Program: KCD’s Urban Forest Health Program provides direct services to King County cities to enhance, protect, and restore urban tree canopy through projects such as stewarding street trees, writing forested park management plans, and hosting tree giveaways. KCD works with cities to develop project scopes which KCD implements with in-house staff or contractors. Annually, $150,000 is available for project implementation for approximately three new city-chosen projects depending on total applications and project costs.

Process: Cities identify projects they would like to pursue and respond to KCD Urban Forest Health Program Letter of Interest. KCD’s Urban Forest Working Group reviews submissions, selects projects based on set criteria, and works with cities to develop project scopes which KCD supports in-house or bids out.

Funds: This is not a grant program but a services program. Funds are held, and projects are managed, by KCD. Projects should be completed within three years.

Approved Projects By Year

Project Highlights

Community Forest Stewardship at North SeaTac Park: working with the City of SeaTac, The Port of Seattle, Forterra, Partners in Employment and community volunteers, KCD wrote a 30-year management plan for North SeaTac park. As a result of this plan, KCD has also been able to create annual work plans for the different parties involved and undertake invasive plant removal and native tree planting.

Kirkland and Kenmore Yard Tree Giveaways: The cities of Kirkland and Kenmore named as a priority increasing tree canopy on private land and requested tree giveaways. KCD developed an appropriate species list, purchased materials, promoted and managed the event, developed a tree planting demonstration and hand-out, and made sure that materials were also in Spanish and simplified Chinese.

Puget Sound Urban Tree Canopy and Stormwater Management Report & Handbook: Land development in the region’s most populous counties (King, Pierce, and Snohomish) has led to an expansion of impervious surfaces, which in turn increases stormwater runoff and degrades water quality. The Puget Sound Urban Tree Canopy and Stormwater Analysis Project is designed to enhance the discussion around developing and implementing stormwater management plans and policies by providing information about the role tree canopy plays in managing water quality and quantity in the Puget Sound region.

Puget Sound Urban Tree Canopy and Stormwater Management Report

As a companion to the Technical Report, a Handbook was developed to support ongoing collaboration across professional disciplines. While primarily framed and addressed to urban forestry and stormwater professionals, the Handbook is useful to all audiences and users.

Puget Sound Urban Tree Canopy And Stormwater Management Handbook

PlanIt Geo Tree Canopy Assessments: Almost all of the 34 member jurisdictions have had a tree canopy assessment done providing metrics for city-specific geographies and a baseline analysis of canopy cover impacts on stormwater capacity. Cities’ maps and data are available in the web-based planning software, Canopy Planner, to support city partners with planning, community development, and urban forest management. KCD is offering updates to the canopy map as requested.

Explore the Canopy Planner Tool

Urban Forestry Working Group

KCD’s Urban Forest Initiative Working Group are a group of diverse stakeholders who assist the Urban Forest Health Program with the development and implementation of urban forest projects. Current Working Group members are:

Category Represented Geography Name
SCA Representative City of Kirkland Kelli Curtis, Councilmember
SCA Member Jurisdiction Vacant
Large Jurisdiction City of Seattle Paris Yates
Non-Governmental Organization Representative 300 Trees Barbra Chevalier
Non-Governmental Organization Representative City Fruit Julian Garcia
Forestry Professional King County Rural Forest Commission Jeff Boyce
Forestry Professional Bartlett Tree Experts Thomas Cottrell
Urban Resident Jim Howard

For additional information about KCD’s Urban Forest Initiative Working Group or KCD’s Urban Forest Health Program contact Ellen.Arnstein@kingcd.org or call 206-581-3280.

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