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Seattle Joins New Tree Equity Collaborative To Boost Tree Canopy Initiative

Tree Equity
Statewide Tree Equity ( Photo: Crosscut )

Launched by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the non-profit organization American Forests, the collaborative will build on Seattle’s existing tree canopy initiative.

tree equity

Tree Equity ( Photo: American Forest )

Seattle is set to be among the first cities in Washington State to join the newly launched Tree Equity Collaborative

The city aims to achieve 30% canopy coverage across the city by 2037. According to the American Forests’ Tree Equity Score Tool, nearly 85% of urbanized neighborhoods in the state currently have inadequate tree cover.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell spoke at the launch event on April 13, stating that “our urgency today reflects a healthier, greener Emerald City tomorrow”. The city has proposed measures to improve its tree canopy, including planting 8,000 trees on public and private properties over the next five years and planting 40,000 trees in city parks and natural areas.

In addition, the Seattle City Council is continuing discussions on a policy that would require the planting of two trees for every “healthy, site-appropriate tree removed from city property”, as well as for every tree that dies or is deemed hazardous or invasive.

This pledge was made by Mayor Harrell

Despite opposition from the Seattle Arborist Association, which argues that the proposed policy is restrictive and disincentivizes tree planting. Washington State has recently received $6 million from the US Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program

Additionally, the state has been given a notice of opportunity for up to $1 billion in competitive urban and community forestry grants for nonprofits and state and municipal governments.

These funds will support the state’s efforts to increase tree canopy coverage, improve air quality, and combat the effects of climate change.

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