

Also, if you are 11, you were born just before the release of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, which marked a sea change in public perception around the concept—in this country, anyway—making “global warming” and “climate change” household terms as well as the stuff of political debate. More recently, you saw one of the largest international summits ever convened on this or any topic, and President Obama has been making climate speeches almost since you could speak.

By some accounts, we are beyond predictions and have entered the age of climate consequences. The entire lifetime of today’s children falls into that age. In 2050, the year that some of the more dire climate scenarios could begin to unfold, an 11-year-old will be 45.

“It affects us personally,” says 9-year-old Joey. “Most grownups will not be around long enough to see the big, awful effects I was talking about. For us . . . we’ll be middle-aged. We’ll be fully alive and have to worry about it.”

The kids’ passion has made an impact on the local climate movement. Put onstage, they frequently pull grand, tearful statements—and sometimes actions—out of our elected officials.

“Everything stops when the kid opens their mouth,” says parent and activist Michael Foster, creator of Plant for the Planet in Seattle. He’s taken these kids to a slew of climate events, he says, and without fail, when the kids speak, adults listen. “Whoever is sitting on that panel, behind that table, doodling their notes on their pad . . . The pencils go down. They make eye contact. They are paralyzed, not breathing, until that kid finishes.”

Kids speaking up for themselves, for the planet they’ll inherit—it’s effective. 350 Seattle has been known to call these kids their “secret weapon.” But it’s not just some cheap ploy to fill out a climate agenda: The weapon works because the kids care, too.

Tim Deppe, a Climate Ambassador who just turned 10, says all the bad stuff he hears about climate change doesn’t make him sad. “Not sad, no,” he says. “Passionate.”

The journey to Plant for the Planet in Seattle began with a single Google search.

In late 2012, Foster trained with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps, and since his children were in fourth and sixth grade at the time, he figured he’d do a slide show for their science class. But the talk he’d prepared was pretty grim, and he wasn’t going to just slap on some sweet nothings at the end. “I cannot end a talk with, ‘But we’re gonna build a whole bunch of windmills, so you guys are going to be all right,’ ” he says. “That’s such a lie.”

So he plugged “children save the world” and “climate” into a Google search bar and the top hit was a video put together by a German wunderkind named Felix Finkbeiner, who at age 9 decided that the best way to get around the climate crisis was to plant trees. Today the 17-year-old has been named the 2015 “European of the Year” by Reader’s Digest, addressed the United Nations, and launched a global organization with the goal of planting a trillion trees by 2020. (There are about three trillion trees on the planet today, but we’re still losing an estimated 15 billion every year to agriculture and development.)

Planting trees: It’s a simple concept for kids to grasp, and it’s one possible solution to climate change, since forests are huge carbon banks—they absorb planet-warming CO2 while pumping out oxygen. It also gives children something to hold onto in the face of “all this gloom-and-doom Al Gore stuff,” Foster says. He folded Finkbeiner’s video and call to action into his science-class presentation, and it was a total hit. Kids cheered, teachers wiped their eyes. “I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ ” he recalls. “‘I’ve got to do this slide show more.’ ”

Foster has since presented to about ten thousand kids in Seattle, by his estimation, and gotten on the phone with Finkbeiner, who chastised him for not having started a Seattle chapter of Plant for the Planet sooner. He’s also been a major connector for climate activists working with kids, as well as for local politicians—he’s brought Mayor Ed Murray as well as House Speaker Frank Chopp and representative Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle) to various Plant for the Planet events. His two daughters were also the named plaintiffs in Zoe & Stella Foster v. Washington Department of Ecology, the kids’ climate-change lawsuit. It was one of many state-level lawsuits filed by Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust—a way to force action on climate change through the courts by using a legal principle called the “public trust doctrine” (and a secret weapon called “children”). Getting on board with that, Foster says, was easy: He stumbled across an Our Children’s Trust video and recognized a Carkeek Park landmark behind Andrea Rodgers, one of the attorneys working on the cases, who, it turned out, lived in Seattle. He called her and said, “ ‘I need to talk to you.’ And she said, ‘Is this Michael Foster? I need to talk to you!’ It’s a pretty small network of climate activists working with kids around the country.”

