2018 Summit

On march 28th the Green City Partnership communities came together for their annual Summit. This years theme was “Going Beyond Parks”

One of the many highlights of the day was the introduction and welcoming of our three new Green Cities; Des Moines, Burien and Sea Tac . Our total is now up to 12 cites across the Puget Sound.

This was one of our largest Summits with more than 40 participants. The day’s agenda is below along with a link to the PowerPoint presentation.

See full  Agenda Green Cities Summit 2018_final

Follow this link for the presentations: Green Cities Summit 2018 Master

The presentations were divided into four main focus areas:

  1. The state of the Partnership
  2. Private Property: More Trees & Fewer Invasive Plants
  3. Stewarding Public Landscapes: Working Across Different Departments
  4. Funding and Research for Urban Forestry

The State of Partnership

  • 9 active Green Cities
  • 3 counties
  • 1.4 M residents
  • 9,141+ acres of parks and natural open space
  • 3 new Green Cities in 2018 (Des Moines, Sea Tac and Burien)

2005-2017

  • 2,305 acres in restoration
  • 1.23 M hours of volunteerism
  • 274 active Stewards

2017:

  • 112,244 volunteer hours
  • 236 New acres in restoration
  • 183,464 native trees, shrubs, and groundcovers installed
  • 41,200 trees in King County

Private Property: More Trees & Fewer Invasive Plants

Adjacent to Parks
Lisa Ciecko, Seattle Parks Department
Elizabeth Walker, King Conservation District

Summary: Pilot project to test the opportunities to engage private landowners adjacent to parks undergoing restoration and minimize the ‘edge’ effects on lands in restoration.

Riparian Restoration
Jasmine Ka, Forterra

Summary: An overview of Forterra’s riparian restoration activities which are currently in four river/creek basins. The goal is to eradicate Knotweed and help re-vegetate riparian areas through voluntary efforts with private landowners.

Residential Tree Programs
Lou Stubecki, Seattle Public Utilities

Summary: An overview and report on the long running residential tree program in Seattle. In 2017 more than 1,000 trees were planted at nearly 500 addresses.

Stewarding Public Landscapes: Working Across Different Departments

Neighborhood Stewards
Nicole Marcotte, Forterra
Teresa Kluver, City of Redmond

Summary: Seeks to build on Green Redmond Habitat Steward program with a more focused approach to recruitment and restoration work by targeting specific neighborhoods.

Tree Ambassadors
Jana Dilley, City of Seattle

 Summary: Provided overview of program, which focuses on engaging volunteers in creating and leading neighborhood tree walks, and participating in tree stewardship activities.

Funding and Research for Urban Forestry

Stormwater Codes to Fund Urban Forestry
Nicole Sanders, City of Snoqualmie
Elizabeth Walker, King Conservation District

Summary: Discussed the process that Snoqualmie undertook to research, write and pass new code language to include funding for trees / urban forest with stormwater utility funds.

Stormwater Values for PNW Trees
Mike Carey, City of Tacoma

Summary: Presented on an upcoming research project that will attempt to provide specific interception and transpiration rates in four of our PNW native trees.

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Become a Forest Steward!

 

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Are you interested in taking your involvement with your local Green City to the next level? If so, consider becoming a Forest Steward! Forest Stewards are super-volunteers who adopt specific sites, where they plan restoration activities and organize work parties. It is a great opportunity to get hands-on experience and training with all aspects of ecological restoration while connecting with your neighbors.

Take it from Sara Noland, an Everett Forest Steward. For her, the role’s perks include the “feeling of accomplishment, being outside, [and] meeting others who care about parks.” She also shares with us these wise words:

Forest restoration is an act of optimism, patience, and love. It takes a lot of time and sweat…but it’s amazing how much a group of volunteers can accomplish in just a few hours working together.

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As part of becoming a Forest Steward, most Green Cities host orientations where you can learn the basics of ecological restoration, volunteer management, and the Green Cities program. Attending one of these orientations does not commit you to becoming a Forest Steward – they are open to anyone interested in learning more about the program.

Be sure to attend the orientation in the city that you wish to be active in, as the information presented will be city-specific. See the list below for all upcoming local orientations. We hope to see you there!

Everett – June 2, 9am-12pm at Forest Park. Contact Green Everett!

Kirkland – March 24, 10am-1pm at McAuliffe Park. Sign up here!

Redmond – April 14, 9am-12pm at Farrel-McWhirter Park. Sign up here!

Seattle – Orientation will be held in late summer. In the meantime, check out our general information on becoming a Forest Steward here!

Snoqualmie – March 24, 9am-12pm at the Snoqualmie Valley YMCA & Community Center. Sign up here!

