Ampersand Magazine

Ampersand is an award-winning collection of stories, essays, journalistic reports and art about our natural and built environments and some of the people in them.

2016 Apex award winner

Issue IV

A scientific exploration about the season of spring. An essay about rebirth in the Methow. Photos of the charismatic pika. An ode to bees. Gorgeous landscape paintings. And, more.

Forterra Saves the Farm

How Forterra made some farmers really happy—and ended up completing the largest farmland preservation project in Pierce County’s history… told through a comic.

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The signs of spring

Spring is a noisy time in the Northwest. Marshes reverberate with the croak of frogs. The woods fill with the twitter of birds. Even the forest floor seems to hum with the white splashes of flowers. After months of long nights and gray days, Nature greets the sun with a shout. Come along for a brief sampling of spring awakenings, both loud and quiet.

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The Big Garden

Working lands and urban lands are keystone lands that give character to neighborhoods and shape our region, writes Gene Duvernoy

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The Plant Nerd

Meet “the plant nerd” AKA Sarah Reichard, the director of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.

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An ode to six native bees

Nikki McClure pays homage to six native bees with words and her exquisite cut paper images.

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The enchanted world of Alfredo Arreguín

An Alfredo Arreguín painting is unmistakably unique. Look at that thunderous palette; lose yourself in so much labyrinthine design.

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Promise for the Pika

If the polar bear ever needed relief as the stricken planet’s most preemptively mourned victim of ecological disaster, the American pika has stood with apparent readiness to accept the nomination. The diminutive, rock-dwelling cousin of the rabbit certainly delivers the cuteness factor.

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The Seed Mob

A writer’s relationship with seeds deepens when he leaves the San Juan Islands to visit the blackened and burnt Methow Valley.

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What does spring smell like?

An artist, a ballplayer, a chef and the U.S. Secretary of the Interior weigh in on the sensorial power of the season.

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Nature poems by SAL’s Writers in the Schools poets

A selection of poems about our natural world by students in Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Writers in the Schools program.

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About the cover

Animator and illustrator Drew Christie has a thing for plants. He drew our remarkable Ampersand Issue 4 cover.

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Issue III

Our third issue is titled Breaking Trail and highlights one of the Pacific Northwest's most defining characteristics: our innovation. In the stories below, you’ll meet a handful of out-of-the-box thinkers and doers steeped in a desire to sustain this region.

Carrot and Mist

A pair of poems that contemplates the arrival of mist and the harvesting of carrots.

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Along the Columbia River

An interview with Maya Lin, a map and photos of the Confluence Project, a public art installation spanning 438 miles along the Columbia River.

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In Pullman, A Wheat Geneticist Attempts to Stay Ahead of Climate Change

One scientist thinks solutions to climate change lie in the potential of heat resistant super wheat.

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About the Cover

Our third issue is titled Breaking Trail. It’s our spotlight on five people and projects we think are breaking trail to sustain our region. One such idea is an up-and-coming wood product called cross-laminated timber, which makes use of smaller diameter logs and low-quality wood.

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What’s Your Eco-Vice?

An author, a chef, the Governor and more confess their eco-vice.

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Five Mushrooms to Find and Eat

Learn to identify 5 wild mushrooms with this How-To Guide by Langdon Cook.

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The Great Northern Corridor Takes Off

Gene Duvernoy profiles the local leadership fueling a renaissance of sorts in Everett, Snohomish and Stevens Pass.

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A Nose for Conservation

A trek to our state’s most northeastern corner with the humans and dogs of Conservation Canines.

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Strength in Timbers

Washington researchers, architects and rural town boosters see promise, and possibly sustainability, in an engineered wood product called cross-laminated timber, or CLT.

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In Tukwila, Project Feast Helps Refugee Women Gain a Foothold Through Food

Read about how Project Feast, in South King County, uses a food skills program to carvee new paths for refugee women.

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A local idea to compost human bodies

Seattle resident and designer, Katrina Spade, talks with journalist Maureen O’Hagan about the environmental potential of human composting.

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Issue II

In this second issue of Ampersand, you’ll find stories that will provoke, inspire and connect you to some of the issues surrounding this place. Our home is changing, transforming at a pace we never imagined. We need to take a look now so we can decide how to best respond.

About the Cover

Photographer David Moskowitz spent 18 months researching wolves for his book, Wolves in the Land of Salmon. While in the North Cascades, he came across some wolf tracks, then bear fur, then scat and finally, these remains of a black bear.

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Living with Wolves, Losing our Orcas

Author Brenda Peterson takes a look at the vulnerable populations of two carnivores.

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Orders of Magnitude: A Timeline

Eric Sorensen offers perspective about the influence of mankind over time.

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What’s your Favorite Third Place?

A DJ, a geology professor, a poet and other locals tell us about where they go to find community.

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Our Intolerable, Heartbreaking Waste

In a profoundly visceral way, local photographer Chris Jordan shows us the environmental impact we’re having near and far.

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One Tree, Two Interpretations

An appreciation of the Western hemlock, as interpreted by artists John Grade and Mark Dion.

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Dueling Visions for a Green Space

A look at the passion surrounding the possibility of mountain biking in Cheasty Greenspace on Seattle’s Beacon Hill.

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A Tale of Two Towers

Journalist Sam Howe Verhovek looks at development – or the lack thereof – in two very different places.

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Nisqually Salmon and the Changing State of the Wild

Writer Bruce Barcott explores the notion about what it actually means when we regard a place as being “wild.”

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Q & A with Maria Hines

The award-winning Seattle Chef dishes about values and food activism.

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How to ID Five Common Native Wildflowers

An illustrated guide to identifying five wildflowers in our region.

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Two City Walks and a Big Ask: It’s Time

How two walks in the city connect Gene Duvernoy to nature—and reinforce his hope for the future of this place. Duvernoy is president of Forterra.

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Issue I

Our inaugural issue of Ampersand focuses on stories about people & place that allow you to armchair travel through our Pacific Northwest and see how this place matters—from our wildest lands to our densest communities.

Blackberry and Wolf

Ever wonder how the blackberry became the plant it is today? This short Coast Salish story is told by Native American artist Roger Fernandes.

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An Urban Adventure: Kayaking a Superfund Site

In an essay, Carrie Hawthorne invites us onto the Duwamish River as she kayaks it for the first time.

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Sharing is at the Core of Density

In the second of two stories about density, writer Charles Mudede weighs in on the subject by first considering a very large mammal.

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River Seen

Photographer Tom Reese and artist Chandler Woodfin find inspiration from the Duwamish River in South Seattle.

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A Note From the Editor

Forterra is pleased to announce our new publication that focuses on people & place in the Northwest. Learn why we believe that this place is who we are.

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Forces of Nature for Nature

Meet some of the women who make it easier for us to connect to the land.

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How to City Build and Be Smart About It

Writer Knute Berger looks at the complexity of density

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Bluebirds and Gooseneck Barnacles

Forterra president Gene Duvernoy discusses how hiking at Snoqualmie Pass and tide pooling with his kids on the coast has enhanced his appreciation for the wild.

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Tiny Tieton: Mighty New West?

An example of the new Northwestern town could very well be Yakima County’s tiny Tieton, home to creative ambition that’s giving it a new life.

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Interview with Nick Hanauer

Nick Hanauer on utopia, and minimum wage jobs.

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How to ID Five Common Northwest Trees

Our illustrated guide to five of our region’s most common trees. Brush up before your next hike!

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The Palouse in Me

A writer with farming in her blood, Teri Hein ponders how different and similar it was to be a kid on a farm in the 60s from today from under the night sky.

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