Published on November 01, 2023
Scriber Lake Bridge
This fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service awarded more than $1 billion in competitive grants to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change and improve access to nature. The City of Lynnwood is pleased to be receiving $1,308,198 of this grant funding for its South Lynnwood Urban Forestry & Stewardship Program.
This five-year program aims to protect and enhance 12 acres of urban forest, riparian and wetlands and expand healthy urban tree canopies across the South Lynnwood Neighborhood, which is considered a disadvantaged community according to the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool and is home to a quarter of the city's population.
A significant portion of the South Lynnwood Census Tract which includes Lynnwood City Center suffers from heat island severity, meaning that these areas are, on average, 1–7°F higher than temperatures in outlying areas. For Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Deputy Director Sarah Olson, increasing the greenspaces and tree canopy in areas like South Lynnwood is paramount to lowering the temperature in Lynnwood.
"This South Lynnwood Urban Forestry & Stewardship Program includes a goal to plant 750 trees on city-owned and city-managed properties, in street right-of-way, and providing more than 500 trees to residents they can plant on private property," explained Olson. "This program will help the City of Lynnwood achieve that and its objective to address the effects of heat islands and climate change in our community, improving the overall health and quality of life of our community members."
The South Lynnwood Neighborhood (shaded) and its parks and trails. The levels of red indicate the level of heat island severity. The dotted line indicates the city limits.
(Source: South Lynnwood Urban Forestry & Stewardship Program)
This funding will also provide one full-time Urban Forestry position dedicated to forest restoration, enhancement and expansion, and to lead a robust stewardship program with outreach and education programming within the community. The City of Lynnwood has already partnered with key organizations, including the Edmonds College Center for Service Learning, the Snohomish Tribe of Indians, and Edmonds School District to connect K-8 and college students to a new educational stewardship program that connects these communities to the nature around them.
"From our Tree City designation for the last 24 years to our successful Tree Voucher Program, we understand how urban forests play a vital role in the environmental, economic and public health of Lynnwood," said City of Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell. "Strong community partnerships have been and will continue to be a vital component to the success of this work and in educating our future leaders of the importance of a lush and vibrant natural landscape."
The Inflation Reduction Act provided funding for this grant and was available to various groups that work to enhance tree equity, tree cover and access to nature in urban spaces. The City of Lynnwood plans to begin implementing the South Lynnwood Urban Forestry & Stewardship Program next year.
You can view the South Lynnwood Urban Forestry & Stewardship Program proposal here.