SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve Stewards critical habitat, increases access to green spaces, and provides inclusive environmental education to cultivate a land use ethic throughout the Puget Sound Region.  


SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve’s vision is to cultivate a resilient community that values and embraces ownership of our shared environment. 


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“People protect what they love, they love what they understand, they understand what they are taught.” -Jacques Cousteau

SHADOW offers inclusive and experience-based educational opportunities for students of all ages. Join us for a community class featuring local environmental experts; stop by one of our festive events; or plan a Wilderness Adventure for your school group or community club.

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To date, SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve has placed over 100 acres surrounding Shadow Lake under permanent protection. The land that we steward is diverse, including a 5,000-year-old peat moss bog, upland forest, and scrub/shrub wetland. These critical habitats, within the Green/Duwamish Watershed, have a significant impact on the environmental health of the Puget Sound Region and provide South King County residents with access to green space in their own backyard.

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Grassroots efforts drive SHADOW’s restoration work and have powered our active restoration sites for over 20 years! Through Restoration Work Parties and stewardship events, community members are encouraged to take ownership of SHADOW’s natural resources. The Nature Preserve aims to continuously improve local hydrology, animal habitat, and environmental quality through volunteer-led research, maintenance, and large-scale, succession forestry projects.

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SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve has a long history, starting in the last ice age! Shadow Lake and Shadow Lake Bog are remnants of the Puget Lobe Glacier, which once covered most of Western Washington from the Olympic to the Cascade Mountains. The Puget Lobe carved out the Puget Sound and numerous lakes and wetlands throughout the region – including Shadow Lake. The peat in Shadow Lake Bog formed over a 5,000-year process of sphagnum moss decomposition.

The Nature Preserve’s property was once a single piece of the complex wetland and forest systems located between the Cascade Mountain Range and the Puget Sound. These wetlands were home to native plants, animals, and peoples and naturally absorbed the more-than-average rainfall that we experience in the Pacific Northwest.

Throughout 19th and 20th centuries, European settlers began to encroach on the dense forest surrounding what was then known as Spoon Lake. SHADOW’s upland forests were logged heavily, while the wetland system below was used as a dump site for old car parts and trash.

In 1995, with urbanization posing a continuing threat to these natural spaces, Max and Erin Prinsen purchased the 18-acre parcel of Shadow Lake Bog. The Prinsen family recognized the opportunity for this property to provide rare educational experiences, serve as an example of ethical land usage, and mitigate the growing effects of stormwater runoff in the region.

The nonprofit, Save Habitat And Diversity Of Wetlands (SHADOW), was born from this vision. Today the organization is known as SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve and has grown to steward over 100 acres of critical habitat.

Shadow Lake (then known as Spoon Lake) circa 1940. 

Early SHADOW volunteers had to remove 110 dump loads of garbage before they could begin restoration efforts!







Max Prinsen,


SHADOW board member since 2000

A California native, Max is an Engineer & Systems Manager at OTIS Elevators. Starting in 1978 Max built a home on one acre and married and his wife, Erin, in 1980. In 1995 Max and Erin acquired the 18.5 acre property surrounding Shadow Lake Bog. As they learned more and more about the unique significance of the land, they established SHADOW in 2000. Max also serves on the board of King Conservation District and represents SHADOW on the WRIA 9 Council, at the Green River Coalition and is the Chair of the Cedar River Council.  


Erin Wojewodzki-Prinsen,

Vice President

SHADOW board member since 2000

Erin is a South King County local with a passion for the environment. She is certified as a Native Plant Steward and as a Livestock Steward. Erin co-founded  SHADOW and is the organization’s acting vice-president as well as the manager of a small, environmentallyfriendly farm. Her stewardship work has been recognized by the King Conservation District. 


Walt Szklarski

SHADOW board member since 2003

As Instructional Technology Coordinator at Tahoma School District, Walt uses his years of teaching experience to support district level curriculum advancement. Walt helped establish the partnerships between SHADOW and the Tahoma School District.    


David Terry Jones   

SHADOW board member since 2003

David was born and educated in the United Kingdom, where he received both a B.S. and Ph.D. in Physics. He has worked as a programmer and software engineer for International Computers Limited in England, Control Data in Canada, Microsoft and Expedia. David and his wife, Maryanne, are active in local politics and with nonprofit organizations working towards  environmental and social justice. He also serves as a board member for OneNW and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle.  


Kristi McClelland  

SHADOW board member since 2003

As a former King County Forester, Project Program Manager, and Land Resources Forester, Kristi brings a sense of humor and over four decades of forestry experience to SHADOW. Kristi started at the Nature Preserve as a volunteer. She believes land management decisions should support healthy ecosystems while contributing to a viable economy. 


Gayle Podrabsky  

SHADOW board member since 2014

Gayle graduated from Seattle University with a degree in journalism and has worked as a video content producer/ director for the past 25 years. As the Creative Director of Fidget TV, Gayle provides content for corporate and non-profit clients. Passion projects have led Gayle to work with organizations that help animals, protect the environment, and support environmental education.


 Mary Jane Glaser  

SHADOW board member since 2015

As a member of the Tahoma School District Board of Directors since 1998, Mary Jane has recognized the important impact of SHADOW on students. She serves, also, as the Sustainability Representative for the School Board. In 1998, Mary Jane founded the Maple Valley Creative Arts Council, a local, non-profit, arts agency. Community opportunities and partnerships are at the core of her work.


Klaus O. Richter,


SHADOW board member since 2003

Klaus holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Forest Zoology and is a former Ecologist & Researcher for King County, whose work on amphibian habitat has been widely recognized. Klaus has been involved with SHADOW since its inception and help shape many of the Nature Preserves early education programs and restoration projects.  Klaus has been a life-long advocate for wetland protection and designed SHADOW’s amphibian pond. 







Isabelle Feraudo,

Executive Director

SHADOW staff member since June 2016.

Isabelle is a Seattle native with degrees in International Studies and Spanish Literature from Fordham University. She has worked at a variety of educational nonprofits and has a background in intercultural communication. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Isabelle developed a love of nature and the outdoor recreation.




Ali Yeates,

Restoration & Education Manager 

SHADOW staff member since December 2017.

Ali hails from Louisiana but has spent the past 8 years calling the west home. She is a Candidate for Master’s in Environmental Management at Western State Colorado University and has worked in both the non-profit world and with the National Park Service. As a former Park Ranger, Youth Conservation Corps Director, and environmental educator, she has made a career of connecting people to wonders of the natural world. Ali loves plants, hiking, trail running, and time spent outside. 




Employment opportunities 




Are you passionate about environmental protection? Do you have a strong desire to help others? Do you want to spend your time surrounded by beautiful nature? SHADOW Lake Nature Preserve’s internship program might just be the right fit for you! 

SHADOW offers internship opportunities for high school, college, and professional applicants who are interested in growing their skills. Come expand your resume and become empowered.

SHADOW Internship