The kids got their final day in King County court last November; they’d been petitioning the Department of Ecology to create a carbon-emissions rule based on the best available climate science since summer 2014. While they lost their case in the end, Judge Hollis Hill nevertheless created a legal precedent that thrilled climate activists: the idea that the Washington state constitution should in fact protect the atmosphere for future generations. According to Judge Hill’s ruling, the only reason she dismissed the kids’ case was because the Department of Ecology was already developing a similar rule. Notably, Ecology is developing that rule because Governor Jay Inslee ordered it to last summer—11 days after he spent 90 minutes listening to five of the kid plaintiffs asking him to do just that.

Meanwhile, Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale), chair of the Energy, Environment, & Telecommunications Committee, has sponsored SB 6173, a bill that would overturn Ecology’s ability to make a carbon rule without the help of the legislature. The proposed rule, said Ericksen in a statement, “gives manufacturers a perverse incentive to leave the state of Washington.” The bill passed his committee and is now in the hands of the Rules Committee, which may send it to the Senate floor for a second reading.

“The problem is we’re fighting a propaganda war,” says 11-year-old Grace. “Who can get people to listen more—the oil corporations or people like us?”

She sighs, acknowledging that there are plenty of other problems in the world that she feels sympathetic to, but that we don’t have a spare planet on which to solve those problems. “Honestly, if we don’t do something about climate change now,” she says, “we’re not going to have a chance to worry about the rest of it.”

According to Michael Foster, climate change is a “time crime.” We’re stealing the future from our children by burning fossil fuels with abandon, and we won’t really know it—we won’t know quite how much we’ve stolen—for decades.

It is also, in his view, kind of like second-hand smoke. “I grew up in Texas at a time when everybody smoked everywhere,” he says. “I remember everywhere I went stank, and that’s just how it was. It was like sucking on a tailpipe, just cigars and whatever, all the time. And the idea that I could be a kid in a world of people who are just smoking around me, everywhere, all the time, and know what they’re doing to me? That’s crazy-making.”

That’s why he wants to create an infrastructure for these kids—give them a platform so that “grownups take them seriously, and so they’re not feeling so crazy and isolated and alone with the knowledge that they have.”

Sure, it’s often people like Foster who’ve put that knowledge in these kids’ heads in the first place, but they live in this world too, and they’re listening. 11-year-old Sierra is very, very worried about the ocean’s dying diatoms, for example, but explains that Plant for the Planet “gave me a thing to do about it. The effects [of climate change] are very depressing, but once you get involved, it doesn’t seem that hard because you have all these other people supporting you.”

While some of the kids are interested in science or enjoy being mini-celebrities—it is nice, as former Planet for the Planet president Wren Wagenbach told me, to have somebody “listening to you, for once”—they often have very strong emotional connections to the issue, too. Last summer, 12-year-old Jenny wrote Governor Inslee a letter describing her attachment to a lake and a waterfall in a forest in China: She’d go every year to visit family, but one year when she returned, the forest had been cut down and turned into oil-slicked pavement.

For Grace, it’s about compassion. “If someone’s upset or hurting or angry, it’s like it’s coming off them in waves and I feel it too,” she says. “But it’s not just people I’m actually in direct contact with . . . it’s like, every hurricane, every flood: It hurts.”

It’s not just guilt, then, that makes climate-caring adults lose themselves in the kids’ speeches. It’s also because they’re kids—so optimistic, so emotionally raw, so guileless. They put things in simple terms; they force us to interrogate our own assumptions; and they are utterly convinced that this is a problem we can fix.

Foster paraphrases a sentiment that he heard both Governor Inslee and Al Gore express at a fundraising luncheon in December 2014, following a three-minute call-to-action speech delivered by then-9-year-old Abby. “It’s not because we’re doing this for her,” he says, and he is crying now. His voice trembles. “It’s because she embodies the spirit of who we have to become.”

Adds Foster: “It’s speaking truth to power, and saying, ‘You need to be over here with me. You need to be a little more like me. You need to be a little more bold, a little more courageous. You have to do the impossible.’ ”

As I wrap up my conversation with Joey and Grace, Grace insists several times that I include one very important piece of information in this article. “We need funding,” she says. Planting trees, alas, isn’t free. But “it’s only one dollar per tree! It’s not much!” I promise to mention it. Parents grab their kids’ things, someone plays a riff on the piano, tiny hands grab extra cookies and tiny sneakers squeak as a dozen or so children skip off into the wet night.

