Thinking Big to Manage Our Urban Forests & Natural Areas
Without intervention, aggressive non-native plants like blackberries, ivy, holly and scotch broom will take over our landscape. That's the bad news. The good news: we are doing something about it!
The city of Kent is partnering with Forterra, other organizations and - important! - community volunteers to restore Kent's forested parks, wetlands and other natural areas. The Green Kent Partnership is part of the Green Cities Network, which includes Seattle, Tacoma, Redmond, Kirkland, and Everett. Find out what the other Green Cities are doing.
If you want details, it's all in the Green Kent 20-Yr Plan and the addendum that was added following the Panther Lake annexation in 2010.
Lake Fenwick Park before intervention, one year after intervention, and how it looks today, with regular monitoring by Green Kent Stewards and volunteers
Watch our new videos, too! The Green Kent Partnership Story and, for a 30-second smile, Something is Invading Our Parks!
Why Is All This Important?
Urban natural areas are public assets that beautify and strengthen our neighborhoods. They absorb carbon dioxide from our air, provide us with clean water, stormwater retention and reduced flooding, habitat for wildlife, and noise buffers. And, importantly, Kent's parks and natural areas are where urban residents can connect with the "green" and take a break from the "gray." By engaging the entire community, we are building local capacity for stewardship and working towards a long-term vision of urban environmental health.
Ways to Get Involved
Green Kent Stewards adopt a park or a natural area they love and help coordinate restoration projects there. Our Stewards are community leaders and our most dedicated volunteers. No experience is necessary. Training, materials and support from staff are provided. Current Green Kent Stewards, click here to access your resources. Interested in becoming a Green Kent Steward? Do you want to help but don't particularly want to lead volunteers? We also need Support Stewards! If you enjoy being behind the scenes or aren't interested in the physical activity restoration involves, there are opportunities for you as an Outreach Volunteer. Take a look at the "job descriptions." If they're just what you're looking for or you have questions, contact us. The next orientation is scheduled for March 23, 9 a.m.-noon at the Kent Senior Activity Center. We're hoping for a full room!
You can also help Stewards by volunteering at a work party. Or, if that isn't possible, you could bring treats or coffee to a work party. You wouldn't believe how much those are appreciated! Or donate a new or gently used hand tool. Volunteers are enthusiastic, but they're hard on our tools.
This program was made possible in part by annual grants to the city from the King Conservation District; for more information, go to www.kingcd.org