Project Leader and Managing Director for Habitat Works


        Kim is a co-founder of Habitat Works, and has lead volunteers in habitat improvement projects since its inception in 2003.  Kim and Tom wear all of the volunteer hats of Habitat Works.

        Dedicated and hard working, Kim has always been passionate about the natural world.  She spent her early days hiking and camping in Oregon and California, especially around Mt. Hood, the southern Sierras and in the Angeles and Cleveland National Forests.  Kim's short list of experience includes a BS in biochemistry, nature travel, a career in marketing and communications, homeschooling her kids, and outdoor leadership.   
 
        Kim grew up in a world rich in outdoor education that included fully funded campgrounds, rangers leading nature hikes and campfire talks and a national value placed on public lands and recreation.  As a young adult, Kim-the-idealist imagined people living near degraded habitats would naturally do things to help in their recovery.  But she soon discovered that the ways human actions threatened native species and their habitats was difficult for people to understand, and doing something to make things better seemed elusive, and left her feeling unable to affect change.   

       Growing tired of eco-action opportunities that didn't have tangible results, Kim and Tom started Habitat Works with the specific purpose of connecting people to meaningful, on-the-ground habitat improvement projects, and creating a true sense of satisfaction through work and play in Southern California's wildland areas.

Current Personal Mission:  Reduce ecological footprint, drastically.
Favorite Habitats:  Riparian, Montane Forest

Favorite Book List: 
Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age
  by Bill McKibben
The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes.
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

 

 
         
        Kim's Favorite Links:   YourEcoFootPrint!    
  Kim gustafson      
 
 

Every Litter-bit Hurts
© by Kim Clark

            When my legs were too short for long hikes, I was carried on the backs of parents and grandparents to experience the earth’s wild places.  Outdoor wonders were handed down in the sparkle of morning dew, the colors of sky and stone, the nests of birds, and the vibrant issue of new life thriving underneath the fallen trunks of a previous generation of trees. 
            “Every Litter-bit Hurts” and “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires” were the first road signs I could read, and they branded my soul with the consciousness of environmental stewardship.  I was taught it sacrilege to leave trash anywhere, and unthinkable to act without respect for living things.  I thought everyone was raised this way. 
            Working frequently to improve wildlife habitat, I know the best restoration is to do no harm in the first place.  When destructive elements act on an ecosystem, they effect an entire web of interdependent living things, including human beings, and we also become threatened.  And there are things once taken, that cannot be put back.
            Not long ago, the Los Angeles City Council approved the downing of 940 mature oaks and the destruction of a 500-acre oak woodland ecosystem to expand Sunshine Canyon Landfill, making room for more trash.  The taking of these trees seemed unspeakable and left me pondering the need for more landfill space.  Why is there so much trash?  Whose trash?  The answer is, my trash, and the trash of thousands of others like me.
            My black trash can empties into that dump.  I am ‘littering’ there, in that beautiful oak woodland that is no more.  Shame on me.  With a heavy heart I open the lid of my black trash can to see…  What is so important to throw away that I must spoil sacred ground?  What is so worth having that its packaging or spent remains destroys what I love and value most?
            Herein I find my need to change.  I need to compost.  I need to know where to take worn out clothing for fiber recycling, what to do with plastic that is not marked with a 1 or 2, or at all, and what to do with styrofoam.  If I can’t buy yogurt without the un-recyclable tub, then maybe I should go without.  I need cloth napkins.  
            And further, I need a clothesline, a bicycle, a garden, and a thought to how may people this world can support.  I need to hand down a respect for the earth’s precious resources and wild places, even in my urban neighborhood.  I need to sober to the ultimate consequences of putting anything in the black trash can.  I need not send to know for whom the bell tolls.  It tolls for me.


 
         
         

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HW is a project of Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (saveourplanet.org), a 501c(3) nonprofit organization.