Perspectives — Urban

Our work takes us across the state—and in our own backyard. We secure lands in our cities for affordable housing, the arts, access to transit and parks.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Love Trees? Become a Tree Ambassador!

Trees for Seattle is excited to announce that we are accepting applications for new Tree Ambassadors! Tree Ambassadors are volunteers who help care for and protect Seattle’s trees.

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Keystone Urban Real Estate

As part of our work to secure places that are keystones of a positive future around Puget Sound, Forterra is helping groups in the community that are trying to acquire land for needs like affordable housing, local small businesses, arts and cultural centers, and urban agriculture.

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Forterra and Africatown make an offer at 23rd & Union

Forterra and Africatown Community Land Trust are working together to secure a continued place for the historically-black community in Seattle’s Central District. We hope to team in the redevelopment of Midtown Center, a 2.4-acre property at 23rd & Union, and have made a proactive, pragmatic offer to purchase the property after another buyer’s offer was withdrawn.

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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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Winter Weekends at SAM’s Olympic Sculpture Park Kicks Off

More than 50 children (and their parents) gathered at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park on Sunday for art making, movie watching and some science learning. Forterra partnered with Seattle Art Museum (SAM) and Pacific Science Center for the launch of this year’s first Kid’s Saturday of Winter Weekends at the park.

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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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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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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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Facing a Dilemma: Seattle’s Home-Insecurity & 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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5 Things We Took Away from “Working Forest, Changing Climate, New Investments?”

“Seed & Feed: Affordable Housing, Stretching the Possibilities” brought together voices from the affordable housing community for a discussion on the present achievements and potential of affordable housing in Seattle.

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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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5 Things We Learned About Affordable Housing

“Seed & Feed: Affordable Housing, Stretching the Possibilities” brought together voices from the affordable housing community for a discussion on the present achievements and potential of affordable housing in Seattle.

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