SEATTLE, WA — The Green Seattle Partnership, a collaboration including Forterra and the City of Seattle, invites local neighbors to celebrate Green Seattle Days, a week of virtual exploration, learning and celebration of our urban forests. The festivities kick off Nov. 7 and go through Nov. 13. Learn more and see what other cities are doing by visiting the Green Cities Days website.
Green Seattle Days will launch on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 a.m. with an Instagram livestream of youth-led native plantings at seven South Seattle parks: Pigeon Point, Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, Westcrest park, Maplewood Playfield, Herring’s House, Seward Park, and the East Duwamish Greenspace. For the remainder of the week, Green Seattle Days will host a series of socially distanced, on-your-own community actions for neighbors to participate in, explore and connect with — each day with a specific ecosystem theme.
“This year is the 15th Green Seattle Day,” said Lisa Ciecko, a Green Seattle Partnership Plant Ecologist with Seattle Parks and Recreation. “While we can’t all gather to plant forests and grow community, we can gain a new appreciation for our forests through learning and exploration.”
Due to COVID-19, all Green City Days events will move to virtual platforms or socially distanced, on-your-own activities. Residents who would like to volunteer should visit the Green Cities Days website to learn more.
Managing urban forests during a pandemicHealthy urban forests, parks and green spaces offer critical mental, physical and environmental health benefits like clean air and improved water quality. These spaces need management to remain healthy and strong.
“We knew we had to adjust when the pandemic hit,” said Michelle Connor, Forterra president and CEO. “Even a month away from a park and you’ll see invasive plants returning, putting our trees at risk. Our work couldn’t wait. We were able to establish this work as an essential service, allowing key staff to continue needed management throughout the region.”
Forterra announced that after a six-month hold on volunteer events, Green City volunteer events will return this fall. Volunteers will need to follow a series of COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing a mask, maintaining distance and not sharing tools.
“I’m really excited and grateful to have the opportunity to work outdoors with the Green Seattle Partnership in a COVID-safe manner and get my hands dirty helping our urban forests thrive,” said Danielle Lavit, a youth lead for Green Seattle Partnership. “I’ve been missing restoration work a great deal, so I’m so thrilled to get back to it soon.”
Green City Partnerships
Green City Partnerships began in 2004 when the city of Seattle and Forterra joined in a commitment to restore and maintain the city’s 2,500 acres of forested parkland over the next 20 years. The program harnesses the power of communities to create a culture of volunteerism and stewardship to protect local forested parks and maintain a healthy tree canopy. Each partnership brings together local nonprofits, community groups, city agencies, neighborhood leaders, and local businesses to support healthy forested parks. The Green City Partnerships combined log over 115,000 volunteer hours and more than 1,000 stewardship events each year. In its success, the program has expanded across the region to 14 cities and one county.
Senior Communications Manager, Forterra
Communications Manager, Seattle Parks & Recreation
Forterra is a Washington-based nonprofit that enhances, supports, and stewards the region’s most precious resources — its communities and its ecosystems. Forterra conserves and stewards land, develops innovative policies, and supports sustainable rural and urban development. In its 30-year history, Forterra has helped conserve more than 250,000 acres. Its work stretches from the farmlands and river canyons of Yakima to the estuaries and forests of Washington’s coastline, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, and towns. Visit www.forterra.org.