Green City Partnerships in SeaTac, Burien & Des Moines

Healthy forested parks and greenspaces have the power to strengthen neighborhoods, provide safe access to nature, and offer numerous valuable benefits to the environment. Without a coordinated effort to restore and care for our forests, we are at risk of losing many benefits these forests and natural areas provide.

Trees for Yards – Trees for Communities – Trees for YOU

Increasing tree cover starts at home!

Did you know 50% of the tree cover in SeaTac, Des Moines and Burien grows in yards and on private land? Protecting and helping increase tree cover starts at home. In support of this, residents in Burien, SeaTac and Des Moines are eligible to receive one free tree (per household) to plant in their yard.

The first pick-up event has been postponed in response to Covid-19! We are SO grateful to have about 200 households signed up to receive trees but this puts our event well over the Governor’s maximum.  Check back here for more details when they become available. Don’t worry, you will still get to take home your tree!

Residents MUST:

  • be a resident of Burien, SeaTac, or Des Moines and agree to plant their tree in their yard (not in a right of way or at another location).
  • determine which of the 6 available trees are right for their yard and can use our quiz to help them do this.
  • register via the online form before April 25, 2020.
  • be available to come pick up their tree on (DATE TBD). Contact us with concerns.
  • agree to plant, water, and care for their tree. The resident will take on all future maintenance of their tree.
  • Renters must have agreement from their landlord. We advise using our Landlord Letter for Tree Planting.


CommuniTrees participants receive:

  • Help selecting the right tree
  • A free tree
  • A watering bag & mulch for your tree
  • Training on proper planting and care
  • Ongoing care reminders


Steps to register:

  1. Look at your yard and determine where you want to plant your tree
  2. Take our online quiz and find out which tree is right for you
  3. Register for your tree by March 15, 2020 to qualify for this round of trees.

We will contact you once you’ve registered and let you know which tree you matched with. Details about the pickup will be available to registered participants and will be sent via email. 

*There will be another round of trees available in Fall 2020. The pick-up location will be in the Southern part of SeaTac or in Des Moines to better accommodate all residents.


Meet the Trees!


Landlord Letter for Tree Planting



CommuniTrees is a program of the Green Des Moines, Green SeaTac, and Green Burien Partnerships. It is funded by the Port of Seattle through the Airport Community Ecology Fund.
Photo by: Jim Avery

ACE Green City Partnerships

In 2018, with funding from the Port of Seattle Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund, Forterra began establishing new Green City Partnerships in SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines to restore and care for our local urban forests. This process will include:

  • Assessments of current tree canopy cover city-wide and forest health conditions in parks and natural areas
  • Community outreach and engagement to guide project prioritization and implementation
  • Developing a 20-year plan for restoring forests and increasing the number tree canopy across the three cities
  • Implementation of on the ground projects and volunteer programs to organize local neighbors and community groups to plant trees, remove invasive plant species and meet restoration goals.


What’s in a partnership?

Photo by: David Ka

In our network of 12 Green Cities (and growing), each city’s individual program relies on a network of individuals, organizations, staff, and volunteers. All partners are essential for the success of the project.

Our three newest Green Cities Partnerships in SeaTac, Burien, and DesMoines are forming their networks right now. On-the-ground urban forest stewardship projects plan to start later this year!

So far, Green SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines partners include:

Port of Seattle– In its work, the Port of Seattle has recognized a need for additional support for three of its neighboring cities impacted by airport operations. In our three cities, the Port of Seattle is funding the initiation of the Green Cities Partnerships in Burien, SeaTac and Des Moines through its Airport Community Ecology Fund.

Cities– Each city is assisting in the development of its own Green Cities Urban Forest Enhancement Plan tailored to their mission, vision, messaging, and capacity. City staff are involved in everything from planning to implementation and planting of trees and will continue to support the work of these long-term plans.

Forterra – a regional nonprofit with a mission to act with immediacy to protect, enhance, and steward Washington’s most precious resources—its communities and its landscapes. Forterra’s Green City Partnerships are dedicated to creating healthy, livable cities by stewarding our region’s urban trees, forested parks, and natural areas. Forterra has launched Green City Partnerships in 12 cities across the Puget Sound region. Forterra will guide planning and will help coordinate stewardship activities in SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines.

Other key partners play an essential role in defining the goals of the partnership, volunteering in their community, offering their expertise, and increasing canopy cover by planting trees in their yard or patios:

  • Global to Local /Community Liaisons
  • Highline School District
  • Elected Officials
  • Non-profit and Community Groups
  • Businesses
  • ACE Small Matching Grants Recipients
  • Religious Groups
  • Youth Groups & Clubs
  • Landowners
  • Individuals like YOU


Contact us to receive updates and more information about upcoming events and opportunities to get involved. 

Get involved

Healthy Forest Benefits:

  • Improve air and water quality
  • Reduce stormwater runoff and erosion
  • Buffer noise
  • improve property values
  • Create habitat for wildlife
  • Improve mental and physical health
  • Convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and reduce global warming


About Green City Partnership

Green City Partnerships bring together community members, local governments, businesses, schools and nonprofits to improve quality of life and connections to nature by planting and caring for trees in forested parks, natural areas, neighborhoods, and other spaces throughout the city. To date, Forterra has launched nine Green Cities Partnerships, including Seattle, Tacoma, Kirkland, Redmond, Kent, Everett, Puyallup, Tukwila and Snoqualmie. The Green City Partnerships combined have logged over 1 million volunteer hours since 2005!