South Park Forest
Combatting industrial pollution and supporting public health in Seattle
South Park Forest will be a transformational project in south Seattle, converting contaminated land into a flourishing native forest for the low-income communities living and working in the area. The South Park district of Seattle is an industrialized and highly polluted area of the city with some of the worst air quality in the region; the historic Duwamish river that flows through the area has been identified as one of the most polluted waterways in the USA.
This environment has created significant public health challenges, culminating in shorter lifespans for residents than in surrounding areas. Life expectancy is 8 years shorter than the City of Seattle and King County averages, and a full 13 years shorter compared to more affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods in Seattle. Furthermore, local children are 3x more likely to develop asthma than in other parts of the city.
South Park Forest aims to heal the land and the people living on it. Soil health will improve and biodiversity will thrive. The forest will also improve air quality in a high-traffic area, enabling local people to breathe better, and offer a calm space where they can immerse themselves in nature.
Forest Maker Ethan Bryson