This blog is a Kitsap Sun reader blog. The Kitsap Sun neither edits nor previews reader blog posts. Their content is the sole creation and responsibility of the readers who produce them. Reader bloggers are asked to adhere to our reader blog agreement. If you have a concern or would like to start a reader blog of your own, please contact sunnews@kitsapsun.com.

Who is Sustainable Spring?

I got so excited to do my first post about using baking soda and vinegar for hair wash that I forgot to introduce myself!

To begin, I’m a thirty-seven year-young woman who lives in Seabeck, Washington. In January 2014 I left my position as Program Director for the Olympic Outdoor Center to dedicate time to writing a memoir and this blog, as well as develop new programs to connect youth and adults to the outdoors. I still lead trips for the Olympic Outdoor Center and now for Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation.

In addition to writing and leading outdoor trips, I also help people organize their spaces with my business, Spring Cleaning. I love to mountain bike, hike, garden as much as possible and work on the trails around my house, which are connected to the Stavis Natural Conservation Area.

Me kayaking near Hansville, Washington, with Mount Baker in the background
Me kayaking near Hansville, Washington, with Mount Baker in the background. Photo by Don Willott.

From a young age I found solace and adventure in the natural world. I spent my first ten years living in a log house on five wooded acres outside of Spokane, Washington. I was surrounded by plants, water, snow, and animals from the time I was born.

My parents ran a plant nursery on our property and had a large garden that supplied a fair amount of our food. I played in the woods, collected frogs and worms, played with my ducks and chickens, cleaned peas from the garden and, well, you get the idea.

We moved to Poulsbo when I was 11 and I had a troubled teenagerhood, but through Outward Bound and long afternoons alone with my journal on the beach, I again connected with the natural world.

At age 19 I took a mountaineering course  at Olympic College, then helped lead a two-hundred mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon with teenagers from the Suquamish Tribe, and I got a job selling outdoor equipment at the Mountain Shoppe in Bremerton.

I hadn’t been so happy since I was a child. I decided I wanted a future being outside as much as possible.

As a student at The Evergreen State College, I began to learn about how humans were harming the natural world.  At first I was angry, depressed and frustrated. I wrote long, ranting speeches and poems, which I never shared.

One day as drove home from grocery shopping at Safeway, I realized it wasn’t fair for me to rant unless I was part of the solution. I sold my car and started riding my bike and the bus everywhere. I started eating only organic food and learned about buying in bulk. I started working at a consignment store and began buying only used clothes.

I realized the best way to help the natural world’s was to teach youth and from then on I have dedicated my passion and most of my energy to outdoor, environmental education.

One of my favorite quotes
One of my favorite quotes

I spent a few carless years working for outdoor education organizations in any capacity I could. During and after college I:

Things changed in my thirties – I bought a car, I give in to my Cheetos cravings, I occasionally eat out at chain restaurants. I worked for BabyLegs out of Seattle, which flew and drove me all over the country, to England and to Uganda. I got a certificate in sustainable business and helped get the Seattle Ski Shuttle, then came back to Kitsap.

I now live a relatively quiet life and try to have as little negative impact on the natural world as possible, though I don’t stress about it. I continue to learn and share my experiences along the way.

Adults are Kids, Too

I came back to Kitsap to be the Program Director for the Olympic Outdoor Center. I taught kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, standup paddleboarding, rock climbing and marine life to youth and adults.

While teaching kayaking, I realized that adults are just big kids who sometimes forget how to play. I see the same joy on the faces of both youth and adults – joy to be alive and having fun outside with seals, salmon and eagles.

My desire is that each person I come into contact with feels a little of that joy and is inspired to make choices to help preserve, protect and enhance the natural world that I love so much.

Please feel free to contact me with questions, concerns, thoughts, edits and sustainability ideas. You can reach me at SpringCourtright@gmail.com, find me on my personal Facebook page, or…

Join one of my upcoming trips:

Snowshoeing at Hurricane Ridge – February 23 with Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation. No experience needed, all ages welcome. Snowshoes and transportation included ($45/person, details at bottom of page 31). Meet on Bainbridge.

I'll be leading this trip in Poulsbo from 9:00 am to noon.
I’ll be leading this trip in Poulsbo from 9:00 am to noon.

Birding Kayak Tour with George Gerst – March 23 in Poulsbo with the Olympic Outdoor Center. No experience needed, all equipment, a lesson, seal viewing and a snack are included.

Wildlife Kayak Tour FUNdraiser – April 26 in Poulsbo for the Poulsbo Marine Science Center. No experience needed. Included: all equipment, kayaking lesson, seal viewing, a private tour of the Marine Science Center and a locally smoked salmon snack.

WOW: Women On Water kayak tours and classes – starting March 22. Paddle on the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail, share a meal with other fun ladies and get paddling tips along the way. Trips and classes for beginner to intermediate paddlers.

I'll be leading monthly tours along the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail, with stops at local restaurants.
Starting in March, I’ll be leading monthly tours along the Kitsap Peninsula Water Trail, with stops at local restaurants.

All Grrls Outdoor Adventure Camp – August 18-22 on Bainbridge Island. For girls ages 8-12. Kayak, standup paddleboard, hike, mountain bike, have a beach party, learn Leave No Trace ethics, pet sea cucumbers, and much more.

Coming soon – women’s reTREATs at my house in the woods! Curious? Contact me any time with questions or ideas: SpringCourtright@gmail.com.

Wishing you happy, sustainable adventuring!

Spring

Spring Courtright kayaking2

16 thoughts on “Who is Sustainable Spring?

  1. This promises to be a super interesting and informative blog. Looking forward to future posts. This might be off-topic for you, but I would love to see a virtual tour of the various yoga studios in Kitsap.

  2. Congrats Spring! Nice seeing how far you have come since high school. I enjoy seeing those individuals I grew up with connecting with the area we grew up in. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. You go girl!

  3. Are these going to appear in the published version of the paper as well? The sun could really use some greenie columns.

    1. If this blog raises enough interest, comments and support, it may become an occasional newspaper column 🙂

  4. I’m with Shane Skelley – I love what you have done and what you are going to do. We have so much to offer our community and our visitors with the Kitsap Peninsula Waterway Trail system. I am so glad you will be involved. I want you to organize a “short trip” for women in ag. I’ll work on soliciting participants as long as we end up eating at Monica’s Waterfront Café.

  5. “From a young age I found solace and adventure in the natural world. I spent my first ten years living in a log house on five wooded acres outside of Spokane, Washington. I was surrounded by plants, water, snow, and animals from the time I was born.”

    You are speaking to my soul here. Nature is also my core and centre, a place to which I often return for recalibration. I look forward to following your most refreshing blog.

    1. Thank you for your refreshing comment! I do aim to speak to souls through my writing and guiding, so it makes me deeply happy to hear it’s working 🙂

Leave a Reply to Shane Skelley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you post, please complete the prompt below.

Please enter the word MILK here: