[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written and submitted by a verified resident. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of South King Media, nor its staff.]
Although I live just south of SeaTac Airport, for the last couple of years I’ve joined with an array of other airport-adjacent neighbors to volunteer with the Defenders of North SeaTac Park. We’ve been working to prevent the Port of Seattle from breaking its decades-old promise to the community that North SeaTac Park, which is graced with soccer fields, BMX trails and lush forests, could serve as mitigation for the airport’s harmful impacts of noise, pollution and deforestation on our community.
My neighbors and I living south of the airport have already seen literally tens of thousands of trees cut down in our community in just the past few years to make way for sprawling new warehouse districts and the extension of Highway 509 between Burien and I-5. This massive project first and foremost serves the airport’s expansion ambitions. For our local community, however, this project has been disruptive, disheartening, and devastating to our community’s health.
So I’m very interested to see that on Wednesday, November 8, from 6-7 PM, the Port of Seattle will be holding an online webinar to present its Land “Stewardship” Plan and Tree “Replacement” Policy. This comes way too little, and way too late. The Port seems to be presenting this as a fait accompli, rather than as a sincere opportunity to hear from the communities it directly affects.
The Defenders of North SeaTac Park group is taking this seriously, and will be in attendance to advocate for local residents’ rights to maintain our vitally important tree canopy. If you want to learn more about our organization or sign our petition, please visit Community Forest Consensus.
I also urge residents of Des Moines, SeaTac, Burien and Normandy Park to attend the Port’s November 8 webinar, ask questions, and share your own concerns. You can sign up for the online event at https://www.portseattle.org/events/tell-us-what-you-think-land-stewardship-and-tree-replacement-webinar
– Barbara McMichael
Des Moines and SeaTac
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