Perspectives — Rural

Working with a range of rural community leaders and residents, we envision vibrant town centers, access to locally grown food, and new opportunities for economic growth and development based in our rural communities.

Snohomish County Decision Broadens Conservation Options

A vote by the Snohomish County Council last week amended zoning along the Highway 99 corridor between Lynnwood and Everett to encourage more compact development near transit, expanding options for farmland conservation by adding areas where new construction can take advantage of a program called transfer of development rights.

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Salamanders & Science at Hazel Wolf Wetlands

Citizen Scientists on Woodland Park Zoo’s Amphibian Monitoring Team saw newts, salamanders and frogs at Forterra-conserved Hazel Wolf Wetlands in Sammamish. Check out the photos they documented for science.

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Local Trees for a Global Problem

This year, over two dozen companies participated in ECC. Thanks to them, we planted a whopping 3,330 trees, which, over the next 100 years, will absorb at least 16,650 tons of CO2! The native northwestern conifers we plant absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, effectively offsetting the emissions of program participants. Because we plant locally, the trees also bring the region a host of additional benefits, including stormwater retention, animal habitat and making this place more beautiful.

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Cross Laminated Timber Bill Passes Legislature

Washington State is poised to be a national leader in mass timber construction with the passage of SB 5450, which will support the expanded use of Cross Laminated Timber and other mass timber products. The legislation requires the State Building Code Council to adopt rules for the use of mass timber products for residential and commercial building construction.

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Forterra, King County Parks partner to secure a forested 155-acre Enumclaw Foothills property

We teamed up with King County Parks to secure a one-time private wedding venue that will serve as a critical gateway to the recreational trails in the 80,000-acre White River Forest. The land features healthy forests, large meadows and a small lake, and is home to black bear, cougar, bobcat, plus numerous bird species and other wildlife.

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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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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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Invasive Species Awareness Week

On a basic level, most invasive species are non-native organisms (plant, animal, insect, etc.) that have been ‘introduced’ into an environment. This year, in honor of Invasive Species Awareness Week, we asked the experts what their “favorite” invasive is and the gory details behind their love-hate relationship with these plants.

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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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Brownfield to Keystone: Ellensburg’s new fire station

Ellensburg’s new fire station rose up in place of a truck weigh station that left the soil contaminated with petroleum. The endangered salmon creek that runs past it is being restored, too.

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Bringing community together to get ahead of growth in Everett

About 100 city and county leaders gathered earlier this month in Everett to discuss a vision for the redevelopment and revitalization of the neighborhood surrounding Everett Station. Walking through the area today, a pedestrian passes light industry and warehouses, vacant lots, and pockets of crime and homelessness.

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Earth Day 2016: Take a “paws” to be inspired

In this 46th year of Earth Day celebration, there has never been a more adorable, fluffy, and slobbery champion. The Conservation Canines team, based out of the University of Washington, spends a lot of time thinking outside of the box to solve complex issues.

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Cultivating crops, cultivating community in Tukwila

Namaste Garden in Tukwila is doubling in size just in time for its sixth growing season. Community members and Forterra staff volunteered to help expand the garden.

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A conversation about growing food in a growing region

A family farmer, an agrihood manager and an edible yard landscaper talk food, preserving land and how raising chickens can build community at Forterra’s Seed & Feed speaker event.

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Saving a farm from development in Arlington

Learn how Forterra purchased Riverbend Farm to return a subdivision to farming. Meet the third generation farmer who will purchase the property.

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Cedar River: holding strong

As knotweed is removed along the Cedar River, butterfly bush is on the rise. Learn how volunteers play an important role in fighting these weeds and improving the river’s health.

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Our editorial about cross-laminated timber in The Puget Sound Business Journal

Developing a cross-laminated timber pipeline in Washington is one step toward advancing our region as a leader in the movement for great cities and sustainability.

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A focus on safety in Tukwila

Over 70 community members—both young and old—representing five language groups, police officers and fire fighters participated in meaningful conversation.

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Strength in Timbers

Washington researchers, architects and rural town boosters see promise, and possibly sustainability, in an engineered wood product called cross-laminated timber, or CLT.

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Pierce County farm tour

Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries—oh my! Forterra Regional Leader Amanda Nathan reminisces of a berry-filled childhood in Pierce County while addressing Forterra’s conservation projects working to protect farms and encourage economic prosperity in the South Sound.

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In Pierce County, a wetland provides an escape into nature

A walk through the Morse Wildlife Preserve transports you to a different world. It’s thanks to the dedicated volunteers who have worked over the past 20 years to turn this space into a community treasure.

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