Yet another reason our urban forests are such an important part of the City: they help improve the lives of people living with dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, every 68 seconds someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s hard to change the statistics regarding memory loss, but Seattle Parks and Recreation is trying to change the memory loss story. By offering programming specifically designed to comfort, engage, and inspire people suffering from memory loss, recreation specialist Mari Becker says, “We are part of the movement to transform what it means to be living with dementia.”
Programming includes going for walks in the parks, watercolor classes, and other activities to be added this spring. Participants really appreciate the social aspect: “Living with memory loss doesn’t have to mean staying at home, feeling isolated,” Becker said. Being outside and experiencing nature is also known to help Alzheimer’s patients, including improving sleep patterns and decreasing aggression.
By volunteering in a forested park, you can help make sure we have healthy, safe, natural public spaces for these kinds of programs, and for everyone in the City. Click here to volunteer with the Green Seattle Partnership.
Join the Green Seattle Partnership to celebrate and restore Seattle’s beautiful forested parks for the 8th annual Green Seattle Day on Saturday, November 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm! Green Seattle Day is made possible by the City of Seattle as well as the generosity of our lead corporate sponsor, Odwalla.
Green Seattle Day is a meaningful way to connect with nature and create a healthy and vibrant community by planting native trees and shrubs in a park near you. The event takes place in 17 parks city-wide. Seattle’s own West Duwamish Greenbelt is this year’s central hub site, which will be hosted by Nature Consortium and Forterra.
The Green Seattle Partnership is a collaboration between the City of Seattle, non-profit partners, and thousands of committed volunteers that seek to create a sustainable network of healthy forested parklands by removing invasive species and replanting with native shrubs and trees. Without a coordinated effort, Seattle is at risk of losing 70% of its forests in just 20 years.
Green Seattle Day is a celebration of Seattle’s 2500 acres of forested parks, the committed neighbors who care for them, and the kick-off event for the 2012-2013 restoration planting season. We supply all tools and supplies. So, grab a water bottle, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to have fun in the forest! We are sure you will leave the parks with a smile on your face. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Learn more and REGISTER for your preferred park at www.greenseattle.org. If your company or organization is interested in participating as a volunteer team, contact Kim Frappier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Redmond Day will be a kickoff to planting season, with tree-planting work parties at parks around the city, as well as a celebration of our urban forest and the importance of trees in our community. Volunteers can join in the fun to help restore a healthy urban forest to city parks and be a part of the Green Redmond Partnership. A big thank you goes out to REI for making this day possible through a generous grant.
For more information on Green Redmond Day, stay tuned to this blog post and www.greenredmond.org.
We can’t wait to plant with you in October!
- the Green Redmond team
Last month the United State Geological Survey (USGS) published an analysis that highlighted a successful remediation project in D.C. in the Chesapeake Bay drainage system. This remediation effort not only restored a degraded stream, but solved sewage problems, provided green space, and created jobs. This is a perfect example of the “Power of Partnerships” around the nation and how restoration work can help create healthy ecosystems while supporting the local infrastructure and economy.
This remediation project was located in the Watts Branch of the Anacostia River that had been severely eroded. It is considered one of the most “urbanized watershed in the Chesapeake Bay’s drainage basin.” The project focused on restoring a stream channel to increase fish habitat and prevent sediment from being deposited throughout the watershed.
During this project, old sewer lines were replaced and relocated to prevent sewage leaks. This whole project supported provided $1.1 million in labor income and increased the value of the local underserved community by $1.9 million.
The project area was identified as a priority site by the America Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO). Many more areas were identified around the nation by the AGO, such as the Pacific Northwest Trail and Lower Columbia Water Trail in Washington State.
A fellow nonprofit, Washington Parks and People, worked on the site’s master plan for revitalization. They also work to revive D.C. communities through greening initiatives. Great job guys!
This past Saturday we had a great plant ID and forest association walk at the Northwest Native Plant Garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma with twenty community members participating!
