To improve public health outcomes relating to air quality and heat events, the City of Seattle is working with community organizations (ECOSS, Just Health Action, and Dirt Corps) and businesses to green historically industrial areas adjacent to residential neighborhoods in the Duwamish Valley.

Working collaboratively with property owners, ECOSS is developing projects that address challenges and constraints typically seen in industrial areas. The goal is to install 30 to 60 Grattix or Tree boxes throughout Georgetown and South Park.

If you are a commercial property owner interested in this program, contact aena@ecoss.org.

This work is critical because:

  • Industrial areas have the poorest air quality, the highest heat island index, and the fewest trees.
  • Greening projects must be innovative and site-specific as industrial areas often lack sidewalks, curbs, and drainage.
  • Industrial conditions present a unique challenge to greening projects.

Green Storm Infrastructure (GSI) is a smart approach to managing stormwater. Instead of relying solely on pipes and drains, we tap into nature’s toolkit. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Plants: Trees and shrubs soak up rainwater like sponges
  • Soil: Dirt absorbs water and filters out pollutants
  • Permeable Surfaces: Rain-friendly pathways let water seep through
  • Rain Barrels: Superheroes collecting rainwater from roofs

Other benefits include:

  • Improving air quality and reducing heat-related risks
  • Transforming industrial spaces into greener, healthier environments
  • Improving drainage and water quality

Modular Planters

We are working with local businesses to install two styles of modular planters in the Georgetown and South Park neighborhoods. These planters are easily maintained and add green space to properties. The plants and trees add an attractive element while improving air quality. Based on early community outreach, the pilot projects need to cover a range of conditions. The simplest projects are grattix boxes and tree boxes, and more complex projects include landscaping at ground level on both private and public properties.

Tree Boxes

Modular planters that are planted with young trees and can be placed anywhere. Over time these tree boxes will beautify the property, provide shade, and contribute to the neighborhood’s air quality.

Grattix Boxes

Grattix boxes are modular planters that function as small portable rain gardens. Placed under downspouts, these grattix boxes beautify the property and help to retain and treat rainwater.


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