On November 3rd, 1,145 community members spent the morning planting over 8,430 plants across 15 parks in Seattle. We are immensely thankful for the hard work of our wonderful volunteers. It is their dedication, year after year, that allows us to restore Seattle’s urban forests. So Green Seattle Day 2018 was a success, what’s next? It is hard to imagine the thousands of baby plants we planted on Green Seattle Day growing into the empty space and maturing together to become a forest. However, if you take time to walk through a Seattle park with 10 years of dedicated restoration, the pieces will start to fit together. You will see sword ferns and lush Oregon grape covering the forest floor. Then, as you look up, you will see adolescent western redcedars starting to offer shade as they grow towards the towering big leaf maples.

Head to the Cheasty Greenspace Mt. View restoration project to get an idea of what the Green Seattle Day 2018 sites could look like in 2028. The restoration at Cheasty Mt. View began in 2008. Since then, Forest Stewards and volunteers have transformed 5 acres of dense Himalayan blackberry thickets and English ivy draped trees into a beautiful Pacific Northwest forest. Trees planted 10 years ago are 20 feet tall, ferns have filled out to cover the forest floor, and each spring chartreuse waterleaf carpets the park. Susan Zeman, one of the Cheasty Greenspace Forest Stewards, said this project felt daunting and unattainable at the beginning. Now, in 2018, a dedicated team of 14 Forest Stewards have worked together to transform the Cheasty Greenspace. The Forest Stewards at Cheasty have ushered 1,100 volunteers to plant almost 5,600 native plants in the 23 acres that are being actively restored in this area. Thanks to the Forest Stewards’ dedication, about half of the Cheasty Greenspace has been converted from dense blackberry thickets to exemplary native forest.

CHEASTY GREENSPACE

BY THE NUMBERS:

 

10 Years of Restoration

14 Forest Stewards

1,100 Volunteers

5,569 native plants planted

2 acres of invasive plants removed

23 acres in active restoration

Cheasty MT. view in 2008, prior to restoration efforts

Cheasty MT. view in 2018, after 10 years of dedicated restoration work

Community members love Cheasty Greenspace because it is an urban oasis just steps away from busy streets. It allows the vibrant Beacon Hill community to connect with nature within walking distance of their homes. The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace know how important it is for Seattle residents to have easy access to urban forests.  In fact, they cite this as one of their motivating factors of their hard work. These urban forests remind us of the natural beauty that surrounds us, and provide space for us to unwind. The reasons to protect and help our urban forests are endless! Green Seattle Day was a great inspiration for the coming year, but the work isn’t over.  Volunteers are needed tend to young plants and continue to remove invasive plants in parks all around Seattle. Go find your local site to steward into the future. Then, in 10 years you can look back at the pictures from Green Seattle Day 2018 and know that you played a vital role in creating your own healthy urban forest. Green Seattle Partnership volunteer work parties happen all year, so come join the fun!

Find a way to stay involved at Cheasty Greenspace: Mt.View or any of our active Green Seattle Partnership restoration sites by clicking here!
Maya Klem

Stewardship Associate, Forterra

Maya is born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, and is thrilled to be part of a team dedicated to protecting the land she has always called home. Maya recently graduated Western Washington University where she studied Biology, Chemistry, and Spanish.   During her time in college, she discovered a passion for conservation and restoration work while studying in the jungles of Costa Rica and Peru. Aside from exploring tropical and temperate forests, Maya enjoys cooking, traveling, skiing, and smiling at dogs. Maya is serving a one year AmeriCorps term with Forterra.