Karen Story
Writer, Musician, Volunteer, Traveler

Born and raised near Bellevue, Washington, Karen spent her formative years roaming the wooded hills and streams of what is now Cougar Mountain Regional Park. She studied Ecology at Evergreen State College, worked on the Cedar River Watershed forestry, fire suppression, and road crews, and traveled solo in Europe for a year, before getting her degree in Environmental Studies from Western Washington University.

Organizing a park restoration event

She spent two years in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa, working on appropriate technology projects involving wood-saving cookstoves and water cisterns. Since her return in 1988, she has made her home in Kirkland, Washington, where she raised two boys and helped raise two stepdaughters.

Peace Corps volunteer, West Africa

She's an accomplished writer and editor with many published stories and books to her credit. She speaks French and Spanish, and writes a blog about her travels in Europe, Africa, Turkey, Mexico, Central and South America, and around the U.S. and Canada.

Volunteering in Guatemala

Karen has always been active in her local community, and is respected as a dynamic and diplomatic community leader. She is currently the volunteer steward for restoration of Cotton Hill Park and the Cross Kirkland Corridor. She started a sign compliance volunteer program with the City of Kirkland, and is a founding member of Quiet Clean Kirkland, an organization working to ban noisy and polluting gas-powered leaf blowers. She was the chair of her neighborhood association for 16 years. She has volunteered with hospice, the Washington Trails Association, the Washington Coalition to End the Death Penalty, and several Guatemalan charities. For five years she organized the Kirkland Summer Concert series. She has many years of experience organizing and publicizing successful community events.

She is a singer, guitar player, and songwriter who has been a member of several bands.

In her 24-year technical writing career she worked in the semiconductor, telecommunications, and metrology industries.

She loves to travel, birdwatch, hike, cook, garden, read non-fiction, watch documentaries, and build things.

Planting trees on the CKC

Organizing a trail-building project in Cotton Hill Park

With Back Burner in 2007

Greet Kirkland Magazine, December 2022: Meet Karen Story: Gaining Ground for Trees on the CKC

ABOUT TOWN: Catching Up With Kirkland Mover and Shaker Karen Story

Karen Story is recipient of Urban Forestry Stewardship Award


 2010 Washington State Community Forest Council Urban Forest Stewardship Award.

 2010 Washington State Jefferson Award nominee for community service.

 2011 Kirkland Chamber of Commerce Above and Beyond Award for community service.

 2012 Kirkland Cultural Council and Mayor's CACHET Award nominee, for saving the Kirkland Summer Concert series.

 2017 City of Kirkland Above and Beyond Award for creating and leading the Cross Kirkland Corridor volunteer restoration program

Receiving Chamber award from former Kirkland Mayor Bill Woods

Urban Forest Stewardship Award

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