TreePAC Board – 2023

John Barber is a former member of the Seattle Parks Board and serves as Chair of the citywide Friends of Street Ends and of the Parks and Greenspaces Committee of the Leschi Community Council, and past chair of Open Space Advocates.  He is a p-patch gardener, native plant steward, urban forest steward and has worked on a number of park projects in the Leschi neighborhood, including Leschi Natural Area, Frink, Flo Ware, and Powell Barnett Parks, and Lake Washington Boulevard.

Richard Ellison –  Vice-Chair of TreePAC, is the founder of Save Seattle’s Trees. He  is a past  Adjunct Professor at Seattle area colleges teaching environmental science and biology.  In 1996 he spearheaded a development appeal to protect 24 big U-district trees, which eventually reached the 1997 Seattle City Council. While the Council denied most of the appeal, it protected the tallest Chinese Tree Privet in Washington State with a $2500 bond, the first tree bond ever in Seattle. He was also a member of Councilmember Jan Drago’s Urban Forest Task Force from 1997-2000.

Katy Griffith – Treasurer of TreePAC, graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in biology and math. She worked for many years at Microsoft. Recently retired she is now active in grassroots progressive politics, nature photography and native plant landscaping. She is a strong advocate for increasing protection for Seattle’s trees and urban forest.

Kevin Orme – is a local technology professional and has been a Seattle resident since 1994, originally from Portland, Oregon,  by way of Utah.  He first learned of Plant Amnesty in 1999, transferring several large Rhody’s in his yard through the group. A treehugger since the 70″s with a BS in Biology in the distant past, he believes the saddest sound in the world is that of a chainsaw.  He is also a member of  Bats Northwest  and countless other environmental orgs (local and beyond), otherwise blogging infrequently at Green Belief.

Sandy Shettler – is an active tree advocate, gardener and native plant and urban forest steward. She is also actively involved with the last 6000, Birds Connect Seattle (previously Seattle Audubon) and Trees and People. Sandy previously served on the Seattle Parks Associated Recreation Council and was a volunteer coordinator with Seattle public schools. As a medical social worker, she appreciates the interdependency of people and a healthy urban forest.

Janet Way – is a former Shoreline City Council member active in protecting trees, active in the Shoreline Preservation Society and the Sno-Isle Sierra Club. She was involved in stopping Shoreline converting part of Hamlin Park into a city utility parking lot  and saving a historic Church and adjoining trees by getting it Landmark status.

Lance Young – is involved in the Interurban Trail Preservation Trail Society has  actively monitored Seattle City Light’s pruning and removal of trees along it’s powerlines.  He lives in Shoreline, WA.

Steve Zemke- TreePAC Chair  is a past Vice-Chair of the Seattle Urban Forestry Commission, having served for 6 years in the Wildlife Biologist Position. Steve also is the Chair of  Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest and the Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance which are also  active in promoting a long needed update to Seattle’s Tree Protection Ordinance.  They also have a facebook page – Friends of Seattle’s Urban Forest, twitter page and instagram account.
Steve was the founder and Chair of Save the Trees – Seattle. They were the main organization behind the effort to save an uncommon madrone conifer forest area of about 120 trees in the NW corner of the Ingraham High School campus in North Seattle. His group also helped to pass an interim update to the current tree protection laws in Seattle. He  proposed the idea of an Urban Forestry Commission for the City of Seattle which Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata championed as legislation and which the Seattle City Council passed.

TreePAC Advisory Board: 

Ken Jacobsen was a Democratic Party member of the Washington State Senate.  He was elected to represent the 46th Legislative District in the Washington State House of Representatives in 1982 and was subsequently reelected for six more terms. He was appointed (and subsequently elected) to the State Senate in 1997, and served though 2010. He served as the Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman in 2003, the Majority Caucus Vice Chairman in 1999 and 2001, and he is a former chair of the House Higher Education Committee. He was the chair of the Senate Natural Resources, Oceans and Recreation Committee, and on the Transportation Committee,  Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee and Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Committee.

Joyce Moty – former TreePAC Secretary, has also been a board member of GROW, the non-profit advocate for the Seattle P-Patch Program and member of the Lifelong Recreation Council for Seattle Parks and Recreation. She is a native plant and urban forest steward and long time volunteer in southeast Seattle parks. She worked on the Protect Our Parks Citizen Initiative #42 that became Seattle City Ordinance #118477 that prevents park land from being developed into non-park uses without equal replacement. This ordinance saved what is today Bradner Gardens Park from becoming a development of 18 market rate houses.

Woody Wheeler – Birding and Natural History Guide, maintains Conservation Catalyst website and blog, formerly with Nature Conservancy, Audubon, and Seattle Park Foundation, author.

TreePAC’s Founder:

Cass Turnbull, who passed away in Jan 2017, was the founder and president of PlantAmnesty, a 25 year old, 1,200 member, non-profit group to promote better pruning and tree care, Cass was  also the owner of Cass Turnbull Gardening Services and author of the popular garden book, Cass Turnbull’s Guide to Pruning. Cass was the founding member and President of TreePAC and was  active in efforts to convert surplus city property to open space and parks for Seattle residents, including the Myers Way property in SW Seattle.