Forterra Works to Secure a Corridor of Sustainability
The stretch of land between the Skykomish Valley and the Salish Sea is among the most diverse and beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. It roughly follows the path of Washington State’s Highway 2 and is home to wilderness, ancient trees, and a vast array of wildlife. Its farms produce mouthwatering fruit and berries. Its rural towns carry on the character that makes our region distinct.
Forterra, a nonprofit conservation organization, has launched an effort to secure keystone places in this important region. For more than a decade, Forterra has worked to conserve and care for open space, trails, farms, and working forests along the corridor—and to spur economic development in its communities.
Preventing Sprawl – Nestled at the gateway to this stunning landscape is the city of Everett, which is growing rapidly. It’s expected to add more than 75,000 new residents by 2040. In order to encourage graceful growth, and to ensure that development doesn’t threaten keystone places along the corridor, Forterra is working to incentivize smart, affordable, sustainable building within the city.
One area of focus is Everett Station District—a neighborhood that surrounds a busy transit stop. Forterra helped create the Everett District Station Alliance to promote features that will make the neighborhood attractive and livable for commuters—including pedestrian- friendly walkways, bicycle infrastructure, open space, and family-friendly parks. By reimagining and revitalizing this area, the organization hopes to increase the quality of life for residents and prevent encroachment on working lands outside the city.
Revitalizing Rural Communities – Along Highway 2, a string of unique small towns provide local jobs, community, culture, and historic character. Through careful planning and revitalization projects, Forterra is helping ensure that these communities benefit from conservation efforts and recreation-based economic development.
Protecting Trails – Forterra is also working to protect trails and recreation sites from development and overcrowding. In 2018, thanks to massive community support, the organization permanently preserved the popular Lake Serene trail. By purchasing a 190-acre parcel, they were able to guarantee public access to the trail’s waterfalls, alpine lake, and breathtaking views.
As part of its efforts in the corridor, the group hopes to secure a 320-acre parcel on Maloney Ridge—home to old growth trees—along with 640 acres on Windy Ridge that provide habitat to endangered species such as the northern spotted owl, lynx, wolverine, wolf, and grizzly bear.
The Pacific Northwest is booming. It’s estimated that our region’s population will grow 27 percent by 2040. In order to conserve the forests, farms, trails, and towns that make this place special, we will need to plan ahead and work together.
To find out how you can help, please visit forterra.org/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover photo courtesy, Forterra: Protecting our environment for future generations to enjoy.