Just outside the door, Gabe Mandell reels off some of the intricacies of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Do you want me to tell you the two worst things about it?” he asks, then launches into an explanation of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which would allow corporations to sue governments over laws they find too restrictive in private trade tribunals, and if they establish the tiniest subsidiary in a country that has lax carbon or public-health laws, they can opt to abide by those laws, instead of the countries they do most of their business in.

He then takes care to remind me—although, at this moment, I’m quite convinced—that this is not just kid stuff.

People “look at us and they just see a bunch of kids planting trees, or whatever,” he says, exasperated. “I think we really need to get it out that we are an organization that is dedicated to fighting climate change! We’re doing things. We’re not just a bunch of kids getting together on a Friday. We’re a bunch of kids getting together and trying to do solutions that many grownups aren’t.”

Sara Bernard writes about environment and education, among other things, for Seattle Weekly. She can be reached at sbernard@seattleweekly.com or 206-467-4370. Follow her on Twitter at @saralacy.

KIDS Vs. SHELL OIL Press Conference

Wednesday June 10th, Seattle Center, 4:30pm

With SHELL OIL moving north any day now to extract oil from the Chukchi Sea, child Ambassadors for Climate Justice plan to host an informal press conference on Wednesday near the Pacific Science Center and Space Needle to ask grownups, the SHELL CEO, and world leaders to protect the Arctic immediately.

They will read a letter to the SHELL CEO composed by youth on three continents and co-signed by students from 23 countries. Then each child attending will be invited to make a statement of concerns and solutions for the Arctic drilling plan. 

Some solutions these children initiate:

  • international protection for the Arctic so no oil company can drill
  • “climate warming labels” on gas pump nozzles to inspire consumers to drive less
  • Washington’s Billion Tree Challenge to begin to absorb excess CO2 from the sky (our fair share of 1,000 billion trees needed worldwide)
  • legal action to direct WA Dept of Ecology to update emissions targets that protect children and to enforce them

Sierra & her Sign“We need world leaders to lead but locally we make a big difference too. If enough of us show up to say ‘SHELLNO’ and get really creative, only then can leaders do anything. The Arctic belongs to all of us. We can still protect it if we care enough. We’ve got some really good ideas,” said Wren Wagenbach, 14, leader of the local chapter. Wren took part in the kayak Mosquito Fleet protest in May with her father who helped her paddle over from Ballard. 

Students planted trees with Port of Seattle Commissioner Gregoire in March near port terminal 5. “Those trees will be swallowed by the Sound if this drilling plan goes ahead. Everybody admits there’s a 75% chance of an oil spill nobody can clean up. As a parent, I can’t stand by and watch my daughter’s world be ruined just so we can burn more and more oil,” said Michael Foster, organizer/volunteer with Plant-for-the-Planet.

Plant-for-the-Planet in Puget Sound has helped over 300 youth join a global network of children working for Climate Justice. Plant-for-the-Planet International runs the United Nations’ Tree Counter, now showing 14 Billion Trees planted, with a goal of 1,000 Billion as part of a 3-Point Plan to restore climate balance and end poverty.

In February Readers’ Digest magazine honored Plant-for-the-Planet founder Felix Finkbeiner as “European of the Year”. Two Seattle students journeyed to a Youth Summit in May to work with Felix on a Youth Manifesto to protect the world’s children from climate chaos. On Tuesday June 9th, HBO debuts a new episode of “Saving My Tomorrow” which features some of the students from Seattle Plant-for-the-Planet in a documentary about children doing heroic things to heal the planet.


Pictures & videos of some of the speeches:

Press Conference Group

Sign Isaac’s “Divest Beaverton” Project

Tonight at 6pm, Beaverton, OR City Council will hear Isaac make his first public request to DIVEST from fossil fuels. A project he began over a year ago. Go Isaac! You can support him below after you read his first-person account here:
Power Past Coal holds people's hearing on Pacific Northwest coal exports
(Photo by: Alex Milan Tracy)
It’s been a busy year, but for my Bar Mitzvah Project I am doing a bunch of stuff to help stop and reverse Climate Change.Isaac Vergun at the United Nations Environmental Programme sponored Plant for the Planet Academy in Seattle
Isaac at the Plant-for-the-Planet Academy in Seattle, 
devoted to planting 1,000 billion trees for climate justice.

