Growing up as a low-income immigrant kid, Seattle’s trees were a wonder and a rare luxury for me, so our City Council’s latest canopy-damaging tree ordinance comes as a shock and disappointment. Did these people grow up in the same Seattle I did?
by Susan Su
Seattle’s recently passed Tree Ordinance — an update to the existing ordinance last adjusted in 2009 — poses the greatest threat to urban canopy we’ve seen in decades. Rather than protecting trees, the Tree Ordinance allows property developers to remove any and all trees from any and all lots across the city, with the small exception of a few hundred previously designated Heritage Trees. That endangers over 80% of Seattle’s canopy, which has already been following a steep decline down to Los Angeles levels. Under its guise of protection, access to environmental justice — and to a fair future for our children — is in danger. But we can hope for better: saving trees, creating housing, and inspiring a generation that believes in “both/and,” not “either/or.”
This is a personal story of how tree equity shaped my childhood and inspired my career fighting for climate justice for all.Continue reading OPINION | Seattle’s Tree Ordinance Is an Affront to Climate Justice