Members serve outdoors in streams and wetlands in all types of weather. Projects are physically demanding but the experiences are invaluable. The outcomes of WCC are rewarding, and the friendships often last a lifetime.
Service projects are diverse and varied. Projects include installing native plants along creeks, streams and rivers. It will include addressing weeds and improving wetland and fish habitat. Members may also fence stream buffers, help with watering, or build a trail. Opportunities for de-fishing, volunteer events, or vegetation monitoring are also possible.
What You'll Learn
The mission of the WCC is to conserve and enhance the natural resources of Washington while providing meaningful service opportunities to young adults and military veterans.
The WCC provides the perfect opportunity to learn by doing. Members get hands-on experience in the environmental field. Members can learn Pacific Northwest native plants, noxious weeds, salmon ecology and habitat restoration techniques. They also learn to use power tools. This could include brush cutters, field mowers, plant augers, winches, and chainsaws. Be prepared to get outside and get dirty.
Why serve with KC DNRP?
Through the experience of a being a KC DNRP WCC member, you will be exposed to a variety of King County programs, and see a spectrum of projects. While habitat restoration may look similar in practice, each department has its own goals and priorities that shape the service projects you complete. As a WCC member, you will meet staff members across the Water and Land Resources Division and be exposed to unique assignments like installing beaver dam analogs or floating wetlands. Each year the projects are different, but there is always something new and unique happening.
Check in with the Department of Ecology's WCC webpage for up-to-date openings. AmeriCorps offers various term-lengths:
- 11-month term – start in October, applications open in July
- 9-month term - start in January, applications open in October
- 3-month term - start in June, applications open in April
Applicants must be 18-25 years old* (*Age restrictions do not apply to those with military service or with mental or sensory disabilities).
Want to talk to someone and see if WCC DNRP is a good fit for you? Schedule a quick chat with a supervisor or volunteer with us for a day by emailing WCC@kingcounty.gov.
Ready to apply to WCC DNRP?
Complete a WCC application through Ecology's website. Through the application, you are applying to the statewide WCC program. You can select “King County DNRP” along with any other locations you're interested in.
As a WCC DNRP member, you will be based out of Renton, WA on a “Restoration Crew”. WCC DNRP members serve on a crew of five, led by a WCC crew supervisor. WCC DNRP has three restoration crews and hosts one Individual Placement position.
If our crews aren't a good fit…
WCC offers a variety of crew and Individual Placement (IP) positions that restore critical habitat, build recreational trails, and respond to local and national disasters. Crews are located all over Washington state. Check out Ecology’s website to find your fit!
Čakwab Levee Setback and Floodplain Restoration Project
The Čakwab Levee removal won the Innovation Award for Sustainability for the removal of a 1,600 ft long levee that disconnected the Green River from its floodplain. The WCC crews planted 9 acres with over 13,000 potted trees and shrubs and live stakes.
Magnusson Restoration Project
WCC Crews have been enhancing the buffer of Newaukum Creek since 2012. Over the years, WCC has installed over 7,700 stakes and 600 trees and shrubs. These plants have increased shade, habitat, and species diversity over 6 acres along the creek.
Meet the staff
Chris Korwel - he/him
I have recently returned to WCC as a crew supervisor, working with King County DNRP to lead a crew in habitat restoration projects across King County. I served with WCC 15 years ago when I first moved to Washington state from the Midwest. Ten years ago, I returned briefly again to the WCC as an Urban Forestry Crew Supervisor.
