Amanda Kingsley of Port Townsend has created the image for this year’s Plant-A-Thon Honorary Tree Cards. (Northwest Watershed Institute)

Plant-A-Thon tree cards now available

PORT TOWNSEND — Honorary tree cards for February’s Plant-A-Thon in the Tarboo Watershed are now available.

The image on the cards this year is by Port Townsend artist Amanda Kingsley, who was commissioned by the Northwest Watershed Institute (NWI) and four local schools — Swan School, Jefferson Community School, Chimacum Pi Program and OCEAN Program — to create it.

The tree cards — one for each of the 3,000 native trees that students and their families will plant at a salmon stream restoration site this February — are on sale now in preparation for the holidays. Each card can be personalized to plant a tree honoring someone special.

Images for the cards are created by different artists each year.

“Artists have complete freedom in their style, but the card always reflects the core themes of Plant-A-Thon: trees, salmon and children,” said Plant-A-Thon Coordinator Jude Rubin of NWI.

Kingsley’s artwork integrates these themes in a cut-paper mandala of multi-age tree planters surrounded by native plants and salmon. In the center is a tree seedling, ready to plant.

“I dearly love being involved in the Plant-A-Thon,” said Kingsley, who was the first artist to work on the Plant-A-Thon in 2005.

“It’s a winner on so many levels, supporting four schools in our community and providing the kids with a hands-on experience in that supports our local ecosystem, including our own regional miracle: native salmon,” Kingsley said.

“There is just no better feeling in the world than spending a crisp winter day out in the dirt planting young trees with young humans,” she added.

To purchase cards from any or all of the participating schools, visit http://tinyurl.com/PDN-schoolsforplantathon.

Cards also are available for purchase from students and parents in participating schools, or pick them up them at Chimacum Corner Farmstand and other local vendors. In addition, students will be at the Chimacum Crafts Fair, the final Port Townsend Farmers Market and the Food Co-op alcove.

Schools can be contacted directly at:

• Swan School: www.swanschool.com; 360-385-7340.

• Jefferson Community School: www.jeffersoncommunityschool.com; 360-385-0622.

• Chimacum Pi Program: www.csd49.org/the-pi-program/home; 360-732-4090.

OCEAN Program (Opportunity, Community, Experience, Academics, Navigation of Port Townsend:www.ptschools.org/schools/ocean; 360-379-4259.

NWI is a Port Townsend-based nonprofit conservation organization that coordinates 200 school-affiliated volunteers in the Plant-A-Thon as part of a larger effort to restore and protect the Tarboo Watershed.

This February’s tree-planting will be at a recent addition to the Tarboo Wildlife Preserve in the Tarboo valley near Quilcene.

Plant-A-Thon volunteers will bring the total number of trees planted since 2005 to 36,000 trees. Prior to the planting, NWI staff will provide classroom lessons about the benefits of re-foresting stream buffers.

Grants raised by Northwest Watershed Institute pay for seedlings and materials, so participating schools keep 100 percent of the profits they earn selling honorary tree cards, Rubin said.

Kingsley began her career at the age of 9 when she won the Fruit Loops cereal poster contest. As a freelance artist, she has worked for two decades in Port Townsend using a variety of mediums, from pen and ink and paints to fiber arts and sculpture.

Kingsley has created artwork and logos for such local businesses and groups as the Rose Theatre, North Olympic Salmon Coalition and Rat Island Rowing Club, as well as the design for the Jefferson County Library Summer Reading Program for four years.

Her pen-and-ink drawings of uptown and downtown Port Townsend have been provided to the Port Townsend Main Street Program for holiday promotion and are sold on tea towels at her Taylor Street shop, Magpie Alley.

The first year Kingsley created an image for the Plant-A-Thon, she “just sat down with paper, scissors and some cloth and we did it on the spot,” she said.

She continued to produce new images for the program until 2008. Since then, the honorary tree cards have become much more involved, with artists working for several months to produce an image, Rubin said.

Previous artists include Max Grover, Lucy Congdon Hanson, Audrey Miles-Cherney, Richard Jesse Watson, Don Tiller and, most recently, Jesse Joshua Watson.

A selection of Kingsley’s work can be viewed at https://amandakingsley.carbonmade.com. She can be reached at 360-531-2151.