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Urban Forest Restoration

Forest restoration volunteer experiences are a fun and healthy way to connect with neighbors in a peaceful and beautiful location!

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Saving Seattle’s Green Spaces

Seattle’s reputation as the Emerald City is in danger. Due to the history of logging and other disturbances in this area, the quality of habitat has been severely degraded. Without proper care for our urban forests, we’re at risk of losing the beautiful green spaces that define our city.

The Urban Forest Restoration Program is committed to restoring Seattle’s largest remaining forest, the West Duwamish Greenbelt and Longfellow Creek greenspaces. These important ecological resources span across hundreds of acres in the Delridge neighborhood of West Seattle and include miles of maintained trail systems.

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Get Involved Today

Volunteer events are every Tuesday and Saturday throughout the year!

Since 2003, our program has brought volunteers and community members together to help restore habitat in the forest by removing invasive weeds, amending soil, addressing erosion issues, and planting new native trees and shrubs.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to get involved in your community. In addition to restoring habitat, volunteers enjoy free live music and outdoor art activities during many of our work parties. The Urban Forest Restoration program’s musicians and teaching artists bring art to the natural world to enhance the experience of our local green spaces.

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Why Forests?

The West Duwamish Greenbelt and Longfellow Creek forests provide many benefits for the environment and the community. Bald eagles, hawks, foxes, salamander, and other local wildlife rely on the habitats these greenspaces provide.

The plants in our forests help to reduce storm water runoff, filter pollutants in the water, and reduce erosion. As these plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air, they also improve air quality and help reduce the effects of global warming.

And the best part? You don’t have to travel out of the city to experience the great outdoors. Urban forests like the parks we work in are important community spaces that increase our city’s natural beauty and make the natural world accessible for everyone to enjoy.

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History

The Duwamish region is named after the indigenous Dkhw’Duw’Absh (Duwamish) tribe that historically inhabited the Seattle metropolitan area. Before European settlers arrived, this area was filled with tall conifers (evergreen needle trees) such as Western red cedar and Douglas fir. The forest has since been the site of timber logging, gravel mining, a military base, and a proposed highway.

Pollution from industry developments in the area has made the Duwamish River one of the most polluted rivers in the country. The West Duwamish Greenbelt remains an important part of the Duwamish Watershed because it serves as a buffer between the polluted industrial corridor and nearby residences.

Restoration Sites