Across the Puget Sound more than 2,200 volunteers converged at area parks and green spaces from October 7 to November 21 to celebrate Green City Days. Now boasting nine cities, this annual event connects community members across all age, ethnic and economic backgrounds for a common goal—helping to keep our forested parks and green spaces environmentally healthy. This year participation was up 47% and plantings up 120%!
Cumulatively, these events planted more than 15,000 native plants. This work was completed by 2,221 volunteers who clocked a combined total of 6,663 volunteer service hours. Volunteers came from all over the region and represented high school Key Clubs, elementary school students, area colleges and businesses including REI, Boeing, HSBC, CLIF Bar, Patagonia, and Pacifica Law among others.
Volunteers expressed many positive experiences. “A fun and very rewarding morning. Times like this I am so proud to live in this community,” said a Green Everett Volunteer.
“It pulls me into nature while educating me about what I’m seeing, planting or pulling,” said Green Kent Volunteer.
“I can bring a friend, meet new friends and have fun while making a positive change in my community,” said a Green Puyallup Volunteer.
Green City Day events were made possible with support from city staff, volunteer Forest Stewards and more than 20 non-profit organizations, including Forterra, EarthCorps, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Student Conservation Association, Sound Salmon Solutions, Tilth Alliance, local Audubon chapters, and others. A special thanks for grants from HSBC Bank USA, N.A, Patagonia, and REI to support Green City Days.
Access to healthy parks is vital to our cities and quality of life. Green Cities Days are signature events for the Green City Partnerships representing the cities of Seattle, Redmond, Kirkland, Everett, Tukwila, Snoqualmie, Kent, Puyallup and Tacoma. Combined, these cities have a goal to restore 9,000 acres of forested parks and natural areas while building community through stewardship.
Each Green City has partnered with Forterra to established a community-based restoration program that brings together local non-profits, community groups, city agencies, neighborhood leaders, and local businesses to support healthy urban green spaces for the future of our region. For more information about the Green City Partnership, visit Forterra.
GREEN CITY DAY HIGHLIGHTS
Green Snoqualmie Day: Kicking off the Green City Days on October 7, the City of Snoqualmie hosted their first-ever Green Snoqualmie Day. With the help of 60 community volunteers, the City of Snoqualmie, Forterra, and Mountains to Sound Greenway, more than 650 native plants were added to improve the forest health at Snoqualmie Point Park and Meadowbrook Slough.
Green Tukwila Day: The City of Tukwila hosted their first Green Tukwila Day on October 14 by removing invasive English Ivy and planting 135 native plants at Tukwila Park. Forty four community members participated, ensuring a successful beginning to this important partnership.
Green Tacoma Day: On October 14, more than 304 volunteers planted 190 native trees and shrubs, including nearly 60 trees at Reed Elementary School. Volunteers also removed 3,350 square feet of invasive plants and spread 15 cubic yards of mulch across 14 restoration sites.
Green Kent Day: Held October 28 at the Puget Power Trail near the Green River Natural Area, a total of 120 volunteers planted more than 900 native plants, creating a forested buffer between the trail and the natural area. After the event volunteers from Farrington Court provided a complementary lunch.
Green Everett Day: Raising the bar, Green Everett was held on October 28 and saw almost a doubling of volunteers from last year. A total of 143 community members planting 790 natives plants at Forest Park.
Green Redmond Day: Also held on October 28, Green Redmond day attracted 94 community members who planted 1,135 native plants at three local parks. This was almost 500 more plants than last year, all helping to ensure Perrigo Park, Viewpoint Open Space and Westside Park remain gems of the city.
Green Puyallup Day: The third annual Green Puyallup Day was held on November 4. This year the event was again held at Silver Creek, Deadman’s Pond and Meeker Creek. Nearly 60 volunteers planted 100 trees and 40 native shrubs, while tackling stubborn invasive blackberry and spreading more than 10 cubic yards of mulch.
Green Seattle Day: Shattering all expectations, Green Seattle Day, held on November 4, attracted 1,258 volunteers, an increase of 300 participants from 2016. Even more astonishing was the 10,000 native trees and shrubs that were planted, representing an almost 60% increase over 2016. Volunteers worked at 22 different parks and achieved all of this success in 3 hours.
Green Kirkland Day: Last but not least, Green Kirkland Day was held on November 18. A total of 184 volunteers helped to plant more than 1,225 native plants, remove invasive plants and spread more than 18 cubic yards of mulch.