Maryanne Tagney Jones on the evolving conservation community

November 23, 2013

Maryanne Tagney-Jones has a unique relationship to the Coalition. Not only has she served on our board of directors, she has also been a board member and volunteer at many Coalition-member organizations like the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and Forterra.

She also single-handedly catered the Coalition’s house party at her home in May.

Maryanne has been working in conservation for nearly three decades and she is not slowing down. Her energy comes from being able to go out and see results.

“You go out, you conserve the land and it’s available to the people,” she said. “It’s a very concrete thing. You can go out, stand in a field, and look at it.”

When asked why she continues to support the Coalition as part of her broad involvement in conservation, she said, “The Coalition is the only group I know of that leverages funds in this way. The overhead cost is nothing compared to what it manages to obtain for conservation.”

Maryanne has been watching the Coalition evolve since she became involved 13 years ago, but she has been watching the changes in the broader community for much longer. Overall, she thinks the community has begun to represent more diverse interests.

“In the time that I’ve been doing this, I’ve watched it go from being very adversarial whether its internally or toward development. Over the last 25 years, that’s really evolved,” she said. “People within the community are cooperating much better, finding ways to make projects a win-win for everyone. One of the things I’ve seen change most is the cooperation with the farming – and it’s not just farmers on the west side growing organic kale and things like that, it’s statewide.”

This kind of collaboration is the heart of the success for the Coalition.

“Take a look at all the things around us and see all the King County work,” she said. Maryanne has been a King County resident for 32 years. “So many projects are joint projects.”

We are grateful to Maryanne for her continued support of the Coalition and for ensuring a bright future for conservation across Washington.