Seattle has been recognized for its outstanding efforts to improve the city’s sustainability in American Forests’ new book, “Urban Forests Case Studies: Challenges, Potential, and Success in a Dozen Cities.” The book outlines urban forest activities in 12 major cities across the country and discusses the tactics each city uses to improve their urban forests.
Seattle has excelled in creating urban forestry partnerships, largely in part due to the highly successful Green Seattle Partnership: a collaboration between the City of Seattle, Forterra, and the public. The Partnership’s biggest strength is its ability to get the community involved in its work. In 2011 alone, volunteers dedicated over 80,000 hours to restoration work in local parks!The Green Cities Network is making waves on both a local and national scale. The success of the Green Seattle Partnership has spurred 5 other Puget Sound communities (Kirkland, Redmond, Kent, Tacoma, and Everett) to adopt the Green City model. All the way across the country, New York City has also used the Partnership as a model for their urban forest restoration efforts!
Seattle’s partnerships with various city departments also play a large role in the success of their sustainability efforts. As a part of their urban tree replacement program, Seattle City Light has planted nearly 8,000 trees and over 40,000 shrubs since 2000. They have also purchased upwards of 10,000 acres of land in order to protect wildlife habitat. Seattle Public Utilities has taken an interest in solving Seattle’s storm water problem and created the RainWise program to encourage residents to install green infrastructure, such as cisterns and rain gardens, on their property.
Way to go Seattle!