CELP is pleased to announce that the recipient of our 2014 Ralph W. Johnson Award is Ann Aagaard. Please join us as we present this award at our annual Celebrate Water event on June 25, 2014 at Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle, WA. Read on to learn more about Ann’s many accomplishments, penned by her husband, Knut Aagaard.
For over 40 years Ann Aagaard has been a faithful and wise steward of our state waters and land, and of our communities, whole-heartedly committed to good government as the means by which public stewardship is exercised. In that good work she has been joined by very many dedicated people.
Ann has been deeply involved with the League of Women Voters on state-wide issues of shoreline and natural resource management; on the Washington State Ecological Commission dealing with the consequences of proposed toxic waste incineration in Lind, of excessive water demands from resort development in the Methow, of disturbances from port development in Whatcom County, and with the review of all proposed Department of Ecology regulations; on King County’s Boundary Review Board, Agricultural Task Force, and Growth Management Task Force; on County Executive Randy Revelle’s Executive Advisory Committee; on the Department of Ecology’s SEPA Advisory Committee, Shorelines Review Task Force, and others; and on the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Research Advisory Council. Not least, acting simply as a citizen she has repeatedly called Bothell, King County, the Department of Ecology, the Wenatchee National Forest, and other powers into public accountability. She successfully challenged the logging industry and the U.S. Forest Service to protect rare and endangered plants in the Wenatchee Mountains. She taught biology at Cleveland and Roosevelt high schools, Sunday School and confirmation classes in her home church, was Campfire Girls leader, PTSA Legislative Chair, and president of Friends of Saint Edwards State Park. The list is long and diverse.
Her informed and principled engagement includes a number of landmark events: the 1978 Washington Supreme Court decision in S.A.V.E. vs. City of Bothell which broadly defined legal standing for environmental advocates; the state-wide Shoreline Master Program Guidelines negotiated with the Department of Ecology in 2003; and perhaps most striking, the remarkable confluence of events in King and Snohomish counties that extended over three decades and resulted in the North Creek Valley being not the site of a shopping center, but rather of a nationally recognized 58 acre wetland restoration abutting salmon-bearing North Creek and serving a core teaching function at the adjacent hillside campus of the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community College. The North Creek events tell a remarkable story in land use planning and execution, intricate and illuminating, a story that would make a wonderful dissertation on land use.
Ann’s commitment to good stewardship has been remarkably broad, intelligent, and sustained, and utterly unselfish as she has given lavishly of herself to people and causes beyond counting.