Earth Gay 2016

Under the threat of rain and April showers, over 50 volunteers joined Mayor Murray in working to renovate and upgrade trails in the Washington Park Arboretum last Saturday.  Although the event was part of a larger Earth Day weekend in Seattle Parks and Recreation, it was billed as “Earth Gay” and was curated by Seattle Trails for host organization: OUT for Sustainability (OUT4S).   Volunteers worked to surface degraded and rough trails with crushed rock to provide a better walking surface in anticipation of increased foot traffic due to the new Arboretum Loop Trail construction that also started this month.  As users displaced to the lesser maintained trails it is important to provide an equitable experience for users.  Mayor Murray echoed this message before putting on his work gloves to shovel and fill wheelbarrows with volunteers.   As part of the Seattle Equity and Environmental Agenda that was announced on Friday, April 22nd, Earth Gay was just one illustration of how we can be inclusive as we create Healthy Environments for all and realize Equity in City Environmental Programs.     “Basically, Today is going to be a work out”, said Trails staffer Jacobo Jimenez, as he directed volunteers on how they would be moving crushed rock via wheelbarrow for over 300 yards down the trail to get to the focus areas.   Over all volunteers restored 200+ feet of trail and moved over 10 cubic yards of material.   Event organizer, Danny Luong said “OUT for Sustainability mobilizes the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community for environmental and social action, in pursuit of a fabulous planet.”; and The diverse group of volunteers seemed to illustrate just that.  “Earth Gay Service Projects in our community and around the country demonstrate how LGBTQ folks and our allies care for our planet.”

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OUT4S Organizes monthly events in Seattle and across the country.  It is an all-volunteer run organization with a broad network of LGBTQ and environmental organizations, OUT4S is a contributing voice for the next evolution of the LGBTQ community at the intersection of identity and values.  For more information please go to: https://www.facebook.com/OUT4S
 
SEATTLE TRAILS ALLIANCE is a newly formed coalition of walkers, hikers, commuters, foresters, pedestrians, runners, and neighbors who support trails in Seattle.  To become a partner or more information contact: weston@seattletrails.org

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