Posts Tagged ‘Trees’

Everybody Under the Sun?

Monday, July 28th, 2008

It was Memorial Day weekend, a few years ago. A warm day but not hot. Great time to visit the Space Needle observation deck. Of course the Center was packed with Folklifers that day. Looking at this mass of people from 520 feet taught a surprising lesson.

Seattle residents love sun, right? They’ll do anything to get more of it. We design our parks and buildings to capture as much of it as possible. All good? Well, to a point.

New amphitheatre proposed at Memorial Stadium

Almost directly below the Space Needle is the Mural Amphitheatre, one of the Center’s larger concert venues. At first glance that day, it looked 1/4 full. On second glance, the people were there, but they were packed around the shade trees on the perimeter. People were out in droves, but avoiding the sun.

What does that mean? Clearly, anecdotal evidence isn’t a mandate. Sunlight is important. But it’s an interesting window on what people, many of them, really prefer.

A new amphitheatre is being discussed for the Memorial Stadium site. Will this have lots of trees around the edges? Perhaps a nice shady grove or two? I hope so. People sit in amphitheatres for long periods. Heat and glare are just the start. Two hours can be bad-sunburn territory. Other walkways at the center should have trees as well.

And yes, let’s add more street trees. For those of us who take long walks and aren’t sun worshippers, nothing is worse than block after block in blazing sun. And few things are finer than the cooling effect and ambiance of a canopy of huge trees, or at least mid-sized ones.

Want more trees? Call the neighbors.

Friday, April 4th, 2008

treesSome bus drivers on the No. 11 route call out the stop closest to the Washington Park Arboretum with the eerie signifier “Lake Washington Boulevard, Tree Museum.”

Some might think that’s just a Joni Mitchell reference, but there’s been a lot of scary talk lately about Seattle’s dwindling tree population.

According to the city, Seattle’s tree canopy has shrunk from 40 percent city coverage in the late 1970s to around 18 percent right now. Last year, the mayor said the city should take steps to address the shrinking canopy, getting back to 30 percent coverage by 2037.

DPD is rewriting the city’s tree regulations to try to reach the target. A comp plan amendment proposed by Ilze Jones of Jones and Jones Architects and Landscape Architects would have the city set aside 48,000 acres and name a tree czar to manage city trees.

skylineWhile we’re waiting for the laws to be sorted out, and with Washington’s Arbor Day coming up on Tuesday, some people might want to roll up their sleeves and take advantage of an annual freebie from the city.

The Department of Neighborhoods
is accepting applications from Seattle residents for free trees. But you have to talk to your neighbors and plant the trees yourselves. Groups of five households or more on a street or block are eligible to apply, and can request between 10 and 40 trees.

In exchange for free trees delivered by the city this fall, the groups must attend a training session and then plant the trees. Applications are due on Friday, August 15.

Get an application by calling the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods at (206) 684-0464 or Click here.

Just don’t charge a dollar and a half to see ‘em.

Click here for more stats and links on Seattle tree.