An historic cherry tree that has stood for over 40 years near a former Seattle City Light substation at the corner of Ambaum Blvd. SW and SW 144th in Burien is at the center of a grassroots fundraising effort to save it.
Contractors are currently cleaning the site, yet for now the tree remains on the corner, now in its full spring bloom:
For the time being, the City of Burien – which has been designated as a “Tree City” by the Arbor Day Foundation for the last 13 years – and Seattle City Light have agreed to retain the tree.
“However, the property is zoned for commercial use and can be sold for that purpose by Seattle City Light unless we can demonstrate community support to encourage the City of Burien to purchase the property for possible use as a pocket park,” reads a note on a Gofundme page.
“The City is requesting we make a good faith effort to obtain $9000 as a demonstration of wide, community support for keeping the trees as a part of our city.”
“Your financial support is needed to make this happen before April 6! No amount is too small so please give generously to SAVE OUR TREES!”
Organizers are seeking $9,000 to save the tree, and as of 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 19 they’ve raised $150. Burien City Manager Kamuron Gurol and Parks Executive Director Michael Lafreniere have both donated $50 to the cause.

To contribute to the cause, visit

Organizers have also created a petition to save the tree, and add:

“The cherry tree drops petals on us as we walk under it. It is in a small very beautiful green area enjoyed by many people. In the spring its blossoms light the way to Seahurst park.
That’s why I created a petition to Michael Lafreniere, Director, Burien Parks and Recreation, Lucy Krakowiak, Mayor, City of Burien, and Kamuron Gurol, City Manager, City of Burien, which says:
“Request that the City of Burien purchase the property on the corner of 144th and Ambaum and turn it into a pocket park for citizens. Save the beautiful 40+ year old cherry tree and other trees on the Seattle City Light substation property. “
Will you sign this petition? Click here:…

To learn more, visit
“THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!!” Organizers added.
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5 replies on “Residents trying to raise money to save Cherry Tree near City Light substation”

  1. Here is some additional background and information regarding what’s taking place at this location. The property, which was acquired by Seattle City Light in 1948, was used for a 4-kilovolt electrical substation for many years. It was decommissioned in 1991 when all transformers and electrical equipment were de-energized and removed. The former transformer area is enclosed by a cyclone fence with a concrete pad formerly used to support electrical equipment located in the center, surrounded by a gravel yard. The remainder of the site is grass and basic landscaping.
    Seattle City Light has declared the property surplus and is in the process of removing contaminated materials from the site prior to sale of the property. The PCB-impacted concrete pad will be removed and ten inches of soil will be excavated from the entire site to remove near-surface metals and pesticide-impacted soil. The southwest corner of the property will be excavated to a depth of 2.5 feet to remove the deeper pesticide contamination. Contaminated soil surrounding the trees that will be preserved will be removed using water and a vactor machine. This “vactor process” basically vacuums a slurry of the soil/water mix from around the site and the trees. This more expensive approach is being done in order to retain and protect the trees, and the cost of this extra effort will be shared by the City and the residents who have agreed to raise the needed matching funds. After the contaminated soils have been successfully removed, then clean soil will be installed. All vegetation other than the preserved trees will be removed from the site and at the conclusion of the project, the site will be reseeded with grass. The City Council will be considering the potential acquisition of the property at a future date.

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