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Speech for the Big Bash

Scottish Rite Temple

March 21, 1998

Good Evening all you Youngsters.
Meeting here in the Scottish Rite Temple is not new to me because this is where my friends and I celebrated my 90th birthday. We took up a collection to buy medical supplies for a women and children's hospital in Nicaragua.
There is one thing that all the churches that ever exited have in common with environmentalists - they all take up collections. My 90th was no exception: we raised $4500.00 to buy medical supplies to send to Nicaragua.
Were any of you here ten years ago?
Many, if not all of you here today, have given generously to the "Kids for the Endowment Fund". For this I thank you.
The Bullitt Foundation, after their hefty contribution, has announced that they will match with a dollar every two dollars contributed.
I know you will want to know how this endowment fund will be used.
Churches usually raise money to pay off their mortgages; but not Seattle Audubon. We raise funds to purchase and protect wetlands, to occasionally sue government agencies who fail to implement laws already on the books, and we act to strengthen such laws as the Environmental Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Our number one priority at this time is to raise $300,000 to finance the "Kids for the Environment" project. It will be statewide.
We have in mind a program that many years ago was sponsored by the National Audubon Society. It consisted of Junior Audubon Clubs based on middle school classrooms - ages 12 through 15. They wore buttons, paid dues, published a club newsletter and adopted a program of action, such as tree planting or cleaning up a cluttered stream to bring back the fish, and other commendable projects. The dues will be low, maybe a dime unless inflation takes over.
Idie Ulsh tells me that as a child she had belonged to a Junior Audubon Club. Just look at her now! She is president of Seattle Audubon Society!
I ran into another member a while ago and that was former Govern John Spellman. At that time it was being proposed to build a pipeline to carry Alaska oil from Port Angeles to the market in the mid west. Audubon, Sierra Club and other organizations, including some 15 Native Americans tribes started a lawsuit to stop it. As we worried our way slowly through the courts at great experts, Governor Spellman, by executive order, vetoed the whole fool-hardy project.
I once had the opportunity to thank the Governor and he told me he had been a member of a Junior Audubon club when he was a boy and never forgot the things he learned, particularly the need to protect the environment.
As I said before, to celebrate my 100th birthday we pledged to raise $300,000 to establish Junior Audubon Clubs throughout the public schools. We are close to raising this amount.
Well, so much for high finance. It makes me feel like an executive officer of a multinational corporation.
I want to say a little about one of Seattle Audubon's projects. As most of you know we are particularly interested in the protection of birds. We care about their habitat: where they live, make their nests and care for their young. So we take action to save great areas of ancient forests, rivers, and seashores.
Other organizations share our concerns, such as the Sierra Club, the Earth Island Institute, Greenpeace, Earth First and many others. We work together.
We are concerned about humans, too, and work to see we have unpolluted water and air. Also that our fruit and vegetables are grown in soil that is not contaminated with chemically based fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Because we have worked together the use of DDT has been banished, at least in the United States.
Another of our concerns is the matter of environmental injustice. About three years ago Seattle Audubon put aside a small sum to look into this issue. We raised the question of whether poor people were being unfairly treated by being forced by their poverty to live in the southern part of the city where the badly polluted Duwamish River flows and where, consequently, the rents are low. Many of the people, are African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, as well as Immigrants from Asia, Africa, South and Central America. Many poor white people live there too.
With generous funding from the Environmental Protective Agency and the American Lung Association, it was established that the incidence of asthma among their children was the highest in the region.
This truly is environmental injustice. You will find material prepared by the Community Coalition for Environmental Justice on the sign-in table. The dues are low. Please join us.
In an article in this morning's P-I considerable space was devoted to the beautiful dress I am wearing; that it was a bridal dress that was loaned to me. I am so glad that Robert Jamieson, the reporter mentioned it. That gives me an excuse to tell you that the name of the bride is Linda Garcia, and the groom is Brock Evans, whom many of you know. They are in Israel now on a teaching assignment.
My time is about up, but I want to tell you about a very nice thing that has been done for me. A ll6-acre marsh has been set aside for permanent protection and named the Hazel Wolf Marsh. I have not seen it yet, but I am told there are five beaver dams in the marsh. Now we all know that dame without fishladders are harmful to salmon.
Therefore, the first thing I must do is set up a meeting with those beavers and discuss this whole dam business. If they won't build fish ladders, then all dams must go.
Well, I must stop talking now. The Program Committee for this gathering have told me that if I go overtime they will shut off the the microphone. And I don't want that to happen.
Thank you for everything.

Hazel Wolf

(Last updated October 15, 1999)


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