My main project is a campaign with 350.org to get the City of Beaverton, Oregon to divest from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Please sign my petition, even if you do not live in Beaverton. Most people who will be reading this live, work, or shop in Beaverton, but what my city does affects the rest of you too, so please sign!


What I Am Asking the City of Beaverton and Others To Do

Based on the 350.org divestment toolkit I am asking the City of Beaverton to:

  1. Immediately freeze any new investments in fossil fuels.
  2. Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years.

Instead of investing their money into fossil fuel companies, we can reinvest in companies who are making solutions to climate change.

There are 200 publicly-traded companies which hold the vast majority of listed coal, oil and gas reserves. These are the companies from which I am asking our institutions to divest. As 350.org says, my demands to these corporations are simple, because they reflect the stark truth of climate science:

They need to immediately stop exploring for new hydrocarbons.

They need to stop lobbying in Washington and state capitols across the country to preserve their special breaks.

Most importantly, they need to pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever.

Why Should the City of Beaverton Divest?

The mission of the City of Beaverton is to be looking out for the public good. It is well known for the quality of education and work to get solar adopted. One big action of  “looking out for the public good” is divesting from fossil fuel companies, because these companies are putting us at risk for: less access to water, droughts, uncontrolled forest fires, etc. Mayors and other local leaders need to take the lead because the action of the federal government has been stalled, so the local communities need to take action. Divestment is the moral choice for governments who care about their people. Beaverton taking action to solve the climate crisis will help to make sure that the city’s investments pay off in the future.

I am also having a contest for people helping me to get signatures. Ask me if you’re interested in helping! We’ll try to post more soon! Thanks!

Help get 2 USA Ambassadors to the Plant For The Planet international conference in Germany!

Climate Change For Families (Plant-for-the-Planet in Seattle, USA), a 501(c)(3) organization, needs your financial help to defer the $4,000 cost of the airplane tickets for Climate Justice Ambassadors 14-year old Aji & 14-year old Wren, along with their adult advisor Michael Foster, for their upcoming trip to Germany to participate in the May 17 to 25th International P4tP conference to finalize the Youth Climate Plan prior to the Paris December 2015 G7 summit. Yes, it is unusual for P4tP Seattle to take such a trip. But we’re now in “crunch time” to save Mother Earth, and it is extremely important that these Climate Justice Ambassadors attend and have input towards shaping/controlling their future. They are the only 2 Ambassadors representing North America at this conference. As Michael Foster says: “We’re only doing this to save the world!” Thank you for your generosity.
Climate Change For Families is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax ID number: 46-5636361
Donate now at http://bit.ly/1F8V2q8!

“Saving My Tomorrow” New Show Today

“You are the future generation. You are the ones who are going to have to deal with this mess that everybody else behind us has gotten us into!” says ten-year-old Grace from Seattle.

On Earth Day, HBO aired SAVING MY TOMORROW PART THREE, the latest in a six-part series on children taking action to protect our fragile world. (Check listings for today’s times)

With songs, activism, and heartfelt tips, kids share their thoughts on environmental concerns, from endangered animals and pollution to climate change. A lyrical mix of science, animation and music, SAVING MY TOMORROW celebrates the wonders of the natural world, sending a message from kids to kids, that we must care for the planet.

The Earth Day special showcases the ways in which kids are focusing on issues like plastic pollution and deforestation. The special follows young advocates like ten-year-old Grace and fellow members of Plant-for-the-Planet in Seattle as they plant trees in an effort to decrease CO2 levels. As 12-year-old Zoe from Seattle says, “The adults clearly aren’t doing enough to stop this, so we have to take it into our own hands.”

Meanwhile, children from a Maryland elementary school create a plastic bag chain around a lake, demonstrating the number of bags one individual throws away each year. “Ocean warrior” Maddie encourages kids “to trust that your actions, no matter how small, can make a difference.” A group of young people in Santa Fe sees just that after their persistent protests lead to an historic plastic-bag ban.

