Senate Resolution 8674 Honoring Nancy Malmgren


Washington State Senate

Senator Maralyn Chase
32nd Legislative District

by Senators Chase, Fraser, and Kohl-Welles


WHEREAS, As a young mother, Nancy Ruth Malmgren devoted much of her attention to education in Seattle’s public schools, including concern that racial and ethnic minorities should be accorded equal opportunity in education, and in adult life as well; and

WHEREAS, Nancy became a tireless advocate for overcoming the de facto segregation of Seattle schools that was leaving many AfricanAmerican students behind; and

WHEREAS, Because de facto segregation of public schools tends to be a product of racially segregated neighborhoods, Nancy worked to eliminate discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, eventually resulting in a stronger Office for Civil Rights in Seattle; and

WHEREAS, When Seattle’s school administrators decided to ease their path toward desegregation by creating elected “Citizens School Advisory Councils,” Nancy ran for a seat on the advisory council for the Ingraham High School area, making no secret of her convictions, and was soundly defeated, but remained devoted to her guiding principles; and

WHEREAS, During this same period, Nancy turned her attention to a broad menu of environmental matters, organizing the “Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project,” which, with the able assistance of her husband, Les, recruited volunteer “beach stewards” and “salmon stewards” for important projects at Carkeek Park; and

WHEREAS, Now, every November, the salmon stewards who Nancy and the Carkeek Watershed Community Action Project put in motion deploy around Piper’s Creek and point out the return of previously imprinted chum and other salmon to park visitors—all as part of a lesson in nature and conservation; and

WHEREAS, Recognizing that the future of her salmon project lay in the hands of serial younger generations, Nancy blended her past and present passions by promoting and facilitating a “Salmon in the Schools” program that has alerted countless schoolchildren to the life cycle of salmon, and what watershed residents can do to protect that precious resource; and

WHEREAS, In that vein, Nancy organized and promoted annual Earth Day events for many years at Carkeek Park, marking storm drains “Drains into Puget Sound,” placing “Pesticide-Free Zone” signs in the yards of watershed homeowners who made the appropriate commitments, and highlighting the importance of scooping up pet waste beyond the cleanliness of shoes; and

WHEREAS, Nancy never forgot the importance of the salmon cycle to the Native Americans who were here before us and managed that resource so carefully and well, and made a point of attempting to include their descendants in Earth Day observances and on other occasions; and

WHEREAS, When Seattle’s Department of Parks and Recreation created a network of “Advisory Councils” for the City’s major parks, Nancy was an obvious choice to be a charter member of the Carkeek Park Advisory Council, where she remained a vital resource at least through 2014; and

WHEREAS, As a member of the Council, Nancy suggested that a small, long-abandoned structure near the entrance to Carkeek Park be converted into a dedicated Environmental Learning Center, not just to illuminate the “natural history” of the Park, its forests, creeks, and wildlife, but as a demonstration project for steps Seattle residents could take in their own homes toward broader environmental preservation; and

WHEREAS, Nancy’s idea ultimately prevailed, including solar panels to power the building, as well as low-flow toilets, and was then expanded to encompass the very construction of the new Environmental Learning Center, in reusing some of the original structure’s building materials, rather than have them shipped off to a landfill; and

WHEREAS, Over a period of months, grants were sought; paperwork filled out in serial meetings at Nancy’s home; “sweat equity” pledged and delivered; an architect hired; and a contractor engaged, resulting in an Environmental Learning Center, bearing Nancy’s name, certified as the first structure in Seattle to attain “Gold” certification under the “LEED” program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State Senate honor Nancy Ruth Malmgren for her tireless work and advocacy to make the Seattle community a better place for all.

I, Hunter G. Goodman, Secretary of the Senate,
do hereby certify that this is a true and correct
copy of Senate Resolution 8674,
adopted by the Senate
April 22, 2015

Secretary of the Senate