Seattle City (Spot)Light: Christina Orrino

Landscapes Supervisor Christina Orrino began her Seattle City Light career two and a half years ago. “We maintain approximately 60 locations, including 17 active substations in addition to the North and South Service Centers,” Christina said. “There are diverse landscapes between all of these sites; some require more detailed work due to the broader selection of plants while others need less attention. Several sites like Duwamish, Creston Nelson and Magnolia have had restoration work with a focus on pollinator habitat.” 

A native Washingtonian, Christina was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. “I live just up the hill from Carkeek Park and the ability to know my neighbors and have a community that feels welcoming and accepting makes the area feel special,” Christina shared. “Another wonderful aspect of living so close to the park is we see all kinds of wildlife, including coyotes, barred owls, songbirds, and the usual raccoons and bunnies.” 

In this week’s (spot)Light, Christina talks about her background, her love for horticulture, and her work at the utility.

“Before coming to City Light, I spent 10 years in the Urban Forestry division at SDOT. I worked on some incredible projects with some very talented people and learned a great deal. I was ready to transition and move onto a different chapter in life where I felt I needed new challenges. I knew several people who moved into positions at City Light, so I decided to make the leap. 

“My love of horticulture is a huge part of my life. Working in my own garden and visiting arboretums and botanical gardens are a joy for me. It’s something that keeps me grounded and reduces my stress. I believe it makes me a happier person. I am truly a plant geek! Painting is also something I have a passion for, mostly acrylic, but I’ve been playing with watercolors lately… it is definitely harder than it seems. My half Aussie and Golder Retriever, Dorothy Parker, is another big part of my life and gets a fair amount of my attention. 

“I love to travel. My partner and I snuck in a three-week trip to New Zealand right before the COVID travel restrictions were put in place. I also enjoy spending time on my property in Arivaca, Ariz. It’s completely off the grid and is truly a magical place, but the Northwest is home for me. 

“I enjoy my work at the utility. Aside from all of the wonderful and supportive people, I believe the work that we do is critical. Keeping the interior substations clear for the folks who work there is an essential job, keeping the exterior beautiful attributes to the overall well-being of City Light employees and Seattleites alike. There are many studies that show green spaces contribute to better overall mental health and I truly believe that our contribution is a positive one.”