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Spokane Parks Windstorm Restoration Plans Underway

Media: Fianna Dickson, 625.6297. Parks: 311 or 509.625.6600


Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:34 p.m.


SPOKANE – City of Spokane Parks & Recreation is working with The Lands Council to mitigate damage to our urban tree canopy caused by the windstorm on January 13.

The Urban Forestry team of the Parks division created a restoration plan in alignment with the SpoCanopy initiative. SpoCanopy is a partnership with The Lands Council that works with volunteers and residents to ensure every person has access to green space and healthy tree canopy. The goal of SpoCanopy is to have 40% tree cover across the city by 2030.

2021 Windstorm Restoration Plan

  • Number: A 2-for-1 replacement equates to approximately 400 trees.
  • Diversity of type: Native conifers, specifically Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Western larch, and White pine. A diverse tree population protects our forest from insects, disease, and extreme weather events.
  • Water conservation & maintenance: Replace select turf with natural grasses or woody mulch, ensure proper maintenance and care of our forest canopy to foster resiliency.
  • Location: Throughout the park system, with preference given to parks with greatest need.
  • Timeline: 2021 – 2022 spring and fall plantings.

 

Ways to support

For community members interested in supporting the restoration efforts, please consider these options:

  • Volunteer your time to plant trees at spring and fall plantings events, at SpokaneParks.org/volunteer (details posted as confirmed, most plantings planned for the fall).
  • Purchase the limited-edition Comstock Park poster by local artist Chris Bovey, with proceeds directly funding this restoration plan. Visit the Vintage Print NW Etsy shop.
  • Donate to help purchase and install trees, via the SpoCanopy website or your City of Spokane utility bill (look for the line to contribute to the “urban forest”)·

 

Damage impacts

Urban Forestry and Park Operations teams have worked diligently on windstorm damage. Safety hazards were addressed first, followed by ongoing clean up and mitigations.

Stump grinding continues, and most cut logs have been removed for sale. The proceeds from the revenue of log sales, estimated at $21,000, helps fund tree replacements. Firewood is being donated to SNAP.

The park system lost approximately 200 trees due to the storm. We also saw damage to park amenities including tennis courts, a playground, a golf building, lights, fences, benches, and picnic tables. Additionally, the Riverfront Park butterfly came down in the storm, and a restoration plan is underway. There is possible damage to underground irrigation systems caused by the storm, and will be determined this season.

The total for estimated storm damages is over $700,000.

A re-opening for Comstock Park, temporarily closed due to hazards and debris, will be announced shortly.

 

 

About City of Spokane Parks and Recreation

City of Spokane Parks and Recreation stewards nearly 120 properties across 4,000 acres of park land, including manicured parks, conservation lands, aquatic centers, golf courses, sports complexes, and an arboretum. We also offer hundreds of recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities to improve the health and quality of life for our community. Enjoy all your city has to offer by visiting spokaneparks.org. Follow us @SpokaneParks on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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