GLY is fortunate to have many long-term relationships with Pacific Northwest companies that inspire us to dream bigger and reach higher. Our partnership with Forterra is no exception. Forterra’s conservation work encourages us to never stop asking: how can we do more in the communities where we work, live, and play? After spending quite a bit of time on our most recent endeavor with Forterra, I can’t keep it a secret any longer…I’m happy to announce that GLY is the proud new parent of a park! Now that the news is out, I’ll start from the beginning.
My wife Maria and I moved from Chicago to Seattle at the end of 2016, eager to spend more time outdoors and explore a new region of the United States. We take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, and coming from the flat plains of the Midwest, we never take living a stone’s throw from three national parks for granted. Most folks at GLY share in this appreciation. Over the last two and a half years with the company, I’ve joined many coworkers on outdoor adventures: climbing, skiing, biking, hiking, running, and volunteering in numerous community activities focused on improving the environment. It is rewarding to work for a company that not only values time spent in the great outdoors but recognizes our duty to take care of it so that future generations will be able to appreciate it in the same ways we do now.
The scientific community agrees we are now in the geological epoch called the Anthropocene in which human beings are the driving force behind the majority of changes to the natural world. While the world debates the big, complex issues regarding climate change, there are small scale actions that we can do right now to improve our backyard. As a company, we decided to do exactly that.
Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture [ECC] program began as a partnership with Pearl Jam, who “wanted to take responsibility for their carbon emissions produced from their world tour by planting trees in their local community.” Following Pearl Jam’s lead, GLY became one of the founding members of the ECC, voluntarily calculating the carbon footprint of our main office in Bellevue and planting trees annually to mitigate that footprint.
This year, GLY became the first company to simultaneously participate in a park adoption through the Green Redmond Partnership. By adopting Bear Creek Park, GLY will regularly care for our ECC trees in hopes of restoring a crucial salmon habitat in the heart of downtown Redmond and maintaining a healthy green space for the public to enjoy for years to come.
The 4.5-acre park expands a long, narrow plot of land. Bear Creek runs north to south right through the middle of the park, painting the picture of why our work is so important. The east side is almost entirely overrun with invasive species with just a few trees remaining. By contrast, the west side has plenty of native trees that provide shade to the salmon running up Bear Creek. However, if nothing is done to ensure that young, healthy trees are growing to replace the existing shade cover, the west side might look like the east side of the park in just a few decades. Thus our focus in 2019 is keeping the west side of the park healthy. We planted 139 new trees during two work parties, spread nutrient-rich mulch, and removed about 5,000 square feet of invasive blackberry along the creek.