Innovative city forest Carbon Project launches in Shoreline Saturday

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Ballinger Open Space
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A new way to fund city trees is afoot across the nation, and a group of local and national stakeholders are launching one of the pilot projects in the City of Shoreline. The innovation: these trees will earn carbon credits. 

On December 1, Shoreline community volunteers will join local volunteers from Bank of America and staff from the local Greenway Trust to plant 200 trees at the three-acre Ballinger Open Space site at 2350 NE 200th Street, Shoreline.

These trees are the beginning of a project that will clear out invasive plants to restore public access and will plant 2,000 trees on the site.

Many cities are struggling to fund their trees, and growth and development are taking their toll on city trees. 

American Forests and its corporate partner, Bank of America, have been working to address this problem in more than 20 cities across the country since 2013, with a large focus on restoring and expanding urban forests in underserved neighborhoods.

American Forests is also a partner of City Forest Credits, a Seattle-based non-profit organization working nationally to enable tree planting and preservation projects in cities to earn Carbon+ credits. Projects can sell these credits to local or national companies, thus generating new, private-sector funding to help keep our cities green, healthy and equitable.

The scientists at City Forest Credits developed a unique City Forest Carbon+ Credit that includes a metric ton of CO2, quantification of stormwater runoff reduction in cubic meters, reductions in air pollutants, and energy savings.

The Ballinger Open Space site is projected to deliver the following quantified benefits over the next fifty years:
  • Storage of up to 1,000 metric tons of CO2 
  • Reduction of over 62 million liters of storm water (rain fall interception), at a savings of approximately $455,000
  • Energy savings (heating and cooling) of $73,000
  • Improvements in air quality valued at over $5,000 
  • Total dollar benefits over 50 years valued at $533,000 

Clearing has already taken place
Photo courtesy Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust
By working with City Forest Credits, the Greenway Trust will leverage the initial sale of credits to pay for maintenance and monitoring of the trees on the site.

Mark McPherson, founder and Executive Director of City Forest Credits, said, “The City of Shoreline, the Greenway Trust, American Forests, and Bank of America all deserve recognition for their work to pioneer this new opportunity. 

Everyone benefits, from the nearby residents at the Ballinger Homes, to the neighborhood, the larger community, the City of Shoreline, Bank of America and its employees who are volunteering here, birds and pollinators, the environment, and the planet.”

The Seattle-based Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust worked with the City of Shoreline to identify the Ballinger Open Space site as ideal for the first group of national pilot carbon projects. The site is currently choked with blackberries and knotweed and allows no community access. More information on the project and site can be found on the City Forest Credits website under the Ballinger Open Space Project.

“The Greenway Trust is excited to partner with the City of Shoreline and City Forest Credits and pilot the Carbon+ Credits. This new funding opportunity supports critical urban reforestation and restoration efforts consistent with our long-term commitment to the ecological health of the Mountains to Sound Greenway. We greatly appreciate American Forests and Bank of America’s early support for the program and the Ballinger Open Space reforestation project,” said Tor Bell, Field Programs Director

“As part of our commitment to responsible growth, Bank of America is demonstrating the power to make a difference in our communities by putting financial and human capital into innovative, cross-sector partnerships that help communities be more climate resilient and enhance green spaces for people to enjoy,” said Kerri Schroeder, Seattle market president for Bank of America. “We are proud to support our partners in this Carbon+ Credits pilot program because it is creating financial incentives to solve environmental problems right in our own backyard.”

Shoreline Mayor Will Hall said, “Shoreline residents love our trees. In 2014 we adopted an Urban Forest Strategic Plan with goals and strategies to improve the forests in Shoreline. We are excited about this partnership with the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, City Forest Credits, American Forests, and Bank of America to restore over two acres of degraded forest land at Ballinger Open Space. It is a big step toward our forest goals.”

The Greenway Trust has already begun to clear invasive weeds from the site. On December 1, volunteers will be planting a diverse palette of native tree and shrub species that have historically grown on and are adapted to this area. These include Sitka and Scouler’s willow, Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Dogwood, and Sitka Spruce.


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