Free Restoration Planning Workshop

WSU King County extension is offering a free two-part workshop in Carnation on Thursday, September 17th, and Saturday, September 19th. Experts will go over choosing the right plants for your site, getting started on a restoration plan, invasive plant identification/best management practices, and monitoring, and will bring the group to visit two sites in Fall City – one the needs restoration, and one that has been recently restored by King Conservation District.

This workshop is free, but please pre-register here.


Greg McPherson on sustainable urban forests

Pretty much every academic paper I’ve  ever read on the values of urban forests, whether they be economic, environmental or social, has had urban forester Greg McPherson as a co-author.   So, I wasn’t surprised to hear him talking about urban forests on EarthSky earlier this week.  He mentions the benefits urban forests bring to cities, but emphasizes the need for taking care of these forests over the long haul.

“Too often in the past, urban forests have been a short-term thing, where there hasn’t been a commitment and an interest to creating an enduring value through tree planting and stewardship.”

I’d like to emphasize the “in the past” part of his claim — the development of 20-year Forest Management Plans and the overall success of the Green Cities programs shows that values are changing to emphasize stewardship and longevity.

Behind the Scenes in the Green Cities Office

This is my desk at the Cascade Land Conservancy main office in Seattle, where I work for the Green Cities program every day.  While this sunny window might face a brick wall, I actually do get to go out and visit our field sites every so often.  There are seven other Green Cities staff members at CLC working on our Partnerships in Seattle, Tacoma, Kirkland, Redmond and future cities.  Maybe we can take a look at what they are doing sometime soon…

Norah's Desk

1. Really beautiful salmon poster I won in the raffle at last year’s Storming the Sound environmental education conference.

2. Window into the GIS area.

3. Photo from working with the Washington Conservation Corps crew last year at Blueberry Park in Tacoma, and a sweet thank-you note from Charlotte.

4. Photo of accepting a giant check from REI at last year’s Green Tacoma Day.

5. Postcard from the people who visited our office from the Japan Ecosystem Society!

6. Cds on my desk right now: The Cave Singers, Grand Archives, Neko Case, Lou Reed.

7. Flyer with this year’s work party schedule in Kirkland.

8. Files: work logs, volunteer sign-in sheets, maps for site visits, drafts for the new brochure, flyers and other materials for taking to outreach booths, newletters, the list goes on . . .

9. Photo of Obama giving a fist-bump to a little kid. Amazing.

10. Tube for carrying posters to Kinko’s to get laminated.

11. Tea. Essential.

12. Map of coffee shops in Redmond for dropping off flyers last week.

13. Demo animals Sydney and I made at our kids’ craft outreach booth at Arts in the Parks at Redmond City Hall.

14. Management plans, policy documents, scrap paper shelf, and older files.

15. The infamous notebook. Also essential, but not as essential as tea.

Productively yours,

OSU e-campus to offer urban forestry course this fall

FOR 350 Urban Forestry (3) will be available this fall through Oregon State University’s award winning e-campus. This online course is listed as an “introduction to principles and practices of planting and managing trees as a system of urban environment; understanding the economic, environmental, social aspects of urban forests, and an overview of contemporary land use issues and societal perspectives between people and plants.”

For more information, contact OSU Extended Campus, 800-667-1465 or

Save the date: Green Tacoma Day September 26, 2009

Green Tacoma Day 2008Discover Tacoma’s Natural Treasures at the 2nd annual Green Tacoma Day to be held on September 26th in conjunction with National Public Lands Day.
–  Join thousands of other Americans across the country celebrating National Public Lands Day.
–  Help protect and restore your favorite local park, gulch, shoreline and garden.
–  Learn more about your favorite recreation destination from experienced Habitat Stewards.
–  Discover something new by taking a walking, hiking, or bike tour of Tacoma’s Natural Areas.

More information to come at

Welcome to Green Cities!

Hello and welcome to the brand-new blog for the Green City Partnerships! We are a collection of public-private partnerships operating in the Puget Sound region of Washington State. We hope that this blog will encourage more communication about urban natural areas and engage more of our community in restoration.

The mission of the Green City Partnership Network is to advance healthy natural open space in urban areas, and to empower people to be agents of change in their communities. We do restoration and maintenance on public natural spaces both for the benefits of “green services” like stormwater retention, carbon sequestration, and wildlife habitat, and also in order to provide cities with spaces where nature can be appreciated close at hand. We rely on a growing network of amazing volunteers to do much of the work from Seattle to Tacoma to Kirkland to Redmond and beyond.

We are all connected, but we don’t always feel that way. One way that the Green City Partnerships help to build community is by bringing people together, physically, around the stewardship of natural open space. Another way is to facilitate more dialogue within and between our programs. We have so much knowledge now among all of our partners, we wanted to share it with each other. This blog was created for all of the Green City Partnerships to share information; keep each other informed about topics related to urban natural space locally, regionally, nationally, and globally; and create a more multi-directional dialogue about the great work that we are doing together. Sometimes it’s helpful to remember that while we are pulling ivy on one acre of neighborhood park, we are working towards something much bigger: a healthier urban environment in our region and a stewardship community to sustain it into the future.

Here’s a great piece of wisdom from our friends at Nature in the City in San Francisco:

“Human and natural communities are all characterized by interconnectedness, interdependence, diversity, adaptability, sense of place and mutual aid and responsibility. True long-term local urban ecological sustainability is dependent upon blurring the distinction between human and natural communities – on the development and mutual coevolution of a healthy and restorative local human-nature relationship.”

(Nature in the City is a project of Earth Island Institute, an organization dedicated to ecological conservation, restoration, and stewardship of the Franciscan bioregion)

Please check this space for upcoming articles on news from our programs, stories about urban natural areas at home and around the world, native plants from our region, frequently asked questions, behind the scenes at Green Cities, and volunteer spotlights. We hope you’ll like what you find and we look forward to your comments.



The Green Cities Team