About the Green Kirkland Partnership
The Green Kirkland Partnership is an alliance between the City of Kirkland, nonprofit partners, businesses and the community to restore more than 500 acres of natural areas in the City. The majority of our restoration efforts are accomplished by our dedicated volunteers - who are supported by partnership staff. Green Kirkland Partnership staff are part of the Parks Management Division of the City of Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department. Volunteers in our program may join us just one time or volunteer every week in many capacities. It takes everyone to restore our natural areas!
What We Do
The Green Kirkland mission is to restore and maintain healthy forested and natural parklands by building a supportive community that works together to protect Kirkland's valuable natural resources for current and future generations. Achieving this involves training volunteers in restoration activities and providing support from restoration partners, contractors and skilled natural areas staff. The Partnership's activities include community-based restoration efforts like replanting areas with native trees and invasive plant removal; as well as education, outreach and engagement with our community.
Green Kirkland's activities are guided by the 20 Year Forest and Natural Areas plan(PDF, 13MB). In 2008, Forterra and the City of Kirkland created its first Green Kirkland Partnership 20-Year Forest Restoration Plan. This was updated in 2015 to include the new neighborhoods and natural areas that were added to Kirkland through the annexation in 2011. The updated 20 Year Forest and Natural Areas Restoration Plan(PDF, 13MB) provides a baseline of the current conditions (in 2015) of Kirkland's natural areas and creates an outline for the restoration of these areas.
Green Kirkland's project area is focused on natural area parkland managed by the City of Kirkland as outlined in the 20 Year Forest and Natural Areas Restoration Plan. The scope of Green Kirkland's project area includes over 500 acres of mapped natural area within the City of Kirkland. The majority of this area is managed under the guidance of the Parks and Community Services Department.
Areas where Green Kirkland may be active:
- Natural area parkland such as forest, meadows, wetlands, streams and shorelines.
- Natural area is defined and mapped within each park and excludes the areas below.
Areas not included in Green Kirkland scope:
- Other City of Kirkland park area including ballfields, landscape gardens, parking lots, playgrounds and other developed areas excluded in the 20 year plan.
- The Cross Kirkland Corridor is managed under the guidance of the Public Works Department within the City of Kirkland.
- Parks or public property not managed by the City of Kirkland. Examples include King County Parks (Big Finn Hill Park and Juanita Woodlands Park), or Washington State Parks (Bridle Trails State Park and St. Edwards State Park), or the Lake Washington School District properties.
- Private land
To see our most recent progress, check out the Kirkland Parks and Community Services monthly report!
Why This Work is Important
Kirkland has a wealth of open space, parks and green spaces which we collectively call natural areas. These 500+ acres of natural areas strengthen local neighborhoods, improve property values and make Kirkland a vibrant and green place to live, play and work. Kirkland's urban forests provide a refuge for wildlife habitat, a place for people to connect with nature and many valuable ecosystem services such as cleaning the air, filtering water, sequestering carbon, preventing erosion and reducing storm water run-off.
Green Kirkland Partnership supporters believe that everyone benefits from having healthy natural spaces and forests in their communities. Due to the history of logging and development in Kirkland, we have lost much of our original tree cover leaving our urban forests highly fragmented and in a state of decline. We have learned that "leaving nature to itself" does not work in these highly disturbed urban areas and an active approach must be taken if the forest is to survive for future generations. Currently we lack young trees to replace those that are aging and dying because much of our urban forest understory is dominated by aggressive invasive plants. If this trend continues, we will be left with forests that are swaths of non-native Himalayan blackberry, English ivy and morning glory along with fewer of the great benefits that these forests can provide.
The Green Kirkland Partnership is working to reverse the decline of our forest by removing invasive species and replanting with native vegetation that will grow into healthy and diverse forests. The graphics below show both the challenge and the impact our work can have:
What You Can Do
The Green Kirkland Partnership offers many ways to get involved! Volunteer with us one or many times at a restoration event, become a Green Kirkland Steward, bring your work team, or donate. Our program wouldn't be possible without the countless hours offered by our amazing volunteers.
Green Kirkland Partnership is part of the Parks Management Division of the City of Kirkland Parks and Community Services Department.
Our staff are here to help with questions and concerns about City natural areas and parks.
Our Partners in Restoration
Thanks to the many other organizations that are dedicated to restoring and maintaining our natural areas!