The Emerald City. Photo from Trees of Seattle
From Trees of Seattle, a program of the City of Seattle, Trees for Seattle is committed to growing and maintaining a healthy, awe-inspiring urban forest:

Imagine you are in an airplane flying over Seattle today- as you look down, the percentage of the land covered by tree leaves and branches is the canopy cover of our urban forest.

“The City of Seattle uses light detecting and ranging (LiDAR) data, gathered by sending a pulsed laser from an airplane to the Earth’s surface, to measure canopy cover.  The baseline canopy cover assessment was completed in 2016 and the City is updating this assessment now using 2021 data. Preliminary data for this assessment was received in August 2022.  This showed that between 2016-2021 the City of Seattle lost 1.7% of its canopy cover, or 255 acres – an area roughly the size of Green Lake. Part of this loss is due to the strain of climate change and aging canopy, especially in parks and natural areas. In residential areas canopy declined by 0.8% for single family and 1.2% for multi-family zones. During this time Seattle’s population grew by 8.5% reminding us that healthy canopy and development can coexist.   Seattle’s goal is 30% canopy cover citywide, as well as a more equitably distributed cover for neighborhoods. Canopy cover is not currently equitably distributed, with communities of low canopy cover experiencing higher health inequities, lower air quality, and higher heat. In other analyses we have confirmed that these communities have higher populations of people of color; race is a strong predictor of how much canopy cover is in a neighborhood in Seattle. The City of Seattle will comprehensively review these findings to develop a series of recommended investments, improve regulations, and develop plans to put the necessary tools in place to stop the current backslide and to continue driving equity focused plantings to grow a healthy, equitable, sustainable, and resilient urban forest. “

Trees of Seattle invites everyone to Seattle Forest Week! “Join us October 22-29 for a week of forest-related fun! This week celebrates the start of planting season in the Pacific Northwest. It is exciting to gather in community and appreciate our beloved urban forest with tree planting, tours of Longfellow Creek, native plant walks, and forest therapy sessions.  Events with determined dates and times:  October 22: Tree Planting Demonstration at Dunlap Elementary, Saturday from 10-11am  October 23: Seattle Arbor Day at Be’er Sheva Park 12pm-3pm  October 27: Celebration of Cedars with Valerie Segrest of Muckleshoot Tribe, at Royal Room, Time TBD   October 29: Green Seattle Day, Saturday morning at various locations 

October 29: Green Seattle Day: after a year of removing weeds, come plant new baby trees and plants in some of your favorite forested parks. Find a location and register here