Tree Preservation Ordinance makes the headlines! Score one for the TreePAC green agenda…

As green as Seattle likes to portray itself to be, the city hasn’t put much emphasis on protecting its tree canopy. From a long time after non-native settlers arrived, the idea was to cut down the trees. As the city re-greened itself through the 20th century, some of the canopy came back, but the city government didn’t start paying much attention to tree policy until early this century.

Today, other cities are doing better by their trees. Atlanta, Austin, Portland, Vancouver, B.C. —why, even development-crazy Vancouver, Washington — have much stronger protections than Seattle. In all of those cities, a homeowner must obtain a permit to remove a tree above a certain size, and must replace the tree. Portland even has an “inch per inch” rule, requiring that the size of the tree replacement correspond with the size of the one lost, further protecting large trees. Not so in Seattle.

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Birds, Trees and Communities of Color

An alliance of open-space activists and environmental-justice advocates win an important victory

By George Howland Jr – Outside City Hall, July 27, 2016

“You can fight city hall and win!

Earlier this month, the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition (Green Spaces) and TreePAC saved the Myers Way Parcels, 33 acres of open space in the middle of neighborhoods with poor air quality, concentrated poverty and a high number of people of color. Myers is bigger than Madrona Park and Beach (31 acres) and much bigger than Gas Works Park (19 acres).

In order to preserve Myers, the activists had to persuade Mayor Ed Murray to change course. He planned to sell the property to raise $5 million for homeless services. Now he will preserve Myers and find the money to fight homelessness elsewhere.

How did they do it?”

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UPDATES on Saving Myers Parcels 6-29-16

Myers Parcels is saved from being sold for development. A two year effort by TreePAC, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition, and PlantAmnesty has paid off. See the story in the West Seattle blog.

From mountain forests to city parks, trees are stressed and dying

From mountain forests to city parks, trees that suffered terribly in last year’s drought are dying, and burgeoning pests are taking advantage of stressed trees struggling to hang on.

More than 500 dead trees from big leaf maples to cottonwoods, birches and more already have been counted this year in Seattle city parks, and summer’s far from over. A typical year sees 130 trees culled, said Jon Jainga, urban forestry operation manager for Seattle Parks and Recreation.

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The city of Seattle will retain the largest piece of undeveloped land in its inventory for open space rather than selling it off, Mayor Ed Murray has decided. The move drew praise from open-space advocates and neighbors of the acreage in West Seattle. See the story at Investigate West.

UPDATES on NO NEW PARKS: The Comprehensive Plan and more 6-29-16

Seattle needs parks, not just ‘parklets’

No room for trees in Seattle’s new parks

As Development Booms, Seattle Gives Up On Green Space

Seattle will be adding 200,000 more people, but wants to drop the goal of adding new greenspaces according to a Seattle weekly article. Cass is quoted. The Comprehensive Plan and the sale of Myers Parcels are being considered now. Use the links in the article to write or attend top-secret public hearings.

Seattle Times: Acre of public trees in West Seattle cut down

Friday, March 25, 2016. Houses above a ravine at the end of the 3200 block of 35th Ave. SW in West Seattle where trees were cut on property owned by the parks and transportation departments. The Seattle City Attorney's office is investigating.

Friday, March 25, 2016. Houses above a ravine at the end of the 3200 block of 35th Ave. SW in West Seattle where trees were cut on property owned by the parks and transportation departments. The Seattle City Attorney’s office is investigating.

By Daniel Beekman
Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle officials are investigating the unpermitted cutting down of more than 150 trees in a city-owned greenbelt next to homes in West Seattle.

The City Attorney’s Office is heading up the investigation into the decimation of part of the greenbelt, Assistant City Attorney Joe Groshong said.

The clear-cut area, on the hillside north and east of the 3200 block of 35th Avenue Southwest, above Southwest Admiral Way, belongs to the Seattle parks and transportation departments, parks department spokesman David Takami said.

The trees Friday lay where they were downed, crisscrossing more than an acre of the hillside. Their stumps, some a couple of feet in diameter, jutted through the debris.

Continuing reading »

Street Trees Can Save Our Cities

As a fight over 11 lime trees in Sheffield escalates, activists in cities all over the world are making the case for urban trees – to cut pollution, increase land value and even make you feel younger

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TreePAC Petition: Protect Seattle Trees 

Sign TreePAC’s petition on calling on Mayor Murray to protect Seattle trees! The petition includes the following actions:

  • Creating a task force of stakeholders, including community members, nonprofit organizations, arborists, landscape professionals, developers, police, and others to address tree losses,
  • Using the task force to create a new tree protection ordinancethat is comprehensive, effective, and enforced, and
  • Implementing a public education campaign that emphasizes the larger community’s stake in public and privately owned trees, including the utilitarian and financial consequences of inadequate canopy coverage

The City must take action now to protect the urban canopy, for our community today and for generations to come. Sign the petition and share with your friends!