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Welcome to Green Cities!

August 10, 2009
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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.

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Best,

The Green Cities Team

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. ariava permalink
    August 12, 2009 6:37 pm

    Hi. Trying to post on my blog about your volunteer work party at Blueberry Park on August 15th, but i cannot find the time anywhere, here or on GTP – Cascade Land Conservancy site. Can you let me know please so I can update my blog. Thanks, Ariava
    http://www.seattleandthesound.wordpress.com

    • Norah permalink
      August 13, 2009 9:27 am

      The Blueberry Park work party will be from 9am to noon. From the Green Tacoma Partnership main site (www.greentacoma.org), click on the link that says “Upcoming Events” and from there click where it says “click here to view Green Tacoma Partnership upcoming events.” That will open the google calendar with date, time, and location information. Sorry it’s a little convoluted. Let me know if you still can’t find it!

  2. Connie Spangler permalink
    August 16, 2009 1:27 pm

    Hi-

    I am writing to ask if your organization is interested in the planning process that is taking place for Titlow Park.

    You may or may not be aware that the beach and waters along the south end of the park have been declared a marine sanctuary area. However, that protection stops at the north end of the park where the beach and park have been privatized for 50 years by means of a lease to the Tacoma Outboard Association (TOA).

    In researching documents on-line, I was unable to find any reference to past public input in regards to whether the north end of the park should have been privatized at all. Nor could I find any assessment on the market value of the lease. Initially it was $100 per year for five years in the 1950s. At present it is about $56,000 per year. Years ago the TOA fenced off the parking lot, picnic area and boat ramp that were not included in their lease. If you read the on-line documents carefully, it appears that the parks department plans to continue the lease (regardless of public comment), and change it from a year-to-year lease to a long term lease so that TOA can “improve” the buildings on its leased lands, which have “reached the end of their life span.” In addition, the Department of Revenue suggests that a hotel and restaurant be developed at the TOA site. In contrast, at the south end of the park, where public still has access, emphasis is on
    conservation, restoration of natural habitat, etc. A covered creek has been uncovered. The lagoon will be restored as juvenile fish habitat. The shoreline is a marine sanctuary area. The Titlow pool will be closed and demolished after a replacement pool has been built at Kandle Park (“to protect fish habitat”). There seems to be no connection between what is going on at the north end of the park (privatization and development) and the south end of the park.

    There are upcoming meetings on the Titlow Park “master planning process” on September 15 and October 13. Could you please consider sending representatives of your organization at the meeting to note what is going on with regards to developments at the north end of the park?

    You can find copies of documents and detailed information on the above at Tacoma Parks and Titlow Park websites.

    Thank you.

    Connie Spangler

    • Norah permalink
      August 18, 2009 12:57 pm

      Thanks for passing the word along. We have received this before, through the Green Tacoma Partnership. We don’t do advocacy (due to public funding) but we are happy to post the information. We’ll have something out on this later this week when our next posts go out. Good luck!!

  3. August 17, 2009 11:03 pm

    Good luck on your new blog! Looks like you are off to a good start! I sent you an email about printing flyers.

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