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Green City Days 2022 – Communities step up to care for their local forests.

Written by Daniel Hachet

During Green City Days in 2022, 886 community members served 2,503 hours and planted 5,550 trees and shrubs at 42 separate locations across Puget Sound.

Community members were committed to building our urban forests this year. In addition to planting, volunteers cared for parks and forests through mulching, removing invasive weeds, and watering plants. This year, Green City Partnerships hosted several events to connect people to nature like forest walks, tree hugging and more.

Whether it was a beautiful sunny autumn day or a cold rainy day community members supported Green City Days. Unfortunately, flooding, poor air quality, and a lack of rain meant postponing or cancelling multiple events. Thank you to all the volunteers who signed up for Green Snoqualmie Day, and Green Kirkland Day despite their cancelation. We hope to see you at other events.

Green Tacoma Day

On October 8 Green City days kicked off with Green Tacoma Day. 91 community members came to 12 different planting and restoration-based events hosted by the City of Tacoma with support from Forterra, Pierce Conservation District, Port of Tacoma and Metro parks.

Strategic Nature, Tacoma Tree Foundation and Communities for a Healthy Bay also held events. Strategic Nature held Green Tacoma’s first nature mindfulness walk meant to help people reconnect with nature, cultivate awe, reduce stress, and enjoy the outdoors. The Tacoma Tree Foundation held a tree give away, and Communities for a Healthy Bay led an event marking storm drains with “Drains to the Puget Sound” signs.

The event with Pierce Conservation District at Peck Fields was particularly exciting. Community members living around peck field nominated a lot to be depaved. With Metro Parks approval, community members removed about 3,000 square feet of pavement. On Green Tacoma Day, more than 40 volunteers with support from Pierce Conservation District replaced the pavement with a raingarden, trees, and pollinator plants. Tacoma council members Kiara Daniels and Kristina Walkers both attended the event.

Green Tacoma Day could not have happened without all the partners. A heartfelt thank you to all.

SeaTac Weekend

SeaTac had two different events. In total, 42 community members served 102 hours and planted 550 plants

At North SeaTac Park participants planted 241 trees, shrubs and ground cover in an area that used to be a wall of Himalayan Blackberry, with English Ivy growing up every tree. Community members have been steadily removing the noxious weeds for over a year. Thank you to King Conservation District, Port of Seattle, and SeaTac Parks & Rec for continued collaboration at SeaTac’s largest park.

Serve Ethiopians Washington has continuously been stewarding Angle Lake Nature Trail. On Green SeaTac Day, with help from community members, Serve Ethiopians Washington planted 309 plants in an area that was previously covered in invasive weeds such as blackberry.

Green Des Moines Day

Sonju community garden, a 9.3-acre parcel of land. It now has 45 more plants thanks to the 20 volunteers from AYDEPI dedicating 60 hours of their time to ensuring this park is well maintained. This event was supported by the City of Des Moines and Forterra.

Green Everett Day

On Green Everett Day more than 60 community members served 170 hours at Forest Park. We installed 190 plants, including 90 trees. The City of Everett, Forterra and seven Everett Forest Stewards directed everyone in mulching, weeding, and planting.

Seattle Forest Week

This year marked the second annual Seattle Forest Week – a collaboration between Trees for Seattle and the Green Seattle Partnership, the City of Seattle and many other non-profits.  In total on October 29, there were 17 restoration events led by different nonprofits, community organizations and Forest Stewards. 460 community members served 1,278 hours and planted 3,261 plants.

On October 23, The Seattle Arbor Day celebration kicked off Seattle Forest week at Be’er Sheva Park. In addition to planting several trees, partners had booths for people to explore, and Ed Dominguez from Seward Park Audubon Center led a walk exploring birds and their habitats in the surrounding area!

Forterra AmeriCorps Stewardship Associates also held a fall crafts live stream centered on mindfulness, empowerment and encouraging people to connect with nature in their local park or own backyard!

I really enjoyed the crafts event. It was a fun reminder for me to slow down and admire the beauty in all our native plants.  — Daniel

Green Shoreline Day

67 community members served 201 hours on Green Shoreline Day. There were events at Brugger’s Bog Park, Hamlin Park, North City Park, Paramount Open Space and Richmond Beach Saltwater Park. City of Shoreline, Forterra, Restoration Analytics and Design LLC and Forest Stewards supported volunteers to remove invasive weeds, mulch, and plant 321 plants.

Green Redmond Day

Celebrating the 10th annual Green Redmond Day this year, volunteers were welcomed by Mayor Angela Birney and City Councilmember Vanessa Kritzer at Viewpoint OpenSpace. With support from Redmond Parks staff, Forest Stewards and Forterra, 32 volunteers planted and mulched 150 plants, 75 of which were trees.

Healthy Forest Day

30 community members volunteered at Snohomish County’s second annual “Healthy Forest Day”. 75 groundcover and shrub species were planted in addition to 75 trees at McCollum Park.

Green Puyallup Day

All 40 volunteers had an amazing time planting trees (and eating pizza!) at Green Puyallup Day. 70 plants were installed and mulched at 4 different parks across Puyallup. A big thank you to Pierce Conservation District and City of Puyallup for coordinating their events.

Green Tukwila Day

Wrapping up the Green City Days was Green Tukwila Day at the Duwamish Hill Preserve. The City of Tukwila and Forest Stewards hosted 42 volunteers that installed 105 new native plants including 20 new trees. Highlights include a welcome from Ken Workman, Duwamish Elder and ancestor of Chief Sealth and live music from the BusKings Band.

Thanks to our Green City Day volunteers, partners, and sponsors!

Whether this was your first time volunteering or your 16th time volunteering we genuinely appreciate the work you do. Green City days could not exist without the support of the many volunteers, partners, and sponsors. Thank you for helping make accessible urban forests a reality across Puget Sound. Green City days were a great start to the planting season. There are still opportunities to plant trees and shrubs at your local green space. Events are held year-round mulching and removing non-native weeds to ensure our forests and natural areas are thriving.

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