For consistently going “beyond the call of duty,” the City of Issaquah’s Interagency Coordinator, Margaret Macleod, was honored this month with the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community.
For the past two decades, Macleod’s gentle – but persistent – leadership style has enabled her to effectively coordinate federal, state and local agencies, and ultimately secure millions of dollars for land conservation and trail projects region wide, including:
• Protecting McCarry Woods, the Tibbott Property (providing public access to the High Point trailhead), Squak Valley Park, Confluence Park, Issaquah Creek Park (formerly Anne Johnson Property), Berntsen Park, Sammamish Cove Park (previously known as Greenwood Point), Rainier Trail and the Issaquah Trails Center, among other properties.
• Building and maintaining trails within the Issaquah Alps, Mount Si, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Olallie State Park and Snoqualmie River Valley.
• Adding interpretive signage throughout Issaquah, in partnership with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
• Improving fish passage and preserving multiple properties along Issaquah Creek.
The award nomination was jointly submitted by six regional leaders, including Cynthia Welti, executive director of Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
“Countless acres of green space, both in and surrounding Issaquah, are forever protected thanks to Margaret’s unwavering dedication to natural land conservation,” said Mayor Ava Frisinger. “Her continued public service will directly benefit our community for generations to come.”
Macleod’s list of partners is massive – including local recreation and trail groups, King County, Washington State Parks, Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, to name a few.
“She is recognized and respected by cities across the state for demonstrating an incredible collaborative approach to each party's specific goals, but more importantly, for the synergistic benefits that ensue due to her unique contributions,” the nomination said. “Her success in this realm has been a major factor in the preservation of Issaquah's ecosystem and environment, increasing the overall livability and desirability of the City, while ensuring habitat preservation for local wildlife.”
Macleod’s service isn’t limited to her work at the City. The avid outdoorswoman also serves on the advisory committees for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and Washington Trails Association.
The City’s award is named after Kees, who was a teacher, mentor and role model for those committed to pursuing the vision of a sustainable Issaquah. In Kees’ honor, the City recognizes the efforts of individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to protecting and preserving Issaquah’s natural resources for a sustainable community.