The numbers for 2019 are in and they are absolutely incredible! Over the course of 72,248 volunteer hours, there were 90,233 native plants installed, and 2,925 trees saved from English ivy. This work took place across 155 parks and at 1,522 volunteer events, which is nearly 5 events for every single day of the year! We are also now up to 1,788 acres enrolled in restoration! For reference, if you laid every square foot we’re restoring end-to-end, it would be the length of 563 marathons! The graphic below illustrates some of the many accomplishments the partnership had in 2019:

 

 

We’re proud to be celebrating 14 years of restoration and community building! Below we’ve also listed some of the highlights from the year; special moments that can’t be captured just in facts and figures. 

Bird Alley Restoration

Green Seattle took on a major piece of restoration in Discovery Park, alongside Friends of Discovery Park and EarthCorps. The restoration adjoins the newly opened trail connecting the Capehart Restoration and the South Bluff Overlook (courtesy of Seattle Parks and Friends of Discovery Park). The restored area is now home to a thriving abundance of native wildflowers, which will enhance the lives of a diverse group of birds!

An annotated map of the Capehart restoration, courtesy of Friends of Discovery Park

 

Youth Are Leading the way

In 2019, youth took on more leadership roles in restoration. GSP’s Youth Ambassadors program was a great success; our 4 youth ambassadors organized 8 workshops with 56 attendees throughout the year. Their feedback? They want even more responsibility! We’re looking forward to seeing the program expand in 2020. 

Youth volunteers helping to restore Seattle’s parks.

 

The Biggest Green Seattle Day

2019’s Green Seattle Day was the biggest yet, with 1,170 volunteers coming together to install 8,700 native plants across 17 parks. To throw in another bonus, the day was officially proclaimed Green Seattle Day by Mayor Jenny Durkan!

Volunteers on Green Seattle Day 2019 at Interlaken Park

A whole lot of fun(ding)

Now more than ever, finding funding is critical for large-scale restoration projects. In 2019, partner organizations provided $221,000 in leveraged funding; forest stewards coordinated $70,000 to support crew work across their sites; and Seattle Public Utilities provided $100,000 for riparian restoration. Altogether that’s $391,781 of additional funding! Additionally, the 72,248 hours of volunteer work is valued at a whopping $2.3 million, showing just how much our community values its natural areas. 

SPU raised 100K for riparian restoration in wetland areas like these. 

Closing The Year of Establishment

2019 was the Year of Establishment, and it sure felt like there was a lot to help get established. Across the partnership there was an emphasis on really taking the time to care for those sites that had been cleared and planted, but still needed love to thrive. While this can often be tedious work–carefully scanning for weedy regrowth and pulling small shoots and roots–the reward is getting sites to the point where they only need very occasional care (i.e. the monitoring phase). All in all we maintained 362 acres (i.e. over 15.7 million square feet) of forested parklands across Seattle, all of which are on their way to thriving on their own.

 

We’re proud to see that year after year we’re steadily making towards our goals.  A huge thank you to the Forest Stewards who lead hundreds of events each year; partner organizations that each bring their own expertise; Seattle Parks staff who deliver the materials we need to get things moving; and volunteers who show up rain or shine. We are deeply proud to be part of such an enthusiastic community, and are looking forward to a productive 2020!

Love, The Green Seattle Partnership Team

Author

  • Fate is an Americorps member with Forterra, and proud to be part of the Green Seattle Partnership. He studied plant ecology at Vassar, where he worked on the Preserve there. Following a year with an eco-landscaping group in the Hudson Valley, he returned home to Seattle to see the trees of his childhood. As of today, he primarily works to support Green City Partnerships and riparian restoration efforts in the Puget Sound.

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