Tara Luckie this week announced that she is leaving her Executive Director gig at Burien’s Environmental Science Center.

Luckie has served in this position for six years.

“My heart is overcome with joy when I think about my fond memories here over the years,” Luckie said in a statement. “So many remarkable people have entered my life through my role with ESC and I am forever grateful for the love I feel pouring into this organization every day.”

Luckie plans to move out of the city of Seattle and raise her kids on a 75-acre farm in Lake Stevens.

“We will restore a historic dairy barn on the property for public events and I hope to do programs similar to ESC’s on our working farm in the future,” she added. “This has been my dream for a long time and I am so excited about what’s ahead.”

The ESC is now seeking a new Executive Director – apply here!

Here’s Tara’s full goodbye letter:

Dear friend of ESC,

After close to 6 years as Executive Director of the Environmental Science Center, I have made the decision to leave the organization and start a new life adventure. You have supported me in this work and I want to keep you informed of this transition.

My heart is overcome with joy when I think about my fond memories here over the years. So many remarkable people have entered my life through my role with ESC and I am forever grateful for the love I feel pouring into this organization every day.

When I started at ESC, my son, Liam, was 6 months old.  Through his eyes I saw the value of our programs from a parent’s perspective.  First it was Toddler Time on occasion, then it was a salmon program with his Kindergarten class, and most recently a trip to the Cedar River with an afterschool science club alongside his 3-year-old brother, Ethan.  With great excitement, the other day Liam was telling me details of what he learned about salmon 3 years ago in an ESC program, yet he couldn’t tell me what he ate for lunch at school that day. Both of my boys feel most alive when they are engaged in nature and so do I.

ESC has a transformative effect on many people and it definitely has on me.  I have spent years watching minds, bodies, and souls light up during ESC’s outdoor experiential programs.  There is something truly magical about engaging in nature.  It is healing, grounding, and, I feel, connects us to something greater than ourselves.  It is a constant reminder that although we have different life journeys, we are all interconnected.  The more we can help people feel connected to nature, the more our environment and community thrive.

My time at ESC has inspired my next adventure in life.  Our family has decided to move out of the city of Seattle and raise our kids on a 75-acre farm in Lake Stevens.  We will restore a historic dairy barn on the property for public events and I hope to do programs similar to ESC’s on our working farm in the future.  The property sits on Ebey Slough and has a salmon-bearing stream running through the middle of it; a perfect natural classroom!  I am inspired to continue ESC’s mission in my own way.  This has been my dream for a long time and I am so excited about what’s ahead.

As the Executive Director, I am proud of the work we have accomplished over the years.  As a parent, I want all kids to have access to these transformational programs and to thrive.  I know that there is no organization like ESC in the Pacific Northwest.  Our number one priority is getting community members who are least likely to have outdoor educational experiences engaged by reducing barriers such as cost and transportation. ESC will continue to grow because of people like you who understand the importance of investing in this work.  I am forever grateful for the many ways you do that!  I will continue to support ESC alongside you as an advocate and an individual donor.

We are now opening up the Executive Director position. Please share the job posting with anyone you feel would be a good fit for the position.

Forever grateful,

– Tara Luckie