Nature Consortium was founded in 1998 as a grassroots, community-based organization whose mission was to connect people, arts and nature. The Urban Forest Restoration Program has its roots 15 years ago, when the organization’s founding director Nancy Whitlock walked through the West Duwamish Greenbelt for the first time. She was inspired by the serenity of this forested location within the city, but realized that the Greenbelt was overgrown with non-native vegetation, and received very few visitors. Once an old-growth evergreen forest, it had suffered clear-cutting by pioneers and had subsequently been developed by industry.
Thus, in 2003 Nature Consortium’s Urban Forest Restoration program was formed. Over the course of our history, we have mobilized our community to bring about extraordinary change in this essential urban forest. Since 2003, more than 30,000 volunteers have joined in helping to restore the largest contiguous forest in Seattle. Over 2 million square feet have been cleared of non-native vegetation and kept under maintenance. Our volunteer-based program has planted 60,000 native trees, shrubs, and ground cover plants. This tremendous amount of work has also contributed to the overall goals of the Green Seattle Partnership, a citywide program of which Nature Consortium has been a partner of since its creation in 2005.
Before merging with Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association in 2016, Nature Consortium’s Urban Forest Restoration program expanded into the Longfellow Creek watershed. Today, as a program of DNDA, we work in several parks and natural areas adjacent to Longfellow Creek and continue our commitment to the West Duwamish Greenbelt.