Forterra Awards Community Restoration Grant to Partner in Employment in South King County 

Forterra’s new grants program engages local communities to restore land across the state.


  • Partner in Employment (PIE) receives $25,000 Community Restoration Grant to support Youth Restoration Training Crew 
  • PIE’s next Training Crew cohort begins February 13 
  • Next funding round of Forterra’s Community Restoration Grants opens March 1 

Seattle, Wash. – February 12, 2024 – Forterra has rewarded Partner in Employment (PIE) $25,000 to support its Youth Restoration Training Crew, a paid training program to support career journeys to the environmental field for immigrant and refugee youth living in King County. 

“Partner in Employment (PIE) extends gratitude for being awarded the $25,000 Community Restoration Grant. This grant will fund the Fall 2024 Cohort of our Youth Restoration Training Crew,” said Emilene Castillo, Environmental Program Manager for PIE.  “Our commitment is to persistently overcome obstacles and uplift the immigrant and refugee community in King County. PIE takes pride in actively contributing to the local community and their environmental well-being through restoration. Thank you to Forterra and the One Square Fund!” 

PIE’s Restoration Training Crew works in South King County Parks where they learn restoration techniques and job skills and benefit from environmental education. PIE’s next Training Crew cohort begins February 13, and Forterra’s Community Restoration Grant will fund the fall cohort. 

“Partner in Employment is removing historical barriers and opening access to a variety of environmental careers, said Michelle Connor, Forterra President and CEO. Historically, environmental and restoration training has been unpaid or under-paid making it inaccessible to many. PIE’s on-the-ground approach removes barriers providing hands-on, paid training. Forterra is proud to support PIE’s work with a Community Restoration Grant.” 

Forterra’s new Community Restoration Grants program focuses on restoring land in urban and suburban areas, promoting native plant diversity and engaging the community in local environmental issues. Forterra sees firsthand the urgent need to protect lands that improve quality of life and engage local communities to improve our region’s resiliency against climate change. Through Community Restoration Grants to organizations like PIE, together we can take local action to combat the global challenge of climate change.  

Grant applications open March 1 for the next round of funding.   


Sandi Peck 
(206) 204-8064 


Partner in Employment (PIE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aims to address the challenges of employment among refugees and immigrants in Washington. PIE’s staff, board members, and volunteers bring a deep understanding of the diverse needs of South King County’s new communities. Thanks to the hard work of our diverse faculty, and philanthropic efforts of our donors, we are able to create livable wage employment opportunities for immigrants and refugees in Washington State. By providing in-language, culturally-competent program designs that responsively support the goals of each client, we are able to build sustainable self-reliance in the immigrant and refugee community. 


Forterra is an unconventional land trust that works across Washington’s communities and landscapes, from the ranches and shrub-steppe of the Yakima basin to the estuaries, farms and forests of Washington’s coast, reaching more than 100 counties, cities, towns and rural communities. Working cooperatively with people and nature, Forterra drives land stewardship, management and planning; innovative programs and policies; farming and forestry approaches; community ownership opportunities; and development solutions. Visit 


Forterra Community Restoration Grants is a new community restoration grant program for urban and suburban cities in Washington State supported by the One Square Fund. It instills knowledge about and promotes the use of native plants in environmental restoration. The program encourages community-driven solutions, creates career pathways for youth, and invests in communities with lower household incomes and greater health disparities. Applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a Tribal entity within Washington state.  


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