January 15, 2021
Update on the Port's COVID-19 response
Volunteers “got their green on” at Angle Lake Park Nature Trail in the city of SeaTac on Saturday as they kicked off the first in a series of three planting events sponsored by the Port of Seattle. Led by non-profit Forterra and in close coordination with the City of SeaTac, 25 volunteers planted over 200 native trees, shrubs, and ground cover along the shore of Angle Lake.
These events are a turning point in a multi-year collaborative project to involve communities near the airport (Burien, Des Moines, and SeaTac) in Forterra’s Green City Partnerships program. The program was created with the philosophy that healthy forested parks and green spaces have the power to strengthen neighborhoods, provide safe access to nature, and offer many valuable benefits to the environment.
Forterra’s Green City Partnerships program works with 15 cities and one county in the region to steward and restore urban forests. The program is committed to restoring 13,000 acres, has planted 1.2 million trees and shrubs, and trained 284 volunteers as forest stewards.Green City Partnerships serve more than 1.6 million residents across the state.
The Port’s Airport Community Ecology (ACE) funding has helped to bring Burien, Des Moines, and SeaTac into the network. In November 2016 the Port Commission authorized the ACE Fund, recognizing that neighboring communities that experience more impacts from airport operations should also receive more benefits. The program supports environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines through a two-pronged approach:
Forterra has collected feedback from 300 community members and is working with all three cities on Urban Forest Enhancement Plans that include a Tree Canopy Cover Assessment, a Forest Health Assessment, and findings from extensive community engagement activities in 2018. The Plans also provide a path forward to equitably increase canopy cover, preserve existing resources, and implement best practices for stewardship and restoration.
The next step is getting trees in the ground. Community members can volunteer to get their hands dirty and improve the parks in at these two upcoming events:
Oct. 12 in Burien from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m at the Community Center next to Dottie Harper Park
Oct. 19 in Des Moines from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m at the Kiddie Park
The Green City Partnerships also empower neighbors to become forest stewards in their own communities. Kiddie City Park in Des Moines was once a neglected forested parkland. Kelleen lived near the park but didn’t feel comfortable with her kids playing there. When she heard about the Green Des Moines Partnership and Port funding, she contacted the City of Des Moines and Forterra with a plan to turn the park around. So far Kelleen and Forterra have organized four work parties, hosted over 100 volunteers, removed seven truckloads of garbage and 700 pounds of invasive plants, and will plant 100 new trees and plants on October 19. Forterra holds stewardship orientations to teach community members how to get involved, walk through a restored site, and get more information.
January 15, 2021
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