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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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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Taking Back Cedar River

The health of Cedar River—and its inhabitants—has been continually threatened by knotweed, an invasive plant that overtakes riverbanks, squeezes out native species and can quickly destroy properties and ecosystems. Forterra’s successful restoration efforts aim to give salmon and orca a fighting chance.

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Our Magical Intellectual Circus

Identity. Caribou. Social justice. Brass. Dogs. Climate change. Sasquatch. Hope. More than 1300 people joined us at the Moore Theater for Ampersand LIVE, our evening of storytelling about people and place, and there are so many unforgettable moments.

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Putting Down Roots

Almost 1,900 volunteers converged to celebrate Green City Days at parks and green spaces across Puget Sound this fall. They planted more than 11,500 native plants. There are now twelve cities in the Green City Partnerships—Everett, Kent, Kirkland, Puyallup, Redmond, Seattle, Snoqualmie, Tacoma, Tukwila, SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines—and these annual events give volunteers a wonderful opportunity to help restore their local natural areas while building community through stewardship.

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Saving Lake Serene

Forterra officially closed on the last-remaining privately owned section of the popular Lake Serene Trail in October 2018. Thanks to massive community support, the purchase of this 190-acre property preserved the trees along the trail and guaranteed permanent public access to Lake Serene Trail’s breathtaking views, waterfalls, and reflective alpine lake—forever.

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Forterra awarded Olmsted Medal

Forterra was recently awarded the prestigious Olmsted Medal of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Conferred annually at ASLA’s national conference, the Olmsted Medal is one of the Society’s premier honors.

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Vote ‘Yes’ on 1631 for a Cleaner, Healthier Washington

Pollution and climate change are threatening Washington’s health, communities, economy and landscapes, and without action the challenges we face will only get more grim. Initiative 1631, which is on the statewide ballot this November, could help us make crucial moves to fight back. It’s time we stand up for our land and our future, and secure a better Washington for our generation and generations to come.

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See the Forest for the Teas

With fall just around the corner, try out some teas made from plants native to our local forests! Douglas fir, Grand fir, Stinging nettle, and Nootka rose are all great options, and the process is relatively simple.

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