Don’t be a stranger – know your trees!

How well do you know the trees in your neighborhood?  Ever wish you could identify a particular one?  Seattle’s Tree Ambassadors may be able to help!

The Tree Ambassador program is an opportunity for residents to become stewards of the urban forest and serve as resources for their local community.  The program is jointly managed by SDOT Urban Forestry, Seattle Public Utilities and Forterra (formerly the Cascade Land Conservancy).  Volunteers receive training in urban forestry, leadership and community organizing, as well as support from city staff for neighborhood projects and Tree Walks.

The program’s latest tree walk was completed by the Northgate/Matthew’s Beach Tree Ambassadors.  They have identified and documented 60 trees on a ½ mile loop through residential streets in their neighborhood.  Their opening weekend was a huge success, gathering a crowd of 80 people to follow the initial guided tour!  The route follows public streets and is easy to navigate.  The map is posted online and includes color photos of each tree, making it easy for anyone to tour on their own.

Since its inception in 2011, the Tree Ambassador program has trained 40 volunteers in 11 neighborhoods across Seattle.  These volunteers have hosted tree planting demonstrations, tree mulching projects, created brochures on tree planting and ivy removal, and have helped organize a neighborhood street tree planting project.  Tree Ambassadors have 3 published Tree Walks, with another 2 underway.  To see if there is a tree Walk in your neighborhood, or to learn more about the program, check them out here!