“When you call Kathy, she shows up!” Those are the words of Sage Passi, watershed education specialist at Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD).
At Friends of the Parks and Trails, we know Kathy Sidles as the retired engineer and full-time environmental advocate and volunteer who said yes when we asked her to join our board of directors earlier this year.
We also know her as a key force behind Pig’s Eye Park Friends, a Facebook group that features her outdoors photography and keeps followers updated on the many varieties of wildlife that call St. Paul’s largest park home. Once a dumping ground, Pig’s Eye Park is now “self-healing,” Sidles says.
Thanks to a nomination from Friends of the Parks and Trails board president Scott Ramsay, Sidles is among seven winners of a Watershed Excellence Award from Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District. Click here to learn more about Kathy Sidles, who won the organization’s Community Conservation Advocate award, on a video narrated by Passi.
A master naturalist, Sidles is a longtime St. Paul parks volunteer — honored previously by the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy — who “embodies the definition of stewardship,” according to the RWMWD. Friends and colleagues know Sidles for her efforts to preserve the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee species, which has been listed as federally endangered since 2017, and to keep the proposed Metro Transit Purple Line off the Bruce Vento trail — two passions that she has brought to the Friends of the Parks and Trails board (in addition to organizing trash pickups at St. Paul parks).
Ramsay, who serves on the watershed district’s Citizen Advisory Committee and Landscape Ecology Awards Program team, nominated Sidles for what turned out to be a competitive process, with award selection by the RWMWD’s board of managers.
Commendation for Pig’s Eye Park
Along with former councilmembers Tom Dimond and Kiki Sonnen, Kathy Sidles was recognized on December 7 with a St. Paul City Council Resolution Honoring Pig’s Eye Park Friends. The resolution, signed by all seven current councilmembers, noted the 400-acre park’s remediation from a landfill.
Pig’s Eye Park Friends, whose work is highlighted on a Facebook page, leads informal tours of the park on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. Sidles contributes photography and commentary.
All of us at Friends of the Parks and Trails congratulate board member Kathy Sidles on these well-earned recognitions and are grateful to have her on our team — and giving her all on behalf of Mother Earth.
Photo on homepage of Kathy Sidles (right) and landscape architect Han Zhang by Wolfie Browender