Inspiration and Wisdom at the Spring House Party

June 1, 2017

The Coalition held our Annual Spring House Party on May 16 on Mercer Island, with about 100 guests in attendance. It was inspiring to see so many supporters of public lands come together to celebrate the achievements of the WWRP, share stories and ideas, and look to the future.

We are especially grateful to our guests of honor, Norm Dicks and Bill Ruckleshaus, for their inspiring speeches, and to our generous hosts, Bill and Frankie Chapman. Dicks and Ruckleshaus shared their experiences as champions of Washington’s great outdoors, and their wisdom about how to continue the work that was started with the founding of the Coalition.

The evening also paid honor to the legacy left by Coalition co-founder Gov. Mike Lowry, and served as a reminder that it is up to us to carry on his work and ensure the future of this beautiful state’s great outdoors.

Thank you to everyone who attended and donated to our great outdoors! Your contributions make a huge difference for preserving and protecting our public lands.


Marc Berejka, Director of Gov. & Community Affairs, REI
Karen Daubert, former Exec. Director, Washington Trails Association
Peter Dykstra, Partner, Plauche & Carr
Mark Eliasen, VP, Finance & Treasurer, Alaska Air Group
Kurt Fraese, President, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Deborah Jensen, Board Chair, Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition
Paul Kundtz, Wa. State Exec. Director, The Trust for Public Land
Tod McDonald, President-elect, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
Tom Reeve, Philanthropy Chair, Washington Wildlife & Recreation Coalition
Richard Wynne, Director of Business Strategy, The Boeing Company


Bill Ruckelshaus was Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, serving as the Agency’s first Administrator when it was formed in 1970 and again as its fifth Administrator in 1983. In addition to many other corporate and philanthropic affiliations, in 2001 Bill was appointed board member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. In 2003 he was appointed to serve on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Science Advisory Board. In 2005 he was appointed by Governor Gregoire to co-chair the Puget Sound Partnership to organize the cleanup of Puget Sound.

Norm Dicks represented Washington State’s 6th Congressional District from 1977-2013, where he received a rare first-term appointment to the House Appropriations Committee, a committee he served on for his entire tenure in Congress. In addition, he served on and chaired the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee where he made environmental issues a priority, and worked tirelessly on issues affecting the National Parks, National Forests, and Native American issues.

Check out some beautiful photos of the gathering, taken by local photographer and Coalition supporter Sony Thomas. For more of his work, check out his Flickr account.