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Get your hands dirty (cuz it’s Earth Day)!

Photo of a person holding a tiny globe

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels


Happy Earth Day, fellow humans!

GIF of person planting a tree

Planting a tree sapling for earth day

Part of what makes Seattle the Emerald City is our trees and foliage. Imagine what Seattle would look and feel like without the green space and tree canopy. Here at SDOT, we play a big role in contributing to the urban landscape in the way we design and operate city streets, sidewalks, and other bits of right of way to include greenery and open space.

Queue our Urban Forestry team. They plant and care for trees (40,000 and counting!), manage landscaping in the right of way, and provide guidance to make sure folks who plan for new developments are planting the right tree in the right place.

All this talk about trees making you want to get out and plant or hug one? Well, we are fully supportive. Here are a few ways you can help improve Seattle’s natural environment.




Give some love (well, water) to one of our many street trees, particularly during the hot summer months. Follow these tips:


  • An easy way to water a young tree is to fill a tree bag two or three times a week with 15-20 gallons of water.
  • Old trees need additional water to keep thriving. If it’s hot, one or two deep waterings during the hot spell will help a lot.
  • Remove the stakes and chain after the first year. Leaving those on too long and too tight can strangle the tree and kill it.
  • Mulch it! Not only will this look good, it will also help keep roots cool and moist longer.

Check out our Street Tree Manual for more information!




This is a great opportunity to connect with neighbors and help beautify your community at the same time. Be sure to read our website for guidance before you start any work.


Photo of a traffic circle that has been planted with flower.

Landscaped traffic circle



Our Trees for Neighborhoods program helps you  plant trees in your neighborhoods.


? PLANT A GARDEN IN YOUR PLANTING STRIP (the space between the sidewalk and the curb)

Check out our planting in the right of way program for more information and guidance on how to start a garden in a planting strip



Photo of a vegetable garden in a planting strip.

Planting strip vegetable garden

Check out these other Earth Day resources and events around the City:

Thanks for doing your part to keep our Emerald City in the Evergreen State so green.