Healthy Forest Project

In 2019, Snohomish County and Forterra launched the Healthy Forest Project, a community stewardship program to restore and care for the forested parks and natural areas managed by the County. The framework and structure of the program follows Forterra’s Green City Partnership model, used in 14 cities across the Puget Sound. As of 2023, the project will principally run through Snohomish County staff, while retaining Forterra as a project partner.


Through this program, the Healthy Forest Project will partner with local communities to recruit, train, and support volunteer stewards to lead forest restoration projects in priority parks. Ultimately, the county aims to build a strong culture of community stewardship, leadership, and partnership to support a healthy urban forest for everyone. Each city or county’s program relies on a network of individuals, organizations, staff, and volunteers. All partners are essential for the success of the project.

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Building the Partnership

Snohomish County owns approximately 11,704 acres of forested open space. Phase 1 of this pilot will focus on 1,000 acres of parkland shown in the map below, fostering long-term support for restoration and maintenance of parks and natural areas. So far, we have:


  • Assessed forest health conditions of the identified 1,000 acres of parks and natural areas.
  • Reached out to the community to guide project prioritization and implementation.
  • Developed a 20-year plan to share the forest health assessment results and establish goals and strategies for forest restoration and community engagement efforts.
  • Implemented on-the-ground projects at five different parks, with a volunteer program to organize local community groups to plant trees, remove invasive plant species, and meet restoration goals.
A map showing the ten pilot sites for the Healthy Forest Project in Snohomish County.

What are the benefits of a healthy forest?

Healthy forested parks and greenspaces have the power to strengthen neighborhoods, provide safe access to nature, offer numerous valuable environmental benefits, and play a critical role in supporting salmon and a healthy Puget Sound. Without a coordinated effort to restore and care for our forests, we are at risk of losing many benefits these forests and natural areas provide. 

6 rectangular graphics explaining some benefits of trees.