Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Chris C Green TeamKairos-Milwaukie UCC Green Team creator Chris Christensen has felt a connection to nature as long as she can remember. “I spent most of my childhood in the woods around Astoria,” she says. “I mourn that most kids today don’t get that experience.”

Chris began actively working for environmental causes in high school, when she attended the National Youth Conference on Natural Beauty and Conservation, sponsored by Lady Bird Johnson. After the conference, Chris and other Oregon and Washington delegates became spokespersons for a local anti-litter campaign, speaking to groups such as the Kiwanis Club, Lions Club and veterans’ organizations. In the 1990s, in the newly created AmeriCorps, Chris was part of a team that planted trees in the national forest, pulled ivy and other invasive plants in Forest Park, and helped students start recycling centers while raising awareness about conservation. Later, while working at the Multnomah County Court House, Chris joined their active Green Team.

She brought that same energy to Kairos-Milwaukie UCC, where — soon after she joined — Chris and several interested members started the Green Team. Chris still actively participates in the group’s many functions. For example, the Green Team received a grant from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon to create a bee pollinator garden, which another member’s son designed. They also participated in an energy audit of the church, resulting in several improvements.