 

If you don’t see your city on the list, then no orientation has been scheduled yet. But keep an eye out for updates and come volunteer at some of our delightful restoration events this spring!

Green Cities Partnerships 2018

In 2018, the Green Cities program begins its 14th year! Conceived in 2004 by Forterra and launched in the City of Seattle, the Green Cities Partnerships have now grown to nine participating cities. From Everett to Puyallup our efforts seek to help communities regain, restore and reconnect with green spaces and critical landscapes in their community.

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There are three goals of the Green Cities Partnership Program:

  • Improve the quality of life, connections to nature, and enhance forest benefits in cities by restoring our forested parks and natural areas
  • Galvanize an informed and active community
  • Ensure long-term sustainable funding and community support

A Green City Partnership brings together local government agencies, community members, businesses, schools, non-profit groups and all who are concerned about a healthy environment.

The partnership creates and implements community-based stewardship of our land resources. The results are a land base that provides maximum ecosystem benefits. These benefits include reduction of flooding, mitigation of climate change, increased wildlife and biodiversity, improved air quality and cleaner water for humans and salmon.

Forterra’s Green City Partnership provides a comprehensive program for cities to address the growing needs for green infrastructure and a way to help implement their Comprehensive Plan, Stormwater Management activities, Park and Recreation Plans and other efforts that directly impact the sustainability and livability of their community.

Underling all of our efforts is the desire to connect Green Cities to one another (e.g., fill in the Gaps on the map). Creating this dynamic and interconnected series of Green Cities will help to reverse some of our past mistakes, bring communities closer together and provide more opportunities for community members to get outdoors and be in nature.

The People

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The foundation of the Green Cities Program are the people. Through community engagement and volunteerism, Green Cities has involved more than 77,000 individuals throughout our Puget Sound. These volunteers have provided more than 1.1 million volunteer hours in our local parks and public green spaces.

There are many entities who rely on volunteers to accomplish goals of restoration, but the Green cities program is unique in that we engage volunteers to complete the work, but we also help them to be more connected to one another and to nature. Whether it is a college biology class achieving their service hours or a business providing volunteers for an MLK Day of service, there is never a shortage of dedicated volunteers.  We see our program as going beyond pulling ivy or planting new cedar trees. Of course the program’s goal is make the experience of volunteering rewarding and informative, but we hope individuals come away from the experience with and understanding of the “why” this work is important. Tying it to the ‘big’ picture always receives a positive response from volunteers and helps them feel connected to nature and to their community. We all want to feel valued and connected.

Another unique element of our program is that many sites have regular and ongoing work parties. Metro Parks Tacoma for instance has several sites with monthly volunteer events. This provides volunteers an opportunity to see positive change on the landscape that is a direct result of their work over the course of a season, 5 years or event 20 years. It provides a way to more deeply engage in the effort.  It also helps them connect and understand to the difficulty of this work.

Finally, there are numerous resources online for volunteers to learn more about the Partnership (e.g., what is the best ways to remove English Ivy from trees or what is the Target Habitat for a certain site). This all provides and interactive environment where volunteers can engage as much or as little as they desire.

 

The Partnership
Dedicated city staff, non-profit organizations, colleges, local K-12 schools, numerous businesses, conservation districts, Port of Seattle, the Port of Tacoma and many more have all come together to ensure that there is a sustained commitment to the long-term health of critical landscapes across the Puget Sound region.  Currently, nine cities participate in the Green Cities Program and include: Seattle, Everett, Kirkland, Redmond, Snoqualmie, Tukwila, Kent, Puyallup and Tacoma.

Each of these cities have developed a 20-Year Plan that provides the vision, goals and implementation strategies to restore a certain amount of acres in their community. This 20-year Plan also provides cost estimates, maps of all lands and condition of those lands, as well as a structure to establish a Habitat Steward Program. The 20-Year Plan provides the key guiding document to achieve the desired results.

 

Land Restoration Goals and Activity
Together, our collective goal stands at approximately 9,000 acres of land to be enrolled in restoration by 2037. We are about 25% completed, with a little more than 2,000 acres enrolled in restoration activities.  The big disclaimer is that every few years we add another Green City and the targets grow. In 2018, we are already confirmed to add the cities of Burien, SeaTac and Des Moines. Only time will tell how many acres these cities will seek to enroll. Do you care about healthy green spaces in your community? Do you want to be the next Green City? Contact us.

 

 

Native plants To restore these 2,000 acres, partners have planted more than 900,000 native plants. Our goal is to source plants locally and use plant palettes that help us mimic the lowland Puget Sound forest or other target habitats appropriate for the area. From small ground covers like Trillium to the mighty Western Red Cedar, our goal is to reintroduce the diversity of species and structure that have been lost in recent decades.