Interspersed are readings by Alan Cumming (on destruction of Amazon rainforest) and Laura Dern (on threats to the albatross), a conversation between musician Pharrell Williams and kids, and a previously unreleased performance, recorded by HBO, of the late Pete Seeger, singing with his great-niece and nephew.

You can join Plant-for-the-Planet. Check the calendar of events for the next Academy. Or organize an Academy in your town. We’ll help you!

Ambassador Nick: Meeting the Visionary behind Bullitt Foundation


Ambassadors enjoyed a great day at the Bullitt Center on a no-school day. Since then we’ve been too busy to share about it. As one Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassador recently wrote, “I’d rather save the world than do my homework.”

Well, yeah! Me too. So thank goodness, Ambassador Nick now files this report,

As a whole, Plant for the Planet Seattle got an experience of a lifetime. We got to go to the greenest office building in the world, and meet the amazing man who started it. “Denis Hayes created the Bullitt Foundation an attempt to safeguard the natural environment by promoting responsible human activities and sustainable communities in the Pacific Northwest.” (straight from the webpage).

First, we ascended the stairs (with a quick bathroom break beforehand-they were amazing) to a meeting room, where we told Dennis Hayes a little about Plant For the Planet. We then had a (quite in-depth) conversation about the Bullitt Center as a whole, even though Dennis had somewhere to be. He told us all about the building, it’s energy independence, even how the toilets worked! He gave us a tour of the waste water treatment in the basement. He was willing to listen to all of our questions and give informative answers, no matter how silly they were.

We then went to a smoothie place across the street and played in the park. All in all, the experience was very inspiring, and Dennis Hayes was very kind to us.

​nick is pictured in front sporting the always-fashionable Plant-for-the-Planet t-shirt, free for Ambassadors at the Academy.  If you’d like to become an ambassador or know a friend to invite, (our activities are always free) you can sign up for the next Academy in Seattle, March 14th at the Duwamish Longhouse. We have more Academies this school year on Whidbey Island, Bainbridge Island, Enumclaw, and Port Townsend.

Meeting A Hero, by Abby

By: Abby

December 4, 2014

When I first stepped into The Westin I thought, “How lucky I am to be with two of the world’s most influential people.  I can’t wait to meet them.”

Today I had the most wonderful privilege to introduce Governor Inslee at a luncheon honouring him and Vice President Al Gore.  Many politicians champion the role of young people in their campaigns. But while a one-click tweet or petition signature is an easy sell, putting youth opinions and ideas at the heart of campaigning is harder (and braver).

That’s why it was so pleasing to see Governor Inslee putting actions to his words.  He gave me the opportunity to share a little bit of my passion about saving our planet for future generations to many people.  He gave me a chance to show case Plant for the Planet and hopefully this great opportunity will show other kids that they have a voice and they don’t have to sit around watching our planet be destroyed.  Kids and adults can know that it is never too late or too early to make a difference.  I hope I made an impact on somebody or even planted (no pun intended) an interest in somebody to stop being a bystander and start being an active citizen.

I have learned in the past and read about Governor Inslee’s actions in fighting our ever growing Carbon Footprint and knew that he was not a bystander but I today I truly witnessed his passion and his kindness.  He truly is my hero and I hope to join forces with him in the future.  But as for the present I am going to wage war on climate injustice and plant some trees.

Watch video of Abby’s introduction speech from the Governor’s point of view.   (Thank you Jill for crouching on the floor between VP Al Gore and Governor Inslee to capture this angle on video. You are intrepid!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwrXyF7_J-w&feature=youtu.be

Vice President Al Gore and Governor Jay Inslee Speech By: Abby

I am here to tell you today that every person can make a difference.  It does not matter how old or how young you are.  I don’t want to grow up being a bystander and neither should you.  In fact, it does not matter if you are grown up already it is never too late to begin to make a difference.

Let me share with you what I am doing.  I am on a mission with my fellow ambassadors to plant 1,000 billion trees by 2024.  Why?  Our carbon footprint is getting bigger and bigger.  We need to reduce this footprint if we want to sustain life as we know it here on Earth.  And you know what?  I love our Earth and I want my future generations to love it too!

