The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust (Greenway Trust) is partnering with the City of Shoreline, City Forest Credits, and American Forests to undertake an ecological restoration of the Ballinger Open Space site. The Greenway Trust will work with the City of Shoreline and community members to remove invasive plants, plant trees, and restore public access to this land. This project was recently awarded the 2019 Spotlight Award for Environmental Stewardship by the Washington Recreation and Park Association.
Restoring Public Access and Planting Trees
This green space is heavily infested with invasive species which can outcompete native plants, threaten habitats, pose a threat to spread throughout the downstream waterways, and are detrimental to surface water management. The Greenway Trust will work with the City and community members to improve ecological conditions within the open space. Local habitat and water quality will be improved by clearing invasive weeds and restoring the area through the planting of conifers. Clearing invasive vegetation will also allow the City of Shoreline and the Greenway Trust to undertake an initial assessment of site conditions in preparation for future trails throughout the site.
The primary goal of this project is to remove 1.5 acres of invasive plants at Ballinger Open Space and replace them with 2,000 native trees (1,000 conifers and other large trees and 1,000 smaller trees).
The City of Shoreline is committed to community outreach efforts to engage its citizens and the residents of Ballinger Homes. The Greenway Trust has a strong history of successful outreach to volunteers who assist with invasive removal and planting. Volunteer events provide a unique opportunity to educate community members about restoration and the positive impacts this project has on stormwater management.
The Greenway Trust will also work with the City of Shoreline and the Ballinger Homes community to ensure we engage a socioeconomically and culturally diverse group of volunteers to assist with the efforts. The Greenway Education Program will work with local school groups on Forest Ecosystems and other topics to connect to the project.
The Greenway Education Program will also work with school groups to bring students out for field study. There, students can make a direct, positive impact on the health of streams that drain to Puget Sound while learning about watersheds and how to improve the ecological health of their communities.
This project is possible through funding provided by Bank of America through American Forests.
American Forests has been creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness for more than 140 years. Its Community ReLeaf program has worked in 20 cities nationwide to expand urban forestry capacity, as well as advancing the national movement through policy leadership, helping develop innovative funding mechanisms such as City Forest Credits, and free resources like vibrantcitieslab.com.
Bank of America is a founding partner of Community ReLeaf and is providing financial and volunteer support to this Shoreline project as part of a broader effort to pioneer innovation in urban forestry and climate solutions.
Quantified Environmental Benefits
This project will be one of the first projects registered with the national non-profit City Forest Credits, which is based in Seattle. This project will comply with the protocol requirements of City Forest Credits Carbon Registry and will produce City Forest Carbon+ Credits, with quantified environmental benefits including carbon storage, rainfall interception, air quality, and energy savings.