 

Invasive To get to a point where these planting can occur the remove of large areas of invasive plants is necessary. Here in the Puget Sound we deal with countless invasive species, seemingly more than any other part of the country. The most pervasive plants include English Ivy, Himalayan Blackberry and Scotch Broom. Others include; Knotweed, Reed Canary Grass, Archangel, Thistle, Creeping buttercup, Policemen’s Helmet, English Holly, European Hawthorne, Garlic Mustard, Butterfly Bush, Morning Glory, Herb Robert, Poison Hemlock and many more.

 

Over the years we have develop standards or Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that guide the removal of invasive plants and provide guidance on how to create a planting plan and how to install new native plants.

Why do we do the work we do

 


By now everybody has committed to memory the list of ecosystem services provided by a healthy environment, from wildlife biodiversity to reduced asthma rates in children, a healthy environment is critical to our well-being.  

The ability or act of providing a service (e.g., clean air) by elements of nature is called ecosystem services. As we become more in tune with our environment and gather a deeper understanding of her functions, systems and outputs we can learn how to work within those parameters. On a very simple level we try to mimic nature and keep some semblance of her dynamics. This is the primary activity of the Green Cities Partnerships. However, this can be difficult because the only constant in nature is constant change. Whether it is a natural disturbance like a lightning strike that opens up the canopy in a forest condition or a man-made disturbance like logging, the natural world is constantly adjusting and readjusting itself. This is often called dynamic equilibrium. The key factors in dynamic equilibrium is how intense and frequent the disturbance is, and the ability of natural elements to recover from this disturbance.

In the urban landscape we are faced with many additional challenges than disturbance as part of the dynamic equilibrium process. One of the biggest challenges is the edge effect. Almost all of our natural areas and green spaces are surrounded by private property. All of these properties, private and public, usually have large areas of invasive plants like Scotch Broom, Himalayan Blackberry or English Ivy. All three of these invasive plants are easily spread by seed. So even though we can spend hours and hours removing these invasive plants from our sites, the wind, bird dispersal or other wildlife will quickly drop seeds back onto our restoration site. It has been determined that a Scotch Broom seed can remain dormant in soil for 100 years, just waiting for an opportunity to sprout. This makes long-term maintenance in the urban landscape mandatory for all restoration work. We can never truly walk away from a property and say it is complete. We can, hopefully get to a state of dynamic equilibrium where the native habitat is healthy enough to recover from most disturbances and only on an infrequent basis (e.g., every 5 years) will we have to return for minor treatments. We will dive more into the state and equilibrium of habitat in later blogs

Habitat Stewards
Simply stated, Habitat Stewards are volunteer leaders in their community. Unique to the Green Cities Partnership is our dedication to training and involving our community members for leadership roles. The Habitat Steward Program is for those volunteers who want to go beyond the three hour work party and take on all aspects of the restoration of specific sites. In other words these habitat Stewards adopt a site and guide all management aspects. Habitat Stewards are trained in how to run an event, conduct outreach, technical aspects of restoration, speaking in front of a groups, and all tracking protocols.

 

Currently, there are 220 Habitat Stewards in the nine Green Cities.  Many Green Cities hold orientations and initial trainings annually, others will do a training as needed. Contact us to find out more about the Green Cities Habitat Steward Program.

Next
Please come back soon to read more blogs, in the coming months we will blog about specific plants and wildlife, introduce you to target Habitats and highlight some of our work across the Green Cities network.

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.

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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.

 

Welcome to the Green Tukwila Partnership!

A new partnership has begun between many agencies and organizations working together for healthy parks and healthy people in Tukwila. The City of Tukwila, non-profits Forterra, EarthCorps, and the SCA, and local businesses, faith-based groups, and neighbors are all helping to care for public parks, shorelines, and natural areas across the city.

We believe that Tukwila deserves great parks, green trees, and beautiful shorelines along the Duwamish River. If you agree, join us!

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Come join us at the fall kickoff event and planting celebration on Saturday, October 22nd!

Volunteer planting will be happening at two places along the Duwamish Shoreline and at the Duwamish Hill Preserve as part of Duwamish Alive!, an annual event where volunteers come together all along the Duwamish River to plant trees and shrubs, remove invasive weeds, and keep the river healthy for fish, other animals and plants, and for people. A healthy river means a healthy community. Please join us for this fun, family-friendly event! No experience necessary. Gloves, tools, and materials provided.

Volunteer on the Duwamish Shoreline at Gateway Drive

Volunteer on the Duwamish Shoreline at Cecil Moses Park

Volunteer at the Duwamish Hill Preserve

Why are we doing this?

