Sound Transit, the City of Shoreline, and King Conservation District are pleased to announce Trees for Rail, a partnership to re-green the Lynnwood Link light rail corridor with native trees and shrubs as it passes through Shoreline.
The first of its kind partnership seeks to utilize King Conservation District’s County-wide Urban Tree Canopy program to establish native vegetation and tree canopy to reduce the impact on corridor-adjacent homeowners. This partnership leverages the resources of Sound Transit and will serve to meet Shoreline’s landscaping requirements.
Shoreline requires landscape buffers between the light rail corridor and residential neighborhoods, but in some locations there is not enough space on Sound Transit owned property or in the City right-of-way to plant these buffers. By working together, Shoreline, Sound Transit, and King Conservation District developed a plan to offer trees and shrubs to be planted at nearby homes or adjacent City rights-of-way in the impacted neighborhoods.
Eligible residents along the rail corridor in parts of the Ridgecrest, North City, and Ballinger neighborhoods can volunteer to receive native trees and shrubs, installed by KCD experts, free of charge. Households also receive training on how to care for their plants with additional assistance if needed.
“This program builds on our existing commitment to plant thousands of trees along the Lynnwood Link alignment,” says Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “We think teaming up with the City of Shoreline and bringing the expertise of KCD to homeowners in these areas will be a big win for residents and the environment.”
“We are excited about approaching rail corridor mitigation in this manner,” stated Shoreline Mayor Will Hall. “This new approach reduces the number of property acquisitions needed by Sound Transit while still ensuring there are adequate landscape buffers along the light rail corridor.”
Though construction of Lynnwood Link involved removing some trees, the reduction is only temporary. Sound Transit will be planting 20,000 trees, nearly four times as many as it had to remove. The agency will maintain the newly planted trees along the alignment for up to 13 years, greatly improving their survival rates. King Conservation District’s role is to work directly with impacted residents – over 200 Shoreline homeowners in all. “We’re excited to work with Shoreline residents to understand their planting options and select the right trees and shrubs to fit their needs,” says KCD Interim Director Cynthia Setel.
Eligible homeowners will be contacted by King Conservation District throughout the coming months and will begin planting later this year.