Community Development

Creating equitable solutions for local communities.

Forterra creates equitable solutions with communities facing displacement. We work alongside communities to scale innovative models to enable attainable housing and solutions for local community needs.

Along the Skagit River

In the oxbow of the Skagit River 40 miles southeast of Bellingham, The Hamilton project embodies the passion we have for working with and in communities for a better future. This town of 300 floods at least every four years, temporarily displacing residents, disrupting their farming and costing approximately $10 million in FEMA recurring assistance over the years. Climate scientists point to a future of more frequent and more intense flooding as a result of climate change.

Further, the Skagit River produces 60 percent of Puget Sound’s wild Chinook salmon, the main diet of the Orca, and is the only river in the region with substantial runs of all native salmon and trout species. The area Tribes, too, rely on salmon as both a food and spiritual source.

Forterra is creating a new neighborhood and possibility for Hamilton residents to move upland and out of harm’s way. This project also creates the possibility for large-scale riparian restoration designed to increase Chinook numbers, turning periodic flooding to the advantage of both salmon and Orca.

We are actively working with community members and the federal government to build a program to define suitable values for the homes of people in the flood zone. After receiving considerable community input—from layout and appearance, to amenities and affordability—the new community masterplan won approval.

A piece of the whole

We conserve natural spaces and open land, and invest in places where people live. We listen and work in partnership to embody the identity of the community and our shared desire for sustainability. Land for Good in this example helps take residents out of a recurrent flood cycle to higher land, in which they co-create their future. It extends to a simultaneous restoration of salmon habitat—the main Orca food source. Land, water, community and development coincide in this and other projects we undertake.

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