Here is an excerpt from a letter of recommendation, May, 2015:
I have worked with Michael for thirteen years and over that time I’ve known him to be a knowledgeable, generous and enthusiastic champion for a surprisingly wide array of approaches to resource conservation. Michael first contracted with me in 2002 to assist with hiring, training and coordinating a team of six people to conduct residential water conservation audits for Seattle Public Utilities. That first experience evolved into more than a decade of assisting Michael with scheduling water conservation projects for SPU, the City of Bellingham, and the Cascade Water Alliance.
In addition to his professional work with public agencies, several years ago Michael donated significant volunteer time to assisting me with developing a water conservation plan for a community land trust farm on Vashon Island. More recently I participated in the planning phase for expanding a program he initiated to reduce the use of toxic chemicals on the island.
I worked with Michael part-time through the end of last year, when my work expanded with the King Conservation District. Although my primary focus was on residential and commercial water conservation projects, I was very aware of his involvement with the Building Operator Certification Program, Built Green, and rainwater management. In addition, it’s always fun to see Michael staffing the Master Gardener table at our local farmers market!
Since we first met I’ve admired Michael’s eagerness to gain new skills and his entrepreneurial spirit in pursuing the cutting edge of natural resource conservation.
May 21, 2015
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter of reference for Michael Laurie is offered for your consideration. I have known Michael in a professional capacity since 2013 when I met him in his capacity as an irrigation conservation instructor for Cascade Water Alliance. Michael was engaging, very knowledgeable and accessible. Further, he facilitated a conversation with CWA staff which led to my employer qualifying for and receiving $29,000 in conservation rebates in 2014 and 2015.
CWA also helped arrange for Michael to visit our site on several occasions to perform irrigation audits. These are time-consuming affairs which precisely measure all of an irrigation system’ operating parameters allowing landscape managers such as myself to make more efficient use of water and other resources. My staff and I found Michael to be a consummate professional in his work with us. He was prompt, focused, helpful and delivered 100% of what was agreed upon.
This is important to me because our common areas alone use more than 24,000 ccf (hundred cubic feet) of water per irrigation season, costing over $220,000 and always rising. Irrigation efficiency is a high priority for myself and the community I work for. Michael’s efforts on our behalf provided crucial help and support which my in-house resources cannot match.
Russ Ayers, CWCM
14 February 2011Subject: Reference for Michael Laurie and Watershed LLC
To Whom It May Concern:In late summer of 2009, Michael Laurie of Watershed, LLC, performed a thorough water conservation audit of domestic usage at our Main Campus facility. Our Main Campus is a 500,000 sf foot acute care facility encompassing three multi-story patient towers, Cardiovascular/Surgery floors and in-house Dietary/Cafeteria services. We use approximately 2.6 million cubic feet of water per year.Michael's study identified several measures for improving the efficiency of our water use, one of which we elected to implement immediately. As a result of his work, we were able to install an economizer on one of our sterilizers, take advantage of a rebate from the City of Bellingham in a very tight window of opportunity and recognize an immediate payback on savings.
The following year, Michael was back performing a conservation audit on our landscape irrigation system. Once again, his work identified numerous inefficiencies in our system that have been targeted for correction this spring. Among those corrections will be segregating bedding irrigation zones from turf zones and replacement of old water hungry heads for more miserly heads with better spray distribution.We've greatly appreciated Michael's work and have his reports on file for future referencing of water saving upgrades that we can implement.
I highly recommend him and his team for their professionalism and quality work in assessing cost-effective water conservation measures for your facilities.Please feel free to call on me for personal verification.
Sincerely, R Scott Dorough, CEM Resource Conservation Manager
St Joseph Medical Center
2901 Squalicum Pkwy
Bellingham, WA 98225
"Michael Laurie did an energy audit recently. I was certain he would not find anything, but he found a lot and the recommendations will keep us far more comfortable this winter, and ultimately save us money.... Michael did a great job." Sheila Brown, Vashon, WA
“Michael Laurie recently completed a home energy audit for us and we were very happy and satisfied with his services. His work was thorough and the suggestions he made were many in our older, drafty house. We've implemented most of his suggestions, including the use of a PSE-participating-contractor to add ducting and crawl space insulation. Michael's audit is the kind of service that you don't regret doing, and only wonder why you didn't do it sooner.” Charlie Peterson
Getting to Know Our [Master Gardeners]
From the July 2007 Issue of the King County, Washington, Master Gardener Newsletter, Sound Gardening
Author: Sally Fox
A tour of Michael Laurie’s garden on Vashon is an opportunity to see sustainable gardening at work. Michael, a graduate of this year’s class, has multiple rain barrels, a rain garden that uses stormwater runoff, a green roof, compost beds, Northwest native plants and a no-irrigation meadow. A dedicated herbologist, Michael grows a huge variety of culinary and medicinal herbs and can brew lucky visitors tea picked fresh from the garden.
Consulting in water efficiency management, Michael shows people and businesses how to improve their water use and develop more environmentally sustainable practices. He supports utilities, Conservation Districts, government programs, businesses and individuals to translate waterwise principles into practical and doable ideas. His project for the Naval Shipyards in Bremerton showed them how to save hundreds of thousands of dollars using water more efficiently.
Water management is critical both locally and globally. On Vashon Island, where Michael lives, quality water is key to the island’s welfare. Conservation matters, but so does protecting quality by limiting the negative impacts of pesticide and fertilizer use.
For this reason, Michael and a partner created a project called “Garden Green, Drink Clean” for the Vashon-Maury Island Groundwater Protection Committee. They helped islanders make better choices on fertilizers and pesticides by providing fliers showing the environmental impacts of the products sold on the island. Dollars-off coupons encouraged people to experiment with low-impact products.
The project offered general information on how to use water more efficiently in yards and gardens. In addition, Michael provided audits to selected households in which he evaluated homeowners’ interests and needs and created a customized set of recommentations for each property. The audit included hands-on demonstrations and information on natural approaches to insects, diseases, weeds, compost and fertilizers.
Michael’s background includes degrees in environmental science and energy management and years working in energy and water management. He is also a passionate gardener. “The topics of gardening and water use are so huge that no one can know it all.” For him, the Master Gardener training was an opportunity to keep up to date while increasing his knowledge of diseases and insects.
Michael stated, “The program is a great exposure to different topics, experts, and resources. Plus, it is a great network.”