In a Re-imagined Parking Lot, Trees Are Not Just Trees

A parking lot might be the last place you would go to connect with nature in a city. But World Relief Seattle partnered with Hillside Church to fill a parking lot with nature for the Kent community.

The Hillside Paradise Parking Plots comprise a community garden where refugees, immigrants and neighbors come together to grow food, build community and so much more. Now, the community garden is adding something new: trees.  Some will be part of a food forest and others will replace a hill of invasive blackberries.

In July, Lucas McClish, World Relief Seattle’s Community Garden Coordinator, worked with high school interns to learn more about the Washington native trees that will soon be added to the site. Lucas and two of the interns, Kupa and Song, then traveled to Mill Creek Earthworks park to find the trees they researched. Both of these interns walked away with a little more knowledge – and a little more inspired about trees.

“It was really interesting to learn that trees are more complex than I originally thought,” said Song. “They provide so much more than just oxygen. Most people don’t know about how trees benefit so many things and how its all connected through a huge and complicated system.” Photo courtesy of World Relief Seattle.

“It was really interesting to learn that trees are more complex than I originally thought,” said Song. “They provide so much more than just oxygen. Most people don’t know about how trees benefit so many things and how its all connected through a huge and complicated system.” Photo courtesy of World Relief Seattle.

“Trees are not just trees, there is more to them,” said Kupa. “(Trees) tell a story about the past and future.” Photo courtesy of World Relief Seattle.

“Trees are not just trees, there is more to them,” said Kupa. “(Trees) tell a story about the past and future.” Photo courtesy of World Relief Seattle.

Banner photo by Hannah Letinich.


Do you want to be a part of planting trees at the Hillside Paradise Parking Plots?
Check out our volunteer calendar for upcoming opportunities.


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