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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Reflections on Inauguration Day

Well friends, we have now had our 44th back-to-back peaceful transfer of power, to the 45th occupant of our Nation’s Presidential Office. We are six weeks shy of two centuries and twenty years since Washington handed the reigns to Adams. No coups, no assassinations by the opposition, no revolutions; but, yes, one immensely bloody civil war with scars still raw over 150 years later. Still, it is a remarkable history.

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Community members plant and restore local green spaces on MLK Jr. Day

Since 2007, I’ve spent MLK Day serving my community in any capacity than I can. I’ve helped restore trails with the Washington Trails Association. I’ve helped clean up a Boys and Girls Club. I’ve painted walls at a women’s shelter. This year, I wanted to join our Green Cities Partnership to learn more about their restoration efforts—and to get some work done.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Poet Emrys Foster

Poet Emrys Foster shares a piece entitled “Noctivagant: the Night Wanderer”

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2016 Ampersand Live: Photographer Amy Gulick

Photographer Amy Gulick’s curiosity fueled her search to figure out just why are there salmon in the trees—the answer might be “unbearable”

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2016 Ampersand Live: Poet Jourdan Imani Keith

Jourdan Imani Keith masterfully crafts poetry with storytelling. Things heat up as the battle between the children of water and the children of ice reaches a fever pitch.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Athlete Brandee Laird

Parkour athelte Brandee Laird shares a surprising story about how her athleticism made a serious difference in a stranger’s life.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Sketcher Gabriel Campanario

Gabriel Campanario uses his sketchpad to immortalize historic buildings the city has lost to development, to capture moments in time and to learn from the experiences of those he meets along the way. From angry turkeys and goats to kayaks, urban sketching turns even the mundane into an adventure.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Photographer Kevin Horan

Photographer Kevin Horan explores the way photography can give goats a human-like quality, showcasing their individual personalities.

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2016 Ampersand Live: David Schmader

David Schmader shares his 25 years of experiences in Seattle, describing the “Soul of Seattle” is what you first loved about Seattle when you came to this great ever changing City. This soul changes over time, but will continue to live on and evolve.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Tomo Nakayama

Tomo Nakayama shares his story and engages the crowd with heartfelt songs—a truly remarkable performance.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Filmmaker Jill Freidberg

Filmmaker Jill Freidberg explains a local Red Apple as more than a grocery store, but a community hub.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Artist John Grade

John Grade shares how his search for an “ordinary” tree develops into a community art project at Town Hall for Forterra’s Ampersand Live on 11/10/2016

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2016 Ampersand Live: Musician Evan Flory-Barnes

Evan Flory-Barnes expresses simultaneous resistance and openness to change in this beautifully crafted, emotionally charged, orchestral experience.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Architect Rick Mohler

Rick Mohler thinks outside of the box when it comes to neighborhood progression and change. He dares to ask what if we were to increase housing density and affordability in a way that benefits the entire neighborhood.

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2016 Ampersand Live: Performer Tracey Conway

Tracey Conway shares Brenda Peterson’s “The Secret City Life of Raccoons,” a story about the urban as well as adorable and mischievous critter.

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Seattle Asian Art Museum, Community and Magic

Building a sustaining community isn’t easy. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so rare. It’s takes thought, time, organic trial and error and a little of the undefinable, call it luck or even magic.

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Cedar River’s Mini Maple’s Story

This fall, Dre Anderson, our brand-new Communities Engagement Manager tromped out to the Cedar River near Renton to see firsthand the restoration work that Forterra is doing along the river. He was inspired to write this poem about a young maple sapling that he met that day.

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6 Things We Learned at the Cross Laminated Timber Forum

100 leaders from around Washington and the PNW gathered to celebrate a year of progress catalyzing a market for CLT.

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Return to the Forest, #OptOutside

This Black Friday, we’re joining our friends at REI to #OptOutside. Join us as we Return to the Forest! Grab your friends and family for a guided Bird, Bike & Hike in the Port Gamble Forest instead of hitting the stores. Bring the whole family—there is something for everyone!

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Ampersand Live 2016: Eclectic, funny and unexpectedly cathartic

Two days after the presidential election showed us how divided we are as a country, more than 700 people came together for an evening of stories, spoken word, photography, parkour and song.

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Facing a Dilemma: Homelessness & Public Lands

Every night, more than 3,000 people in our community have no indoor place to sleep or shelter from the elements; and this number is rising. Indeed, the City counts more than 690 unauthorized encampments, many of them on public land. This use of public land may be understandable, but it cannot be acceptable. It is not a solution for anyone.

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You Meet the Nicest People

I have returned to our state’s eastside numerous times this year, drawn by an incredible, long-loved ranch.  On a Thursday evening last July I spent the afternoon with the family who has called the ranch home for over 70 years.  We ended the conversation about 7:00 in the evening. 

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Is Anyone Here a Nurse (Log)?

We here in the Pacific Northwest are very lucky to have true old-growth forests in our midst, where Douglas Firs, Western Hemlocks, and Western Red Cedars have been standing for hundreds of years.

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Rogue Redux

It was like college again — which was a very long time ago indeed. Do the right thing and finish The Great Debate for my book club the following week, or float the Rogue? My answer too was much the same as 40 years ago — The Rogue, obviously.

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