But 1,000 billion trees sounds like a lot.  I broke it down and figured that if every person in Seattle should plant 150 trees…..a much more reasonable number.  But as a kid how was I suppose to plant 150 trees with no job, no money of my own and well in Seattle not a big yard to do it in.  So I thought I could make a lemonade stand.  I offered free lemonade for a $1 donation to go towards planting one tree.  I made $64 dollars this past summer to plant 64 trees worldwide.  And I personally planted 16 trees locally.  Now I still have a ways to go but I am an active citizen not a bystander.

I have to be active because our changing climate and the impact it will have on me and my friends is big.  Really big.  So big I have found that some adults have just given up.

We need adults who refuse to be bystanders.  We need leaders like Governor Inslee who know it matters what kind of environment and climate we leave to our children.  Governor Inslee understands that the time to at is now, not tomorrow or at some point down the road.

My future depends on it.  Please welcome Governor Inslee.

ed. –Governor Inslee, VP Al Gore, and Martha Kongsgaard each referred to Abby in varied ways as the kind of person who embodies what we can do, and must do, if we are to respond immediately to the climate crisis with a “can-do” spirit.

VP Al Gore video clip from the luncheon, on Abby and the moonshot, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW70oPOxnl8&feature=youtu.be

Plant-for-the-Planet Seattle Premiere Week

SIFF CINEMA  HBO s  Saving My Tomorrow   Eventbrite  HBO Premiere “Saving My Tomorrow”

Wednesday Dec 3rd @ SIFF Uptown Cinema

6:30pm red carpet, 7:00pm show

You must Reserve Complimentary Ticket online to attend. The show is overbooked, so Arrive at 6:30pm.


   December Meeting

Friday Dec 5th, Good Shepherd Center

7pm – 8:30pm ambassadors plan for Saturday’s event  & play outside (weather permitting)



2013-04-20_12-42-00_146  Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassador Protest Day

Saturday Dec 6th, (Westlake or Seattle Center)

Ambassadors need bold action from leaders at the United Nations COP climate talks in Lima Peru Dec 1 – 12 to set the stage for an all-new climate agreement in Paris 2015. Ambassadors will educate the public at a festive site.

Saturday is a great tree-planting day to get out and volunteer!

Details To Be Announced at Wednesday’s Premiere, Stay Tuned


green wrist bands   Climate Silence Now!

  “If we act like leaders, then leaders will act.” An 11-year-old Earth Guardian in Colorado took a vow of silence and needs your help to spread the word and end the climate crisis. Tell your friends to tell their friends before December 10th, the Day of Silence. Wear a green band and post a picture online to show your support. Spread the word now.

Visit climatesilencenow.org to join the action.


Thursday Dec 4th, Governor Inslee hosts a luncheon with guest Al Gore. A generous donor is sending a group of eight P-f-t-P Ambassadors to share a moment with two climate champions. We expect a full report soon.


Billion Tree Campaign postcard Front&Back   Got Trees? Washington’s Billion Tree Campaign needs you

Take a moment at the end of year to give online to plant trees overseas. 150 trees only cost 150 Euros ($200 US) on the Plant-for-the-Planet.org website to reforest a plantation in Mexico’s Yucatan. Many groups plant all over the world, so don’t hesitate. Start planting today.

Or if you’d rather make a tax-deductible donation to “Climate Change For Families” to support local tree planting and Ambassador activities in Seattle, Contact Michael or Rich.

“Saving My Tomorrow” Premiere Tickets + News

Seattle Plant-for-the-Planet Ambassadors will be in the film and in the audience. Free Tickets going fast. Reserve yours today!

Saving My Tomorrow

Saving My Tomorrow picture

 RSVP for your complimentary tickets

Wednesday, December 3 | 6:30 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown
A lyrical mix of science, animation, and music,
Saving My Tomorrow celebrates the wonders of the natural world,
a call from kids to kids to help take care of the planet.
From the children who will inherit the planet comes a collection of songs, activism and heartfelt tips for protecting the earth. Kids share their thoughts on subjects ranging from endangered animals to climate change, while exploring stories about the plants and animals that are affected.
Saving My Tomorrow features readings by Alan Cumming, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Susan Sarandon, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jeffrey Wright and more, alongside an appearance by Pharrell Williams and musical performances by Lennon & Maisy, Ziggy Marley, Elizabeth Mitchell, Jason Mraz, Willie Nelson, Karen O, Pete Seeger, They Might Be Giants, and Dan Zanes.Join SIFF and HBO for this fun, engaging educational program perfect for elementary school children and their families.

