Des Moines Memorial Drive elm – photo by Stan Haralson – posted on SoCoCulture’s Forest for the Trees story map

by Barbara McMichael, SoCoCulture

Thanks to a grant from the Port of Seattle’s Airport Community Ecology (ACE) Fund, SoCoCulture arranged a three-part Engaging Trees speaker series in Fall of 2018 that drew attention to the environmental impact and cultural significance of trees. This is part of SoCo’s Engaging Trees Initiative, which has been drawing attention to the cultural significance of trees in South King County since 2015.

The ACE Fund was authorized by the Port of Seattle Commission in November 2016 as a response to strong community pushback to the Port’s plan to cut down 3000 mature trees around the airport in the name of air space safety. Acknowledging that communities neighboring SeaTac Airport are subject to direct environmental impacts from airport operations, the Commission developed this program to support environmental projects and programs in the cities of SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines.

In conjunction with the Highline Historical Society, which will acted as the fiscal sponsor for the speaker series, SoCoCulture also reached out to the Des Moines Historical Society and the City of SeaTac’s Arts, Culture and Library Advisory Committee to arrange for talks to take place in each of the three cities. SoCoCulture used this series to encourage continued crowd-sourced contributions to the Forest for the Trees story map that resides on the SoCoCulture website. Organizers also offered a bilingual component for some of the programs.

Another one of the speakers was Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes, who is also author of Witness Tree.

This series took place over three months in the autumn of 2018.

Posted on 6/30/2018