Breaking News
More () »

You won't believe who's behind this popular social media account

With more than 140,000 followers, the Twitter account run by Washington State's Department of Natural Resources is both entertaining and educational. #k5evening

OLYMPIA, Wash. — These days, most companies rely on a good social media presence. And the team that runs social for Washington's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is setting the bar. 

DNR manages nearly 6 million acres of forests, waters, and habitat. And on its social media pages, learning about it is more interesting than ever.

With funny, clever, and creative posts, the DNR Twitter account has more than 140,000 followers; and Instagram and TikTok are growing in popularity quickly.

Mary Watkins and Rachel Terlep are a few of the people behind the social media gems. 

Rachel started pushing the boundaries of the agency's social media posts in 2021 and still remembers the first one that took off.

"It was 'treat hydration the way you treat dating, don't wait until you're thirsty!'  We were like, 'Should we do it, should we not do it?" explained Terlep, the senior social media manager for DNR.  

A few years later, they're still pushing the boundaries of what's expected from a state agency. And thousands more people are following along. 

As the Commissioner of Public Lands, Hillary Franz oversees the Department of Natural Resources and has had a blast finding new ways to educate people on pressing issues. 

One of her favorites was a video about derelict vessels. It was set to Sarah McLachlan's "In the Arms of An Angel," specifically when it was used in an ad about helping animals.   

"Well, just like Sarah is trying to help get people to wake up and take care of abandoned animals and abused animals, we have abandoned and abused boats that we're trying to get people to take care of and turn in that vessel. We're here! If your boat no longer floats, we will take care of it. I did my best to impersonate Sarah McLachlan, fortunately, they didn't ask me to sing!" Franz joked. 

While the work of government can be dry, clearly, learning about the impact of that work and what we can do, doesn't have to be. 

"It's been such a great way for me to learn how to kind of approach those topics that might seem boring and just really put a fun spin on them," Watkins said.  

"I've never expected people to be this excited about their state agency, their state natural resources agency. We're talking about things like geologic hazards, forestry, and wildfire safety," Terlep explained. "The funny parts are great, but when people take those actionable items and apply it to their lives, so they learn something, that's the most rewarding part." 

KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.

Before You Leave, Check This Out