GREEN CITY DAYS 2017 BREAKS RECORDS

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

 Photo by Jim Avery 

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.

  Photo by Espresso Buzz Photography

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.

 Photo by Jefferson Mok

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.


Photo by Matt Mega 

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.

Photo by Jim Avery

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.

Photo by Jefferson Mok

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.

 

VOLUNTEERS PLANT MORE THAN 6,400 NATIVE PLANTS TO CELEBRATE GREEN CITY DAYS

More than 1,500 volunteers converged at area parks and natural areas during the months of October and November for Green City Day celebrations across the Puget Sound area. Seven cities participated.  This year marked two milestones: the oldest Green City, Seattle, is celebrating its 11th anniversary and, Tukwila and Snoqualmie officially launched their programs.

A total of 6,459 native plants were planted, 49,395 square feet of invasive plant material was removed and 45 cubic yards of mulch was spread. This work was completed by 1,575 volunteers who clocked a combined total of 4,734 volunteer service hours. Volunteers came from all over the region and represented high school Key Clubs, Boy Scouts of America, elementary school students, area colleges and businesses including eBay, Homegrown, Brooks, REI and Boeing to name just a few.

Green Cities Days are part of the Green City Partnerships representing the cities of Seattle, Redmond, Kirkland, Everett, Tukwila, Snoqualmie, Kent, Puyallup and Tacoma. These cities have a goal to restore 9,000 acres of forested parks and natural areas while building community through stewardship.

“Our goals are for a sustainable, volunteer led program where our natural open spaces are improved and healthy, with invasive species eradicated from those areas and thriving native trees and shrubs have reassumed a dominate role in our forest composition,” says Chris Beale of the City of Puyallup.

Restored forested parks and natural areas mitigate urban flooding, helps clean air and water resources, provides home for wildlife and allows people to connect with nature.

For more information about the Green City Partnership, visit the partnership’s founding organization Forterra.

Green Tacoma Day: Held October 1 at 9 sites across the City. Green Tacoma had 130 volunteers who planted 80 native trees and shrubs, including several large trees at Titlow Park. Volunteers also removed 2,500 square feet of invasive plants and spread 25 cubic yards of mulch.

2016-green-tacoma-day-photo-by-matt-mega

Green Kent Day: Held October 22 at Morrill Meadows Park. With beautiful sunshine as the backdrop, 123 volunteers removed more than 32,000 square feet of invasive plants, planted 102 native shrubs and spread more than 20 cubic yards of mulch.

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Green Everett Day: Postponed for one week due to the predicted storm of the century, Green Everett Day was held on October 22 and boasted 80 volunteers who planted 477 native plants and spread more than 300 cubic yards of mulch.

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Green Redmond Day: The event on October 29 attracted 109 volunteers at three parks. While the wind and rain tried to dampen spirits, students from John James Audubon Elementary School and other volunteers planted 708 native plants.

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Green Kirkland Day: Even wind and rain could not stop the 115 dedicated volunteers at Green Kirkland Day. Held on November 12 at 4 city parks across Kirkland, volunteers removed 3,232 square feet of invasive plants and planted 630 native plants.  Lynn Zwaagstra, Kirkland Parks and Community Services Director, reflected on how the “work by volunteers shows a tangible impact.”

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Green Puyallup Day: The second annual Green Puyallup Day was held on November 5.  This year the event expanded from 1 site to 3 with more than 60 volunteers removing invasive plants and planting native trees and shrubs. A total of 11,000 square feet of invasive blackberry was removed and 170 native plants were added to the understory habitat at Meeker and Silver creeks.

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Green Seattle Day: Held on November 12 across 15 sites, Green Seattle Day attracted 958 participants. More than 300 volunteers descended on Camp Long.  Over the course of 3 hours, volunteers planted an amazing 4,392 native plants.

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In addition to the official Green City Days above, the cities of Snoqualmie and Tukwila held special inaugural events to kick off their Green City Partnerships.

Green Tukwila and Duwamish Alive: Working side by side with the Duwamish Alive Coalition, two sites in Tukwila attracted 158 volunteers and planted more than 1,000 native plants. More than 5,000 square feet of invasive plants was also removed and 100 cubic yards of mulch was spread.

In Snoqualmie two restoration events were held that attracted 46 volunteers, removed 3,600 square feet of invasive plants, planted 54 native plants and spread 300 cubic yards of mulch.