Across the Puget Sound region more than 2,200 volunteers converged at area parks and green spaces from Oct. 7 to Nov. 21 to celebrate Green City Days.
Kent was among the nine cities that participated in the annual event that connects community members across all age, ethnic and economic backgrounds for a common goal – helping to keep forested parks and green spaces environmentally healthy.
A total of 120 volunteers planted more than 900 native plants, creating a forested buffer between the Puget Power Trail near the Green River Natural Area during Green Kent Day on Oct. 28.
After the event volunteers from Farrington Court provided a complementary lunch.
This year participation was up 47 percent and plantings up 120 percent, according to organizers.
Cumulatively, the events planted more than 15,000 native plants. The work was completed by 2,221 volunteers who clocked a combined total of 6,663 volunteer service hours, program organizers said.
Volunteers came from throughout the region and represented high school Key Clubs, elementary school students, area colleges and businesses including REI, Boeing, HSBC, CLIF Bar, Patagonia, and Pacifica Law among others.
Volunteers expressed many positive experiences.
“It pulls me into nature while educating me about what I’m seeing, planting or pulling,” said a Green Kent volunteer.
Green City Day events were made possible with support from city staff, volunteer Forest Stewards and more than 20 nonprofit organizations, including Forterra, EarthCorps, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Student Conservation Association, Sound Salmon Solutions, Tilth Alliance, local Audubon chapters, and others.
A special thanks for grants from HSBC Bank USA, N.A, Patagonia, and REI to support Green City Days.
Access to healthy parks is vital to cities and quality of life. Green Cities Days are signature events for the Green City Partnerships representing the cities of Seattle, Redmond, Kirkland, Everett, Tukwila, Snoqualmie, Kent, Puyallup and Tacoma. Combined, these cities have a goal to restore 9,000 acres of forested parks and natural areas while building community through stewardship.
Each Green City has partnered with Forterra to established a community-based restoration program that brings together local nonprofits, community groups, city agencies, neighborhood leaders and local businesses to support healthy urban green spaces for the future of our region.
For more information about the Green City Partnership, visit Forterra.