Perspectives — Blog

Fund for Good

High-flying companies are fueling a red-hot economy around Puget Sound bringing more than a thousand new people each week, intensifying trends of gentrification and displacement. That’s why Forterra is bringing our nearly 30 years of expertise negotiating land transactions in wilderness and farms to our cities. Whether it’s open spaces for nature and play, or affordable homes and vibrant, diverse communities, it all begins with land.

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Paddling to a Future Forest

For three years, Forterra staff and WCC crew members have waded across the Cedar River to control invasive knotweed in a remote part of Ron Regis Park—but in winter when rains swell the river, a new approach to tackling the knotweed was needed.

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Lucy Started It

We held our 4th Ampersand LIVE last fall at the Moore Theater, with 1200 totally engaged guests. I mean totally engaged. Those on stage told stories, showed pictures, played music and danced. Some of the performances embraced us and some starkly challenged us. It summed to a cross-section of the many voices of our Pacific Northwest. The 90 minutes covered the worries of this place, the hopes of this place and the changes we need to make in this place to be all it can—a sustaining community for everyone here already, and for those yet to come.

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Building for a Sustainable Future

In 2015, Forterra spearheaded a conversation with about eighty stakeholders to discuss leveraging CLT and mass timber products to improve forest health, stimulate employment in rural communities, and house a growing urban population. Just over three years and an established CLT Coalition later, engagement has grown substantially.

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15,000!

Across the Puget Sound this fall, more than 2,200 volunteers converged at area parks and green spaces to celebrate Green City Days. Now boasting nine cities in the Green City Partnerships, these annual event connects community members across all age, ethnic and economic backgrounds for a common goal: helping to keep our forested parks and green spaces environmentally healthy.

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Can a Golf Course Save Orca Whales?

It’s no coincidence that as Puget Sound grows (and continues to grow), the amount of green space, salmon, and orcas have been in decline. In the intricate, messy web of life that connects locals and transplants, salmon and orcas, and all the other creatures to this place we call home, every decision we make reverberates across seen and unseen threads, making an impact that is as large as it is lasting.

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2017 Ampersand LIVE

Ampersand LIVE was an incredible evening. From Jehan’s incredulous retelling of the time she ran from lightning towards the jaws of a Grizzly bear, to Paul’s intimate war portraits of iconic creatures threatened by climate change, to Jade’s heartrending dance, to Okanomode’s high notes, to Bill’s recipe for “goo,” there were so many unforgettable and thought-provoking moments—all punctuated by gorgeous harmonies from The Westerlies. It was a night filled with gratitude, amazement, love and hope for our Pacific Northwest.

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Top 7 Takeaways about Autonomous Cars

Wednesday evening saw around 100 curious folks pile into the Living Computers Museum and Lab in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. The subject is one of great and growing curiosity—autonomous cars, and the myriad ways they’ll effect our lives.

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Questioning Diversity

It’s a challenging moment in our country. In today’s harsh political calculus, diversity equals division, not addition, not multiplication. The way we see it, that’s wrong. We’re an organization of land advocates. Many of us were educated in biology and ecology. What you learn in those disciplines is that the healthiest, most resilient places are those with complexity.

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Hiking to Lake Serene

We arrived at the parking lot of the trailhead in the early morning hours. The air was crisp and the sky a bit overcast. It was my first time to Lake Serene and I was incredibly excited to make the 4.1 mile trek into the woods to see it with my own eyes.

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The Community of the Eclipse

I wrote this post as a Sunday interlude 6 days and 5 hours since after our clocks struck 10:20 a.m. Pacific Standard Time, Monday August 21, the exact moment that the moon passed precisely in front of the sun to create a shadow across the northwest, to a greater or lesser extent. By the time we post this, the media mania of the moment will be onto something else, which assuredly will not be anywhere near as benign as a solar eclipse.

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Invigorating our Local Food System

By playing to our strengths—land acquisitions—we’re teaming up with local organizations to invigorate the local food economy in South King County. Earlier this year Forterra partnered with International Rescue Community and Global to Local to build a new community garden in Kent’s West Hill neighborhood to serve local refugee, immigrant, and low-incomes families. What started as a thicket of blackberry is now a 10,500 square foot garden for thirty-five families next to a new fruit tree orchard.

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Talking and Walking in Kittitas County

Two days of conversation with leaders across Kittitas County and one day of hiking. For the last few months and particularly over two concentrated days, we met with business leaders, advocates, planners, developers, farmers, elected officials and tribal leaders; to name some. The conversations only barely scratched the surface of course—of the richness of the place and the challenges it faces.

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A Conservation Conversation

Green Everett Partnership volunteer and UW Bothell student, Candice Magbag, set to find out in her class on restoration ecology. In her final project, Candice covers the history of Forterra and her perspectives on conservation. Read her guest post and watch her video below.

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Development = Conservation

When you walk through South Lake Union, words you might think of include Amazon, Paul Allen, tech, REI, Vulcan, Pink Elephant, growth, MOHAI, development and… conservation? How our innovative program is transforming our region’s landscape.

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30 Years an Anchor of Place

Our first visit was in July 1985, short as it was. We were on our tandem and passing through, checking out places to get married. Our first stay was late April 1994, delightful as it was. By then, we had our two kids in tow, and Sina took her first steps on the cabin’s porch. We’ve been returning for a week most every year since.

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Hugelkultur

Hugelkultur, have you heard of it? It’s like active composting while growing plants. This approach is believed to have originated in Europe as a technique for growing plants in places with harsh climates and short growing seasons. Directly translating to “hill culture,” it’s not fully known whether the name came from the hill-like garden it creates, or because it originated in the hill-towns of Europe.

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Breakthrough at 23rd and Union will help sustain the historic Central District

Innovative land deal for “most controversial block in Seattle” makes a mark for inclusion and affordability in Seattle’s rapidly-changing Central District. Forterra teams with Africatown, Lake Union Partners, and Yesler Community Collaborative to make it possible.

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Empower Happy Hour

What are the most impactful personal and business choices you can make to fight climate change? We recently posed this question to over 50 people at Empower Happy Hour—an event we co-hosted with Green Canopy Homes designed to bring people together and spark conversation about topics that matter in our community.

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Fighting Climate Change One Tree at a Time

Over 2,000 trees were planted this year as a part of Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture program and we have a lot of people to thank for making it happen!

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Selling Out to Stick Around?

Acres of proverbial ink have been spilled parsing the nuances of my generation. Depending on who you ask, we’re either lazy, entitled, and waiting, palms up, for our participation trophies, or we’re going to save the planet with our empathy and generosity. We’re saddled with debt, we’re under-employed, and yes, some of us moved back to our parent’s houses.

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Let There Be Green!

The Pacific Northwest is known for its lush flora year round, but each spring we are again reminded of its awe-inspiring emerald qualities. This week we are singing the praises of a few of our favorite native plants in celebration of Native Plant Appreciation Week!

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A Backyard Cosmological Event

The weather so far this spring has been as dour and soggy as any of the past 37 that I’ve lived here in the PNW. This Saturday morning was different. Twenty-five days past the equinox and this mid-April day was leaning in and living up to its place on our Gregorian calendar. Accordingly, I was sitting and sunning outside, thinking about the cosmological event in miniature that I witnessed last summer.

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Forterra Statement on Confrontations at 23rd and Union

Forterra is committed to securing places that are keystones of a sustainable, equitable future in our region—from wildlands, to working farms and forests, to places in our cities for affordable housing, parks and cultural centers.

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