Virtual delivery of petition in November

The No to Airport Parking in North SeaTac Park petition called on the Port to remove a proposal for an 11-acre parking lot inside the park and also to re-evaluate additional proposals "that would result in the removal of large numbers of trees from land near this park for other airport structures." The Port responded to the first call by removing the parking lot proposal but doesn’t appear to have responded to the petition’s second request.

The petition with its 2,400 signatures and hundreds of community comments will be delivered to the Port by email in early November. A cover letter, in draft form HERE, asks the Port to respond to its second call for action. You can participate in the virtual delivery of the petition by commenting at the Port's November 9th meeting. See details in the “Comment at a Port Meeting” and “Sample Message” sections below. If you’d like to add your name to the letter, write to info@KCTreeEquity.org.

Actions

Scroll below for details

  1. Comment at a Port of Seattle meeting

  2. Contact your elected representatives

  3. Sign up for Action Alerts - to help protect this park and community

  4. Take part in hands-on forest restoration: https://seatac.greencitypartnerships.org

  5. Become a Forest Steward in North SeaTac Park or another ACE* city park - Orientation Wed. Oct. 27

  6. Sign up with the Port to get Notice on SAMP Actions Affecting Communities Around North SeaTac Park

*ACE = Airport Community Ecology Fund, established by the Port of Seattle for the cities of SeaTac, Burien, and Des Moines in recognition “that neighboring communities that experience more impacts from airport operations should also experience more benefits.”

1. Comment at a Port Meeting

Port meetings are on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at noon (sign-in 11:30). Public comments procedures are published HERE. Speaking time is 2 minutes. Upcoming meetings:

  • Oct 26

  • Nov 9

  • Nov 23, etc.

To deliver public comment during a meeting via phone or Microsoft Teams: Write to commission-public-records@portseattle.org with your name and topic by 9AM on the day of the meeting. You will then be provided with instructions and a link to join the Teams meeting

To deliver public comment via email: Send your comments to commission-public-records@portcommission.org All written comments will be distributed to commissioners and attached to the approved minutes.

2. Write to Elected Officials

Let the people who represent you know that you appreciate their actions to protect North SeaTac Park, the communities around it, and our regional ecosystem of forests and waterways. Tell them that acres of forested land in the communities surrounding North SeaTac Park are proposed for destruction under the SAMP, that the Port’s Real Estate Strategic Plan still includes proposals for acres of structures within the park, and that it is critical we protect as many trees as we can.

3. Sign up for Action Alerts

Use the link at the bottom of the page to get action alerts.

Topics will include Port actions that may impact the park, forest restoration work, and exploration on starting a Friends of North SeaTac Park group to help protect it long term.

4. Join in a Forest Rescue Event

Non-native weeds dominate much of North SeaTac Park and trees are being lost. You can help turn back this tide and restore a healthy forest for our community: https://seatac.greencitypartnerships.org.

5. Become a Forest Steward

The ACE Green Cities Program is looking for volunteers in SeaTac, Burien and Des Moines who would like to commit to a park and help with restoration. With support and training from staff, Forest Stewards work on their own, with other Stewards, or lead volunteer events to help manage parks in ways such as planting native flora and removing introduced plants.

The next Forest Steward orientation is on Wednesday, October 27th from 6 – 8 pm. Register HERE or email jugolino@forterra.org with any questions.

6. Sign up for Port Notice on SAMP Actions

A National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the SAMP was expected in July 2021 and is now expected in early 2022. Public comments will be accepted at that time.

The parking lot proposal has been removed, but proposals for multiple acres of warehouses and other facilities all around the park - much of which would result in the destruction of trees, remain.

Sign up HERE for the Port to alert you when that comment window opens. Fill out the form at the top with your info, then scroll down the page and choose the 2nd & 3rd checkboxes under the “Environment and Sustainability News” section (Sustainable Airport Master Plan; and NEPA/SEPA Notifications.) Finally, scroll to the bottom and hit SUBMIT.

Sample Message

Thank you for your actions to protect North SeaTac Park, its forests and waterways, and the people in the surrounding neighborhoods.

People in the communities around North SeaTac Park live directly under the flight paths of SeaTac Airport. These neighborhoods are state-designated as “highly impacted” by environmental health disparities - largely caused by the air traffic overhead. The trees in the park and all around it clean, cool, and quiet our community’s air, providing critical, even life-saving, mitigation for airport pollution and noise. They buffer property values from the impact of airport operations.

Though the Port removed plans to build Lot L06, an 11-acre parking lot proposed on forested land within the park, its Sustainable Airport Master Plan (SAMP) still proposes the removal of acres of trees in neighborhoods directly outside this park.

In addition, the Port’s 2016 Real Estate Strategic Plan identifies 31 forested acres within the park as “useable”. This land is in an ecologically sensitive area with multiple wetlands and waterways. The Port can order the City to vacate this land on 180 days notice.

It would be wrong to remove multiple acres of old trees in any community. It would be especially harmful in this community with already low tree cover* and in which diverse, primarily moderate to lower-income residents are already burdened by environmental health disparities.

We cannot afford the kind of careless planning demonstrated by Lot L06. All the Port’s plans involving massive removal of trees need your scrutiny as there are likely alternatives that can save trees and lives.

Notes on SeaTac’s tree canopy

  • Tree canopy in SeaTac was estimated at 21%: Page 14 of Green SeaTac Partnership Urban Forest Enhancement Guide, Forterra, City of SeaTac, Port of Seattle, 2019. Accessed on 5/20/21 at https://forterra.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/GC_Seatac-guide_032621_WEB.pdf

  • Over 30% tree canopy as a nationwide average: Declining urban and community tree cover in the United States David J. Nowak, Eric J. Greenfield, Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. V. 32, May 2018, Pages 32-55 https://www.fs.fed.us/nrs/pubs/jrnl/2018/nrs_2018_nowak_005.pdf

  • SAMP Technical Memorandum 6 on Alternatives is at https://www.portseattle.org/plans/sustainable-airport-master-plan-samp

  • Attachment 4g Scoping Comments Received, linked to on the website listed above, contains EPA comments and information on Executive Order 12898 and related FAA regulations.

Friends Group

North SeaTac park needs long-term, organized community protection from development by the Port of Seattle and invasion by non-native weeds. Set in neighborhoods directly under the flight path of SeaTac Airport, this forest and its trees SAVE LIVES. And the 200+ acres of unique ecological and recreational treasures in this urban oasis offer unparalleled educational and community-building opportunities.

If you want to join in or even help form a friends group, send an email and say so!

info@KCTreeEquity.org

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