The Power of Community

The Power of Community

On Friday, January 13th, 2023, PropagationNation joined OlyEcosystems in Olympia at Cooper Crest restoration site to help with reforestation efforts. Hundreds of PNW native plants, shrubs, and trees were planted at the site along with 25 redwoods donated from PropagationNation.

We were fortunate enough to be joined by a group of 15 volunteers from TwinStar Credit Union in honor of their organization’s anniversary to help us get the Redwoods in the ground.


PropagationNation founder Philip Stielstra demonstrates Redwood planting for TwinStar volunteers


TwinStar volunteers La Marco and Raphael proudly display their planting tools


When asked about why they were participating in the planting, TwinStar volunteers Tina Davis and Diane Sokolik explained that since they both work mostly indoors, staring at computer screens, being outside was “a breath of fresh air,” and that they wanted to be a part of the effort to make the world a better home for their grandkids and for other future generations.

TwinStar volunteers Tina Davis and Diane Sokolik


Tina and Diane get to work planting a Coast Redwood in the ground

Diane expressed that her helping to plant at Cooper Crest was rooted in connection- not just to the ecosystem, but also to the community. And the community certainly was gritty – despite rain and mud and sweat, about 200 people showed up to help!

The largest group of volunteers were students from nearby Thurgood Marshall Middle School, who braved the 4-hour event undaunted with smiles on their faces and shovels in hand. The students’ drive and teamwork was easily apparent, and it was their positive energy that kept the adults energized.

Tina and Diane were both excited to see kids working alongside the groups of adult volunteers. They reminisced on their own childhoods and growing up locally in Olympia. Both recalled early connections with forests, how freely playing in the natural world as youngsters had shaped a lifelong appreciation for our planet. They speculated that the kids at the event would adhere to an even stronger motivation to protect and better our home, based on the work they were already doing.

Thurgood Marshall students kept spirits high at Cooper Crest

I couldn’t agree more. Those kids are off to a great start connecting with and healing the natural world. But it’s never too late to get the ball rolling, to become an agent of change. We sometimes forget that in community with each other we hold the power to address the challenges we face as a society.  The work of over 200 volunteers at Cooper Crest is a testament to that.


Volunteers hard at work  

Cooper Crest was clearcut last summer, the 20-acre site left ravaged from logging exploits. But instead of meeting such devastation with hopelessness and despair, OlyEcosystems is bringing the community together to create hope and repair. It will take decades to regrow the forest, but it will happen. It is happening. And all it took was a group of people who believe in a better future and are willing to do the work to make it a reality.


PropagationNation staff Liv Haltermon (the author of this article) emerges from the planting efforts much muddier but with a fuller heart


PropagationNation is pleased to partner with organizations like OlyEcosystems who are invested in healing our planet through community.  To learn more about the great work OlyEcosystems is doing, please check out their website. You can find out more about the history of Cooper Crest and current restoration efforts here.




Liv Haltermon PropagationNation Staff


















1 Comment

  1. Kathy Mahan on January 27, 2023 at 1:35 am

    Great article, Liv. It was so good to read about the planting of the trees, some of which we had potted together ahead of time getting them ready for the planting event on Jan 13. What a wonderful community effort that PropagationNation is promoting!

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