Urban Forest Restoration

Want to help restore Seattle's great urban forest land? Volunteer through the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP).

About Forest Restoration

Awe-inspiring forests are part of the heritage and appeal of our city. They make our lives better by providing places to play, rest and contemplate. Half of Seattle's city parkland is forested natural areas. Forests are living things and depend on our care. Our greenspaces provide some of the greatest direct benefits to people, but the forests also face more urban stresses such as weeds, hotter temperatures and greater pollution. Taking care of today's trees and planting new ones for tomorrow will ensure the strength and health of our urban forest for the enjoyment of our grandchildren. Together we can preserve the splendor of the City's trees for generations to come.

Mulching at Colman Park

These forests need a little loving care from us. Urban pressures, like invasive plants and lack of regeneration of native trees, are diminishing the benefits Seattle's citizens receive from our forested parkland. Since 1994, Seattle Parks has been at work enhancing the beauty, sustainability and safety of our publicly owned urban forest, which led to the creation of the Green Seattle Partnership (GSP) in 2005.

Youth in FocusNow, over halfway through the GSP 20-Year Plan, the City has seen over 700,000 volunteer hours, 169,000 trees planted, and 163 active forest stewards invested in 80 parks citywide. Thoughtful stewardship of these natural areas will ensure that future generations will enjoy and benefit from Seattle's forests well into the future. GSP partners enroll between 40 and 100 acres into restoration every year.

The Department's Urban Forest Restoration Program implements vegetation management plans for many forested parks. We have documented landscape history and use, assessed vegetation composition and condition, and then outlined specific recommendations to return the forest to long-term health. Using a phased approach to restoration, staff coordinates removal of aggressive weeds and appropriate planting of native plant species. Data is collected annually and compared with goals to determine whether or not the forest health is progressing on a sustainable trajectory.