jenn reidel
Hazel Wolf (Common Ground Magazine)

A crow lands on a wire outside Hazel Wolf's tiny apartment. The bird settles its wings then darts its head from side to side. Bulldozers roar below, digging deep into the earth, where a new high-rise will soon be built.

Wolf, one of the environmental movement's most prominent advocates, lives alone on Capitol Hill, a densely populated Seattle neighborhood. Her eyes turn toward the kitchen window. She says she can't see the bird, but knows it is a crow by how it moves. A wry smile crosses her 100-year-old face. Is she conjuring up one of her famous comic one-liners?

No. Not this time. Instead, she says, "I have always been concerned that the environmental movement is focused almost entirely on the preservation of the natural environment. They don't pay any attention to the human environment, and sometimes those things overlap."

Wolf beams, still aglow from being in the limelight of parties and award ceremonies. On March 10, Wolf turned 100, and many took the occasion to honor her many other accomplishments achieved in her environmental and social work. The state, as well as King County, procliamed March 10 Hazel Wolf Day. A 116-acre wetland near Beaver Lake was renamed Hazel Wolf Wetlands. Dozens of birthday parties were given in her honor by her family and such agencies as The Country Doctor and the EPA. More than 600 people attended her "Big Bash" put on by Seattle's Audubon Society, which she has been secretary of since the early 1960s. The party was a fundraiser for her pet education program for pre-teens called Kids for the Environment.

"Even when I die, the memorial service must be a fundraiser. It all must come right back to the Audubon," Wolf says, with a smile.

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