Mission Statement

Dedicated to regional sustainability in all its dimensions, Forterra secures the places — urban, rural and wild — that are keystones of a positive future for our Pacific Northwest communities, both human and natural. A land trust, a policy innovator, and a social justice ally, over its thirty years Forterra has undertaken hundreds of projects that have secured and enhanced wildland, working forests and farms, city parks, and urban and rural land for livelihoods, housing and community health.
In just the last two years, Forterra’s efforts have garnered national coverage in the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, as well as front page stories in the Seattle Times and the Puget Sound Business Journal. We are also 2018 winner of the national Olmsted Medal, an honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects for innovation in stewardship of lands and communities — making us one of a handful of purely regional organizations with this distinction.


Forterra is dedicated to a simple idea: what we do on the land matters — profoundly. Our choices determine whether or not we have places of beauty around us. Whether we have places to grow food. Places to recreate. Places for affordable housing. Places to experience arts and culture.
Choices about what we do on the land are always important. In the Pacific Northwest, they are especially critical right now: a period of record population growth, a huge construction boom, widespread gentrification and displacement, and intensifying climate change.
Market forces often result in good choices about land use. But not always, and that’s when Forterra steps in. We focus on lands that are KEYSTONES of the region’s long-term social, environmental and economic health, and that are at high risk of being lost. For example: An iconic wildland that might be carved up. Prime farmland that could become a subdivision. Urban forest that’s threatened with being a strip mall. Land near a new transit line that would ideally be affordable housing — but might not.
Over our nearly 30-year history we have completed more than 450 separate land transactions that have protected 275,000 acres worth greater than $500 million. We have amplified this impact by championing policies like transfer of development rights, which work at scale to save threatened farm and forest land region wide. And we have led large-scale stewardship and restoration efforts across the area’s keystone parks, greenspaces and riparian areas, involving thousands of volunteers and more than a million person-hours.
Recognizing how historic patterns of land use and property ownership have often marginalized low-income people and people of color, we work to center these communities in all our work. Central to this is our Forterra Strong Communities Funds (FSCF), a social-impact investment fund dedicated to keeping our region inclusive and welcoming to all.

Program Details

Please visit our website for all our current programming, projects and campaigns including Wadajir International Marketplace and Residences (in partnership with the Somali community in Tukwila), Little Skookum Forest (an effort to secure a pristine inlet of Puget Sound, prized for shellfish), and Maloney Creek + Forest (a project to protect old-growth forest and a beautiful creek on the mountain slopes above the old railroad town of Skykomish off Highway 2).
Other ways to get involved:
  • Pitch in on caring for keystone lands by volunteering with a Green City Partnership
  • Offset your carbon footprint by signing onto Forterra’s Evergreen Carbon Capture program
  • Learn more in our newsroom
Primary Issue
Secondary Issue
Climate Change
901 5th Avenue, Suite 2200
Seattle, WA 98164
United States
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