Located in a well-maintained native plant garden, this identification walk focused primarily on native plants, their natural associations with other plants, and the kinds of habitat they prefer. The Northwest Native Plant Garden was an ideal location for this type of walk because it features designed habitats such as the forest garden (semi-shade), the pond garden (wet areas and margin), the waterfall garden (moist shade), the woodland garden (dry shade), and the meadow (dry sun).
Participants received information about plant propagation and then learned how to identify many plants that propagate well. From those recommended in the Green Tacoma Partnership Habitat Steward Field Guide, we learned how to identify black twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), various roses (Rosa spp.), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), willow (Salix spp.), spirea (Spiraea douglasii), oceanspray (Holodiscus discolor), Indian-plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), mock-orange (Philadelphus lewisii), red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), and western redcedar (Thuja plicata).
The next plant identification walk is scheduled for Saturday, June 15th at Oak Tree Park (sign up). As an active restoration site, participants will not only be able to hone their native plant ID skills, but there will also be ample opportunity to learn more about invasive plants commonly found in urban forests and greenspaces and the best way to manage those. As we progress through the year and plants begin to flower, fruit and develop seeds, we will offer educational walks and workshops on seed collection and dispersal. All of these educational opportunities, as well as regular volunteer work parties where you can join friends, family and neighbors in improving the community can be found through CEDAR. Sign up online and invite your friends!
This educational opportunity was made possible through funding from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry program.
Washington State faces climate change impacts that include sea level rise, temperature increases, and changes in precipitation. The conservation and restoration of our valuable urban forests becomes increasingly important in addressing these changes by mitigating storm water impacts from increased precipitation, reducing temperatures, and sequestering carbon. Limited information has been available to guide decisions on species selection for urban forest restoration, seed source selection and other management practices. The Green City Partnerships, with support from the US Forest Service, partnered with the University of Washington’s College of the Environment to evaluate climate change impacts on habitat suitability of native tree species that are commonly used for restoration of urban forests in the Puget Sound region. Climate change impacts were assessed using climate envelope modeling and seed transfer zones as well as through creation of future plant hardiness zone maps.
This research, led by Dr. Soo-Hyung Kim of the UW’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, suggests clear impacts from climate change on three native tree species. Climate conditions that make up the current seed transfer zones of western redcedar, western hemlock and Douglas-fir are likely to change radically within western Washington or, in some cases, nearly disappear towards the end of the century. In addition, the research team found that plant hardiness zones are likely to rise by a half zone in the Puget Sound area. This means that the Puget Sound area is projected to experience an increase of 5 to 6 degrees F in annual minimum temperatures. This implies that less hardy species may be able to grow in the region and could alter ecological dynamics in urban forests. These findings have implications for how we choose current and future planting materials for urban forest restoration sites.
We hope this research fuels further discussion and research into restoration strategies to mitigate climate change impacts to Puget Sound’s urban forests. To find research summaries on Seed Transfer Zones, Plant Hardiness Zone Maps, or to view the full report, go to the Green Cities research webpage: http://www.forterra.org/what_we_do/build_community/green_cities/green_cities_research
April 27th is officially Neighborday, so we’d like to salute all of the awesome things that Green Cities volunteers are doing in their neighborhoods all year. Bringing people together, building community, creating meaningful and welcoming public spaces, improving our urban environmental health . . . the list goes on.
The website GOOD has included a lot of coverage lately leading up to Neighborday, inviting folks across the country to “a global celebration of the people with whom we share space.” They’ve posted some theoretical pieces on what makes good “neighboring”, and a hands-on toolkit with things you can download to get started with your own ideas. Neighborday is being celebrated across the country with fun events like pot-lucks, skill-shares, scavenger hunts, and art projects.
Want to celebrate Neighborday by volunteering in your local neighborhood natural area? Check out Green Seattle, Tacoma, Kirkland, Redmond, Kent, and Everett‘s websites for the next chance to jump in on a work party.
Get out and meet your neighbors! Happy Neighborday from the Green Cities Network.