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Take an Earth Day tour with city’s new Seattle Tree Walks app

Visit a Capitol Hill favorite — this huge the London plane in the traffic triangle at the intersection of Belmont, Summit, and Bellevue Pl — to mark Earth Day (Image: CHS)

“We tried to make something that would mimic the actions of the Douglas fir forest that once was on our site—something that would get all of its energy from the sun, all of its water from the rain, and not produce anything toxic,” Denis Hayes, Earth Day founder and father of 15th and Madison’s “living building” The Bullitt Center said in a recent interview.

That fir forest is long gone but a new effort from the city makes enjoying Seattle’s modern urban forest even easier. Trees for Seattle program manager (and CHS reader!) Kym Foley sent over this announcement of the new Seattle Tree Walks app:

Trees for Seattle announces Seattle Tree Walks, a brand new mobile app! Now more than ever, Seattleites are looking for safe, socially-distant ways to relieve stress and enjoy the warming weather. Whether you’re a budding botanist or simply interested in how Seattle’s trees contribute to a safer, healthier, more vibrant city, you’ll find an engaging Tree Walk to explore at your own convenience. Download Seattle Tree Walks for free on your Apple or Android smartphone today!

The app turns your smartphone into a Seattle tree tour guide with help picking based on mileage and “difficulty” from a selection of leafy canopy tours in neighborhoods across the city.

The new creation is an extension of the work of the volunteers of the Tree Ambassadors program and will help transition years of tours into an experience that scales to these socially restricted times.

Users can choose from around 15 different routes, with new routes and more options to come. There is also information about the “deep historical and cultural connections between trees and people” and how trees are impacted by climate change.

One new tour set to be added will cover northern Capitol Hill and will include, Foley says, her favorite tree — the London plane in the traffic triangle at the intersection of Belmont, Summit, and Bellevue Pl. “London planes are pretty ubiquitous (dare I say pedestrian?) as far as urban trees go, but this massive beast is five and a half feet in diameter and is such a cool focal point in this part of the neighborhood,” Foley writes. You can read more about it here.

Over the years, CHS’s Pikes/Pines series has also had a lot to say about the area’s trees. Here are some of our favorite. Hope you enjoy an Earth Day tree walk soon:

PIKES/PINES


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