Cooperatove Conservation Project

American Forests and Mountains to Sound Greenway

Reforestation of Old Logging Roads in Washington State

Location: Far West Region: Washington

Project Summary: This project planted native trees on former logging roads to create a continuous “greenbelt” along Interstate 90 in order to improve surrounding habitats.
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Local volunteer planting a tree on boarder of remaining forest.
Resource Challenge

            When logging companies ended in  King County, Washington State, there were many unused roads and massive erosion along I-90. The erosion was damaging surrounding watersheds, many of which were inhabited by endangered salmon species.

AMERICAN FORESTS, the nation’s oldest conservation non-profit, joined Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in restoration efforts as part of its Global ReLeaf program. This project perfectly demonstrated the Global ReLeaf’s purpose, to restore damaged ecosystems by planting native trees. Between 1999 and 2004 AMERICAN FORESTS provided grants to Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust for the planting of over 411,000 native seedlings by local volunteers at many different sites along I-90.







Examples of Key Partners

AMERICAN FORESTS , Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, King County , and World Conservation Corps.

Results and Accomplishments

            This partnership successful restored the landscape along I-90 from Seattle up over the Cascade Mountains to rural areas of Washington State . It successfully created a continuous “greenbelt”, which is a highway that is surrounded by wilderness and is environmentally conscious. In 10 to 15 years the trees planted will permanently stabilize the soil in these areas preventing erosion from polluting the local watersheds and decreasing the stress on endangered salmon species. The seedlings planted will also be responsible for annually removing over 10,686,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and producing 5,343,000 pounds of oxygen.

            While Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust continues to restore habitat along I-90 in Washington State, AMERICAN FORESTS continues to plant native trees all over the world in its effort to restore damaged ecosystems. AMERICAN FORESTS’ Global ReLeaf program, which began in 1990, has already planted well over 20 million trees. In 2005 AMERICAN FORESTS and Coleman Natural Foods announced a campaign to plant another 20 million trees by 2015. By forming partnerships with various groups, associations, departments, and companies like it did for this project, AMERICAN FORESTS will be able to achieve this goal.


One of the unique features that made this project very successful was the organization of local volunteers to do the plantings. AMERICAN FORESTS has always believed that a project is more likely to have greater success when local communities are involved in it. People tend to be very concerned about the environmental status of their community and are always very eager to help when possible. The volunteers provided the project with an excellent work force that kept costs down. This allowed for more funds to go towards planting additional trees.

Project Contact
Deborah Gangloff
Executive Director
American Forests
P.O. Box 2000
Washington, DC 20013
(202) 737-1944


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