Photo by Whitney Rose

An invitation—the mountains are calling

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be stressful. It’s easy to get lost in it all.

That’s why I’m writing you with an invitation—an invitation to join me in slowing down to take a moment to reflect on what you’re thankful for.

Maybe it’s the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest landscapes; the breadth and variety of outdoor activities; the diversity of the people and communities in Washington. I’m thankful for all of these things. So thankful, in fact, that I moved all the way across the country to live here.

The mountains are calling and I must go.
John Muir

Yes, the majestic Cascade and Olympic mountains were calling me, but so were the salty shorelines, the miles of trails untouched by my hiking boots, the towering cedars and the acres of farmland growing delicious food. So, too, were the iconic eagles circling in the bright blue summer skies, the access to diverse events happening in the cities, the peaceful ferry rides, and the people who cherish and care for the environment like I do, and even the dark rainy days. I will always have a love for my home state of Michigan, but Washington is the place that I now call home—and this place is special.

Whitney in the San Juan Islands

It’s been two years since I first journeyed to the Pacific Northwest—two years full of things to be thankful for. But the choices of how I live, work and play in this region are narrowing—even being eliminated altogether—as we face rapid population growth, climate change and a deepening economic divide.

The farmland that provided me with the crisp apple I eat for lunch is threatened by development; immense traffic often deters me from going on hikes; stormwater runoff is polluting the shorelines where I walk and camp; rising housing rates are making my neighborhood too expensive to afford; habitat loss is threatening the wildlife I wish to see.

That hope is reinforced every morning I arrive at the Forterra office. I’ve been working at Forterra since April. And the longer I work here, the more opportunities I see hidden in the challenges we face. Not only is Forterra deeply committed and well positioned to take hold of these opportunities but the organization has an impressive track record. With over $500 million of real estate transactions under its belt, Forterra has been working for over two decades to build sustainable communities while conserving the landscapes that define this place.

I am proud to be part of an organization applying its skills and experience to protect and restore this place I’ve quickly grown to love. However, I’m constantly reminded that Forterra cannot do it alone. That’s why I am a proud donor to Forterra, too. Forterra needs people like me (and you!)—people who love this place, people ready to stand up to keep this place special.

Whitney at Rattlesnake Ledge

I’m a millennial, an environmentalist and a proud transplant to Seattle. What I’m not–is a millionaire. But I give what I can. With Forterra, I know that means something.

So I’d like to extend a second invitation to you: join me in supporting Forterra this holiday season. As Forterra donors, we choose to support solutions that will have a lasting impact—to shape our region’s future. So please join me and a growing group of Pacific Northwesterners—give back to sustain this place we love.

Please donate to Forterra during this season of giving.

  • Whitney Rose

    Originally from Kalamazoo, Michigan, Whitney grew up hiking up sand dunes, swimming in fresh water lakes, and catching frogs. Her love and appreciation for the outdoors helped guide her to attending an environmental college in Vermont-Green Mountain College.  There she majored in Renewable Energy and Ecological Design. Since college, Whitney has been a furniture designer, a barista, a recycling researcher, a fundraising and development intern, and now a Development Associate.