RSVP for your complimentary tickets.

** You must register to attend this event. Seating is first-come, first-served and is not guaranteed. You will need to present your printed reservation at the venue.

Presentation sponsored by HBO

Green Seattle Day was awesome!! planting trees in Kubota Gardens and 20 Seattle Parks. Now it’s Tree Season, so get out and plant!
IMG_20141108_104745_086-1-1-1-1-1 IMG_20141108_115210_321-1 IMG_20141108_112521_749
Go to GreenSeattle.org to check the calendar for Tree-Planting volunteer events like this one:
Seward Audubon: Give Thanks
This Saturday, November 22nd 10am – 2pm
Give thanks to the forest by planting a tree with your friends, family and neighbors! Tools, gloves, training, snacks and coffee provided. Bring the whole family! This is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors, help leave a healthy legacy for wildlife and strengthen your own community roots. 4 service hour credits for high school students. Gold star and smiles for adults.
Open to the public. All ages OK. RSVP to plant trees with Seward Audubon

11-Year-Old Takes Vow of Silence Demanding Climate Action by Mary DeMocker

 “Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez is proving to the world that sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is absolutely nothing.”
He’s sending a strong message to world leaders to act on climate now with our help. Read the article, watch his Earth Guardians rap video, and
support Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez in his courageous silent strike, you can
green wrist bands

2. Wear a green band, cord, rope, yarn or string whatever you can find on your left wrist to 
show your solidarity

3. Share pictures of you wearing your green band. Share your action with your friends, email pics and stories to climatesilencenow.org

4.  Share on your social media pages and use #climatesilencenow and #ourfuturematters

May our silence amplify the voices of children everywhere calling for climate action now.

“Stop Talking, Start Planting” at Green Seattle Day, Nov 8th

Logo PFTP BIG        IMG_2859                                                                                                            New Ambassadors & Seattle Mayor Ed Murray ready to plant

Monthly Meeting (Friday)Green Seattle Day (Saturday)

ALL Ambassador meeting 7 – 8:30pm, Friday Nov 7th, Good Shepherd Center

Learning, Games & Snacks! “How do we plant a million trees? (without getting blisters)”  Bring your flashlight for another ‘night hike’ game!

After the long dry summer, time to grab your boots…


Green Seattle Day Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014

Your forest needs you! Join Green Seattle Partnership Saturday, November 8th. Kick off planting season and celebrate Seattle’s urban forest with volunteers in 21 Seattle Parks. Roll up your sleeves and make a lasting impact. First-time and long-time volunteers restore the forest in city parks.

Our biggest party of the year! All ages. We bring gloves, tools, and plants, you bring the helping hands! Coffee & snacks provided at all sites.  Register Now so that we can have enough for everyone. Please dress for the weather, and wear sturdy shoes that can get wet and a little dirty. More info www.greenseattle.org. Please call (206) 905-6943 with any questions.

Rainier Valley Main Event Site 9am-noon, followed by lunch and festivities 12:30-2pm

Meet at Rainier Beach Community Center Hosted by Seattle Parks, Forterra, EarthCorps, Seattle Tilth, WNPS, and Forest Stewards!

Signup online. Free Busses take volunteers to your choice of these 4 sites, and back for lunch

  • Kubota Gardens
  • Lakeridge Park
  • Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands
  • East Duwamish Greenbelt

Other Favorite Plant-for-the-Planet Green Seattle Day sites:

  • Discovery Park9am-3pm w/Mountains to Sound Greenway
  • Magnuson Park 10am-2pm
  • Seward Park10am-2pm w/Friends of the Cedar River Watershed and Seattle Audubon
  • Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt 10am-1pm
  • West Duwamish Greenbelt10am-2pm w/Nature Consortium


Ambassadors, to share your favorite poem/inspiration (90 seconds or less) on Saturday, please contact me now to coordinate with your park.

image005  Let’s Plant!

SAVE-THE-DATE for “Saving My Tomorrow” 

 Dec 3rd, HBO Premiere, Uptown Cinema, Free, 7pm

…more to come….