Perspectives — Blog

At Forterra, our work spans from securing wild places and farms, to land in the city for parks and affordable housing and creating innovative policy.

Read the latest about the work we’re doing and the people and places who shape it.

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Wildfire at Home

Winds have carried smoke from wildfires in eastern Washington, Oregon, and California to Puget Sound, an uncomfortable reminder that we collectively share this plight — the anguish and responsibility.

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Ampersand LIVE 2020: Restoring the Land

A Q&A with event curator Tomo Nakayama

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Learning as We Go, Forterra Finds Trust and Transparency Are Paramount in Community Development

Residents of Hilltop, Tacoma, know what they want—attainable homes, space for Black-owned businesses, and a voice in the future of their neighborhood. Forterra is listening.

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Four Autumn Walks Recommended by Forterra’s Charlie Raines

We got to talking about walking in the time of COVID with Forterra’s longtime senior director of forest conservation.

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Friends and Fire: How Humans Shaped Oak Prairies

Fifteen thousand years ago, the Vashon ice sheet began its melting retreat, depositing a plain of gravely outwash that underlies the prairies of South Sound. Over time the rocks broke down and organic matter accumulated, resulting in the quick-drying, nutrient-poor soil we have today. This soil defines the prairie ecosystem. It discourages all but the most nutritionally undemanding of trees and encourages a unique suite of relatively short grasses and wildflowers that can tolerate such conditions.

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In Solidarity: Reading and Resources

Forterra is committed to making this a place for all of us. As part of this pledge, we want to share a few resources from writers, thinkers, and doers who are helping us address racism within our organization and our work.

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Your Questions, Our Answers: Lands and Communities

Tacoma civic leader Lyle Quasim and Forterra President & CEO Michelle Connor answer your questions from our recent Coffee and Conversation event on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Washington’s communities and lands.

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Six Rivers, Six Stories

Salmon, orcas, and people all rely on our region’s rivers for clean, healthy water. Invasive plants put these river ecosystems at risk.

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Orcas Need Land

To understand the strategic importance of Beaconsfield, and our work more generally, think of massive whales and magnificent coastal views, but honor careful conservation choices, however small, and ecological functions on the scale of a grain of sand.

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Scotch Broom: The Yellow, Fuzzy, Tenacious Weed

You’ve seen it. Its bright yellow flowers line the highway. Its tough stalks are ever-encroaching on open spaces and prairies. Before long, it’s everywhere. Both beautiful and tenacious, Scotch Broom is a major concern for our lands.

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Cleaning Up Carbon Footprints by Planting Trees

Thanks to participants in Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture program, 6,000 new trees will lend their strength to counter the effects of climate change.

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Forterra Coffee and Conversation: Lands and Community

Civic leader Lyle Quasim and Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp speak with Michelle Connor, Forterra President and CEO, about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Washington State communities and lands.

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Building An Earth Day Commitment with Wood

Earth Day is a day to celebrate our planet and take action to keep it healthy. Each Earth Day, organizations and individuals around the world make commitments to reduce water usage, plant trees, reduce waste, and more. Our partner, Earth Day Northwest, is encouraging everyone in the region to act with resolve this year to benefit our lands and communities in the future.

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BYO Colored Pencils: Forterra Coloring Pages

Forterra’s graphic designer is creating a special series of coloring pages, inspired by favorite lessons from Forterra naturalists. Do you know your salmonids? Can you name Washington’s top five native trees? Do you know our current pick for the most amazing fish in the state? You will after you download, print, and color on our coloring pages.

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Investing in Communities and Lands

The Strong Communities Fund invests in local projects to build housing developments, support communities, and more.

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8 Organizations to Support Right Now

Our world is rapidly changing. With uncertain budgets and loss of funding, many nonprofits need additional support. Forterra compiled a list of some of the organizations we work with that could use your support right now.

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CLT and Other Mass Timber Projects in Washington

Washington is poised to construct several tall mass timber buildings. While Oregon tested and proved the validity of these buildings, Washington is now leading the way.

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How Forterra is Conserving Community in a Time of Social Distancing

Our isolation came so suddenly. First, the worrying. Then, the distancing. Our streets grew quiet. Forterra’s office building emptied. Within hours, we went from distributing sanitizers for our team to shutting down the office, prohibiting in-person meetings, and converting our April breakfast—our biggest event of the year—from an in-person gathering to an unprecedented virtual event.

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Q&A: Tomo Nakayama

Meet Tomo Nakayama, named “Best Folk Act of 2017” by Seattle Weekly, and the mind behind this year’s Ampersand LIVE, an evening of storytelling about people and place.

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Sequestering Carbon and Enhancing Our Local Landscapes

As our climate warms, and our region becomes more densely populated, it is up to us to make sure that this region continues to be a livable and enjoyable place for all residents. Evergreen Carbon Capture (ECC) helps businesses and individuals do their part to address climate change. By contributing to local tree planting projects, participants balance their carbon impacts through carbon sequestration of the trees.

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Springtime Bluebird Boxes

Learn how to build a simple bird box to help our bluebird friends.

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A Proud Partnership

Forterra is working to conserve Little Skookum Inlet, 816 acres of riparian habitat, wetland and forest with two miles of marine shoreline in Mason County. Generations of Native Americans, family foresters and shellfish farmers have tended to this inlet. Protecting this place will prevent the property from being developed while protecting critical habitat for shellfish and salmon. Our project partner, Port Blakely Tree Farms, has stewarded the forest at Little Skookum for over 150 years and was just named Puget Sound Business Journal’s Family Business of the Year.

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Mass Timber: The Innovative Future of our Built Environment

New building code changes in Washington to permit mid and high-rise mass timber buildings, allowing the state to take a huge step forward for the sustainable future of our built environment and will revolutionize the way we design, build and grow.

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