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A forest takes root

Updated: Feb 19

South Seattle Community College project brings nature to neighborhood

Photo credit: SUGI Project

The field at East Marginal Way and Corson Avenue South in front of South Seattle Community College could look a lot different in a few years. 

Volunteers planted hundreds of trees earlier this month on a 3,500 square-foot circular plot with the hopes of creating an urban forest in Georgetown on a site where a gas station once sat and the soil beneath rife with contaminants.

The project is a partnership between the college, the Duwamish Tribe, the Duwamish River Community Coalition, SUGI, and Natural Urban Forest backed by an anonymous Seattle donor’s $20,000 donation.

The new Georgetown Community Forest will consist of 40 species of native trees such as alder, aspen, cedar and Sitka spruce, and other local flora. Although rather small now, some trees will double in size in two years and some will be even as tall as a telephone pole in three years, said Ethan Bryson, owner of National Urban Forests. In time, the forest will remediate the soil, improve air quality, enable increased biodiversity, attract birds, and provide valuable green space to residents, according to a press release and web site describing the project.

The grass lot is a popular spot for dog owners to walk their pooches or play fetch. Signs will be posted discouraging owners from walking their dogs through the forest area, Bryson said, because dog waste and paws can harm young plants. People are welcomed to visit and walk through the forest on paths.

In a neighborhood with polluted air and soil, the related public health challenges, and where the life expectancy is 8 years shorter than the average for the City of Seattle, an effort to heal the land and its people is welcomed, said Paulina López, the DRCC’s executive director. 

“This will bring some peace and healing” to counter “the legacy pollution and legacy injustice” in the community, she said.

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1 commentaire

Amy Horn
Amy Horn
16 févr.

Great project!

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