Snohomish Woman Singled Out for Environmental Leadership

Honoree Receives Audubon/Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowship

New York, NY: A Snohomish County, Washington woman is the recipient of a new national fellowship designed to advance the work of individuals with outstanding potential to help shape a brighter environmental future.

Kristin Kelly is one of only 40 people selected from competitors nationwide for the TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Program, part of a new conservation initiative of the National Audubon Society with support from Toyota. Fellows receive specialized training in conservation planning and execution, the chance to work and share best practices with gifted conservation professionals, and assistance with project outreach and evaluation. Each Fellow will also receive $10,000 towards a community-focused project to engage local residents in conserving land, water and energy, and contributing to greater environmental health.

For her fellowship, Kelly will focus her efforts on educating and empowering citizens to become voices for environmental protection, like policies that promote sustainable urban communities while protecting rural and resource lands to the area and policies thatwill protect Snohomish County’s critical areas, shorelines and Puget Sound. By continuing to build coalitions of community partners for good growth management policies, Kelly hopes to guide local residents and decision makers away from irresponsible development and toward better protection of their critical ecosystems, their shorelines, and their quality of life – balancing the ecological and economic value of the land.

Involved in coalition building efforts for more than a decade, Kelly is currently the Smart Growth Director for the Pilchuck Audubon Society. In her current position, she has organized two coalitions: the Land Protection Coalition, and the Livable Snohomish County Coalition, the latter one comprising about 200 neighborhood groups and individuals. Through her leadership, these groups have managed to influence decision makers to adopt strong critical areas regulations for all 20 cities in Snohomish County; prevent unnecessary overdevelopment of the rural areas, and better protect the farm and forest land in the county.

“Kristin is the kind of person who can make a real difference in the health of our environment and the quality of our future,” said Audubon President John Flicker. “Each of our TogetherGreen Fellows demonstrates exceptional environmental understanding and commitment, combined with tremendous potential to inspire and lead others. Together, they represent the talented and diverse leadership the environmental community will need to tackle the huge challenges and opportunities confronting us now and in the years to come.”

“I feel very honored and humbled in receiving this award from Toyota and Audubon, that they see my work here in Snohomish County as an important contribution to the sustainability and health of our world. I have met some very incredible and inspiring people during the training I received as part of this Leadership Award, and I will do my best to fulfill some of my work goals for the environment and the people of Snohomish County,” said Kelly. “While growth and development has truly changed our county’s landscape and neighborhoods, there is still lots we can do as a community to make our urban communities better and still protect our valuable rural and resource lands, something I know all Snohomish County residents hold dear. It will be my privilege to keep working with folks for that outcome.”

Kelly has been affiliated with the Pilchuck Audubon Society since 2005. Half of the TogetherGreen fellows come from within Audubon’s far-reaching national network; half channel their environmental efforts through other organizations.

Kelly received a Bachelors degree in natural resource communications from Humboldt State University. In addition to her current position with Pilchuck Audubon, she serves as Snohomish/Skagit Pprogram Director for Futurewise, a statewide public interest group working to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland, forests and shorelines today and for future generations.

“Toyota believes in the power of grassroots efforts to develop the environmental leaders of tomorrow,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, Group Vice President, Toyota Motor North America. “These 40 TogetherGreen Fellows will receive invaluable training for the future while immediately making a difference today with on-the-ground community projects.”

A complete list of TogetherGreen fellows can be found online at