SIGN to protect our park & trees

What are we defending?

Trees protect people from aviation pollution known to harm health and shorten lives near SeaTac Airport. Public Health Seattle & King County has documented this connection and recommends increasing green space and trees in this community in order to protect residents.

The Port of Seattle knows of these findings. It also knows that trees protect residents from deadly climate change impacts, having committed, for that reason, to restoring forests and reducing sprawl. But the Port has already replaced large areas of near-airport forest with sprawling development. And its current plans would destroy thousands more trees, swapping an estimated 107+ acres of air-purifying green space, including 31.5 acres inside North SeaTac Park, with even more heat and pollution-generating industrial development.

All this is on land where the FAA and Port, decades ago, removed the homes, schools, and businesses of thousands of residents to make way for airport expansion. In those years, Port and County community plans helped quell community dissent by showing that hundreds of mostly-forested acres of the seized land would remain as open space for parks, nature preserves, and similar uses. North SeaTac Park had especially clear protected status, having been created, according to the FAA, “to compensate area residents for cumulative airport impacts.”  These plans must be honored.  Map:  from a brochure on the SeaTac Communities Plan published by the Port and King County in 1976. See source here.  Labels, arrow, & circle are added.

A critical public health task for our region - saving the towering old trees of the Highline forest, restoring its canopy to levels healthy for people and wildlife, and ensuring its survival through future droughts and heat - is not yet on this region’s public policy agenda.  Let’s put it there.


© 2022

Facebook icon
Instagram icon
Intuit Mailchimp logo