Did you know that trees and green plants play a huge role in a healthy and happy city? There is a strong link between getting outside into nature – even just a little bit – and better mental health and physical well-being. Check out this story in the New York Times about walking under trees and the effect that has on your brain by helping to lower stress and increase positive thinking. Take that with how much mental and physical health are interrelated, and it’s not surprising that many doctors like this one are telling their patients to get outside more. Well-cared-for parks that get regular use, especially with neighborhood volunteers getting involved, also help reduce crime and keep cities safer.

If you want to dig further into the science of all of these benefits that nearby nature is ready to give us, this is a great website with a lot of information.

But we can’t enjoy it if we don’t have it. Tukwila’s parks and natural areas need some TLC to make sure they stay healthy too. So the Green Tukwila Partnership will be planting trees and other plants, pulling invasive weeds, and working together to make sure these public places stay green. We can’t do it alone.nick-krittawat-photo-credit-51

Be a part of something great happening in Tukwila

Click the links above to volunteer with us at Duwamish Alive on Saturday, October 22nd.

Join our mailing list to stay updated about the Green Tukwila Partnership.

Want to do more? We are gathering a team of volunteers to adopt different parks and help lead the effort to keep them healthy and green. You can learn about trees and environmental restoration, bring your neighbors together around fun projects, and be a local leader. We are especially looking at North Wind’s Weir, Duwamish Hill Preserve, Tukwila Community Center, Riverton Park, the Duwamish Shoreline (section just north of the I-5 overpass), Thorndyke Elementary School, Crestview Park, Crystal Springs Park, Tukwila Park, and Bicentennial Park, but we want to hear your favorites, too. Is there a Tukwila Park or natural area in the city that you think could use a little love?  Email us to talk about ways to get involved.

Contact us

If you have questions about the Green Tukwila Partnership, or ideas you want to share, don’t hesitate to be in touch. You can reach us at greentukwila@forterra.org, or by phone at (206) 905-6943.

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Girl Scout Cadettes help spread awareness on their way to a Silver Award

As a guest post on our blog, we are thrilled to welcome all-star Green Redmond volunteer, Anna, who is working on her Silver Award for the Girl Scouts. It’s been great having her and her project teammate Erika help with volunteer outreach this year. Here are Anna’s thoughts on the project so far:
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Hi, I’m Anna from the Girl Scout Cadette Troop 42534. I’m currently in middle school and so is my fellow Girl Scout, Erika. We are working with the Green Redmond Partnership to earn our Silver Award. To earn the Silver Award, a Girl Scout must complete a project that leaves a lasting and sustainable impact on our community and takes at least fifty hours to complete. It is the highest award a Cadette can earn, and the second highest Girl Scout Award, below the Gold Award.

For our project, we are trying to get more people to come to Green Redmond events, especially in the winter, when the blackberries are being cleared. It’s also still important to have volunteers in the other seasons for clearing ivy and other invasive species, planting native species, and mulching around plants. We want to reach out to people who haven’t previously considered volunteering.

We chose to do this project because we wanted to help the environment more than just us two working with the invasive species and planting. We wanted bring in more of the community to help, to bring in more hands than just our four, because it matters that our parks are green and we have trees growing in our city. It’s important that the animals have a place to live and people have parks to enjoy.

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Farrel-McWhirter Park, where Anna and Erika planted trees and surveyed volunteers on Green Redmond Day.

At a fall volunteer event, we ran a survey. We found that a large group of volunteers had heard of the event through cub scouts or girl scouts. The next most common way people found out about the event was through their family. A few more people found out through the Redmond newsletter, and the rest found out through a variety of different sources such as school, Peachtree newsletter, Honor Society, and emails from the City of Redmond. Our results lead us to wonder how the family members and troop leaders who told the volunteers about the event heard about it themselves.

We also asked volunteers if they regularly read community bulletin boards. Only 37% reported that they do, which leads me to wonder where else we could put flyers so more people see them.

Our final question to volunteers was to find their reason for coming to the event. Most, about 47%, said they came just to help out, but there were also a large variety of other reasons, such as for college, service learning, to get volunteer hours, or to go out with their troop or family.

In the future, we will continue our quest for more volunteers. We plan to hang up our posters and post ads on websites like Facebook. We’ve learned that many people volunteer for groups as Girl Scouts or Cub Scouts, or for volunteer hours, and not as many people come without a group or without needing service hours.

So go out and volunteer! Not only will we appreciate it, but so will the Green Redmond Partnership and everyone who uses the parks. It’s a great way to connect with your community and neighbors. We’ve got to meet members of the Redmond Parks and Trails Commission and a WA representative for the US Congress. Volunteering is fun and gives a feeling of accomplishment.

Here are the results of the survey Anna and Erika conducted:

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Anna’s beautiful poster will be gracing bulletin boards this spring to promote volunteer events:
Annas poster 2016