This is an exciting time for the Green Seattle Partnership. This month marks a major milestone: ONE MILLION VOLUNTEER HOURS! That is 6 zeros! Which equates to $24,501,670 of volunteer leverage!

The Timeline

As we head toward this achievement, we consider the timeline that got us here:

  • Decades ago, the community realized the declining state of the City’s forested parklands and the need to restore them, initiating weed removal and native plantings in parks around the city.
  • In 2004-2005, the Green Seattle Partnership was formed to address this need in a more formalized way to align partners and gather resources to tackle this large endeavor.
  • Now in 2018, we will reach the milestone of one million hours logged since the beginning of the Partnership. One million hours in thirteen years is an average of 77,000 hrs/year!

The Reason

Volunteers are hugely important to the success of Green Seattle, not only because of the work they get done on the ground, but also because of the education and advocacy that results as they engage community members in the restoration work. Volunteers come to this effort for many reasons and engage in a variety ways and levels.  Each hour can be a number of things:

  • A token of love for the forest, the trees, the animals, the people who live around and use the forest.
  • A service requirement.
  • A favor to a friend or family member.
  • An event for a group of fellow employees or church members to remove a bunch of pokey/persistent/irritating plants, or to dig a bunch of holes or carry buckets back and forth.

The Meaning

And the meaning of the total sum of the hours:

  • A community united in one goal: restoring the 2,500 acres of forest in Seattle’s parklands.
  • A community healthier because of the replacement of ivy/blackberry/holly with healthy native plant communities.
  • A community enjoying the benefits of accessible, healthy forested parklands.
  • A community enjoying each other’s company as they work toward this goal.

The First Million Hours

Here’s a look at all we’ve accomplished in the first half+ of the Partnership’s 20-year timeline:

  • Enrolled more than half of the acres in restoration.
  • Removed ivy climbing up 35,278 trees.
  • Planted 257,858 trees.
  • Planted 735,944 shrubs and ground covers.
  • Verified 300 acres as Phase 4.

The Next Million Hours

Here’s to what we will accomplish together yet:

  • Finish enrolling the remaining acres into restoration.
  • Ensure all acres transition into Phase 4: the final healthy, sustainable condition.
  • Keep after the weeds and pests, stewarding the forest as it matures and changes.
  • Continue to monitor, maintain, enjoy, and use the city’s healthy forests.

 

Celebrate with Us!

Because we want to share the joy around, rather than celebrating the exact Millionth Hour as it occurs, we will celebrate the week of July 8th -15th as Millionth Hour Week! Festivities will include staff visits to each volunteer event occurring during the week with balloons and treats.

Join us! Check the GSP event calendar, along with the events listed below, to find an event to celebrate this major milestone with us!

The Partnership, including Seattle Parks and Recreation, Forterra and numerous other partners, offers a hearty Thank You to all who have contributed to the first million hours, and an invitation to all be part of the next million!

 

Millionth Hour Events: July 8th – July 14th

 

Patricia Bakker

Planning and Development Supervisor, Seattle Parks and Recreation
Patti joined the Green Seattle Partnership team in July 2016 as the Planning and Development Supervisor, and has been working toward protection and restoration of habitats and species for more than 24 years. She has worked with local, state and federal agencies as well as large and small non-profit organizations, including seven years as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service and seven years managing the Truckee River Restoration Program for The Nature Conservancy in Nevada. Patti also enjoys cooking up new culinary experiments from local market finds or dancing at events of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.