The City of Seattle’s urban forests are not only a beautiful part of our City but also play a crucial role in combating the impacts of climate change.
To celebrate and protect this vital resource for our City, Seattle Forest Week returns this year from October 28 to November 4, 2023. The citywide initiative is supported by the Green Seattle Partnership, a collaboration between the City of Seattle, community groups and non-profits, businesses, schools, and thousands of volunteers working together to restore and actively maintain the City’s forested parklands and offers a way to invest in the health of the urban landscape and celebrate Seattle’s trees.
This year marks the third annual Seattle Forest Week, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with events hosted by partner organizations like Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, Serve Ethiopians Washington, Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS), Sea Potential, and Tilth Alliance.
You can learn more about Seattle Forest Week, find a list of events, and get involved on the Green Seattle Partnership Website.
Mayor Harrell Kicks Off Seattle Forest Week at Jefferson Park
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, City Staff, and volunteers came together at Jefferson Park on Saturday, October 28, to plant trees in the park and along the right away as a part of Seattle Forest Week.
Mayor Harrell spoke about the work Seattle is doing to improve tree canopy and meet the City’s goal to reach 30% canopy cover by 2037 and to improve the equitable distribution of trees throughout our City so that all communities have access to green spaces and shade.
It’s Been a Big Year for Seattle’s Urban Forest!
Seattle’s recent Canopy Cover Assessment showed Seattle lost 255 acres of canopy between 2016 and 2021. The report found that not only do higher disadvantaged areas have less canopy cover, but they are also losing canopy at a faster rate.
Part of the work to invest in these areas will be supported by the City’s recently awarded $12.9 million by the U.S. Forest Service to plant trees, create green careers for young people, and restore forested places near schools, parks, and low-income housing. The grant will build on the long history of the Green Seattle Partnership to restore forested parklands, which are threatened by invasive species and the challenges of climate change.
Earlier this year, Seattle was among the first Washington cities to sign onto a new statewide tree equity collaborative and pledged to plant more than 8,000 trees over the next five years on public and private properties and 40,000 trees in parks and natural areas. Mayor Harrell also issued the One Seattle Tree Plan Executive Order in April, directing City Departments to accelerate efforts to expand tree canopy on public land and updated the City’s Tree Ordinance to increase tree protections and provide for more equitable distribution of tree canopy.
Also bolstering these efforts are Mayor Harrell’s 2024 proposed budget that includes funding to expand the Trees for Neighborhoods program to 1,300 trees planted in 2024 and evaluate siting a One Seattle Tree Nursery to grow trees locally.
And most recently, the United Nations Environment Program selected the City of Seattle to participate in Generation Restoration, a collaborative initiative of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Seattle, which will be a “role model city,” joins 18 other cities around the world seeking to share best practices to advance urban habitat. Seattle is the only city in the United States participating.