In the years between I moved out of state to continue my education. After school, I spent seven years working on Green Stormwater Infrastructure projects, building rain gardens throughout our beautiful Salish Sea region to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. In my free time you’ll find me out recreating in nature, or enjoying everything that living in the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Alex Wilson - he/him
Hello all! My name is Alex Wilson and I am excited to be joining the King County DNRP as a WCC Supervisor. I am transferring over from the Pierce Conservation District, but I am vastly familiar with DNRP as I was a corps member myself back in 2015 and 2016. As a Seattle native I have come to enjoy the wide array of natural land that the PNW has to offer, which is why after graduating from the University of Washington I decided to focus on environmental conservation work. If I am not at work, I am usually off enjoying a wide array of Seattle sports, hanging out with my girlfriend and dog, or just simply enjoying a beer on a patio somewhere. Looking forward to joining King County DNRP and doing a lot of great environmental work in the area I have called home for 30+ years!
Kiki Ungo - she/her
I'm from Southern California and moved to Washington in 2016 to attend Seattle University. I didn't spend a lot of time in nature while growing up in LA, but my Environmental Studies and Spanish programs provided a brief introduction to field work and outdoor recreation. I decided to stay in Seattle after graduating, which led me to WCC. I wasn't sure how I would handle 11 months of being out in the elements, but after (almost) two terms on a restoration crew, I've learned that I really enjoy working outdoors and being a steward of the land. I am excited to extend my WCC journey and work alongside you all! In my free time, I love to cook, dance, eat ice cream, scuba dive, and explore nature.
DNRP work is organized by three King County staff members who were once WCC members and/or supervisors. This means that we understand the importance of providing a diverse work program, building in training opportunities, facilitating networking opportunities, and just how hard it can be to do the less glamorous sides of habitat restoration.
Paul Adler - he/him
King County - Program Manager
I’m a restoration ecologist, program and project manager. I was KC’s first WCC Supervisor in 1995 and I’ve been part of the KC WCC team ever since. I learned Process Based Restoration through enhancing creeks, rivers, wetlands and shorelines. From hand-carried winches and augers, to cranes and helicopters, I’ve had the opportunity to build out the restoration toolbox while building habitat and seeing the landscape transformed. At KC WCC, we also build green jobs pathways. Many WCC members go on to work in a variety of environmental jobs, opening doors for more to follow. I love working with the WCC because of their ability to be innovative and adapt to the field conditions. Working with people who want to give back to the community and the environment is inspiring!
Cody Toal - he/him
King County - WCC Program Logistics
Cody Toal is an Ecologist for King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (KCDNRP). He is a former WCC Supervisor who spent 4 years supervising a crew for KCDNRP. He stays involved with the WCC by helping the current WCC crews with training, scheduling, logistics and coordination with the Supervisors and Individual Placement (IP). Cody wears many hats with the county including all facets of project management for both small and large projects. His specialties include planting design for wetlands, bioswales and riparian zones, invasive species control and field crew logistics and planning. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology from Humboldt State University.
Cynthia Saleh - she/her
King County - WCC Program Logistics
I’m a restoration ecologist and project manager. I coordinate the day-to-day work of our crews and organize training events and opportunities. Before King County, I served ~5 years with WCC at DNRP as a crew member and supervisor. I loved most everything about the work (planting, tromping through the forest looking for invasive weeds, herbicide season, etc.). As a city girl from LA who had never been hiking, WCC gave me the confidence to do things I never imagined I would do (from running a brush cutter to deploying on hurricane responses). WCC was the first place I saw people who looked like me in leadership roles balancing direct, firm, collaborative leadership. My experiences were shaped by the supervisors, members, and project partners that mentored me. It inspired me to carry forward the knowledge and skills that they imparted with the next cohort of WCC members with the hope of someday seeing their bios at their dream job.
Crescent Calimpong - she/her
King County - WCC Program Support
Crescent is an Ecologist with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks (KCDNRP). Crescent has a diverse background in restoration, community engagement, and outreach. She recently joined the program from King County Parks, where she engaged in hands-on restoration with volunteers. She is super excited to support a program that launches young people into a deep dive in habitat restoration, and possibly a lifelong career in the environmental field. Crescent received a Master of Environmental Horticulture from University of Washington, and a bachelor’s degree from University of California Santa Cruz in Environmental Studies and Art.