Forest Management

The Bellevue Forest Management Program stewards natural resources located on approximately 2,000 acres of park and public Native Growth Protection Area (NGPA) land – ranging from sensitive riparian corridors and wetlands to forested open space. These areas provide a wide variety of benefits that enhance the quality of life in Bellevue. The maintenance and management of these valuable resources are essential to the future of our community, and we strive to manage them with skill and diligence.

Image of forest trail

The effective management of these natural resources begins with an inventory of property assets. Geographical Information System (GIS) technology, topographic and legal surveys, and field inspections are combined to evaluate the conditions at each site. We then implement enhancement and restoration techniques that complement the natural successional process to improve forest and ecosystem condition. This work involves activities such as stand thinning, individual tree removals, noxious weed management, stream bioengineering, and tree and shrub planting.

Forest Management Program Objectives

  • Ensure the safety of citizens – Dead, damaged, and diseased trees that pose a risk to park visitors or neighboring properties are removed.
  •  Improve forest condition – A forest is most healthy when it is composed of a variety of species and ages. Bellevue plants and thins to achieve this objective.
  •  Protect and enhance wildlife habitat – Trees are a vital component of the urban ecosystem – providing food and cover for our local wildlife species.
  •  Provide recreational opportunities – Our forests provide opportunities for a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities. Healthy forests make for a great place to spend the day!
  •  Buffer land uses – Trees and shrubs are retained and planted to screen and separate development.
  • Protect water quality - We manage vegetation to stabilize soils and slopes, which reduces stormwater runoff and its associated erosion.

Management & Maintenance

While each forested site is unique, there are some common management activities that include:
  • Planting trees, shrubs, and groundcovers
  • Management of noxious vegetation
  • Tree pruning, thinning, and removals
  • Property boundary delineation and inspection
  • Debris cleanup

Learn more about some of the noxious weeds that we manage in Bellevue's forests.

Your group can help keep Bellevue's forests looking great by participating in our Eco-Friday or Stewardship Saturday volunteer events!