Traverse Seattle’s urban forest and meet the humans that live within it. You can subscribe on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or your favorite streaming platform, or listen to the episodes below.
Imagine what the Puget Sound might look like in the year 2070, if it’s to become a place where both trees and humans grow old. Explore the stories and histories that have shaped the forest we live in: colonialism, assimilation boarding schools, Japanese internment, and regional restoration among them. Follow the story of Chief Seattle Club, as they turn concrete into a Medicine Garden at Eagle Village.
WELCOME TO GROWING OLD
Explore what the Northwest looked like pre-contact, with Native nutritionist and food sovereignty expert Valerie Segrest of the Muckleshoot Tribe.
Walk through Schmitz Preserve Park where 50 acres of towering Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar still stand tall amid West Seattle’s urban community.
Imagine what our city might look like in the year 2070, if we’re to become a place where both trees and humans grow old.
2. BE THE HUMMINGBIRD
Go into the heart of Rainier Beach neighborhood where an immigrant family and thousands of volunteers turned 20 acres into a Japanese garden unlike any other. Hear the story of Fujitaro Kubota and the garden that carries his name, told by Joy Okazaki, President of the Kubota Garden Foundation.
Travel with the Kubota family to Camp Minidoka, where they were interned along with 7,000 other Seattle residents of Japanese descent during World War II.
Take part in Earth Corps’ restoration efforts to bring Salmon back to Mapes Creek, which runs through Kubota Garden into Lake Washington.
3. PRAIRIE GARDEN
Learn about harvesting wild plants from Native nutritionist Valerie Segrest of the Muckleshoot Tribe.
Explore what a regional, Indigenous-led food system could look like in the Pacific Northwest.
Take part in establishing edible prairieland in your city to increase access to native foods.
4. SING THE OLD SONGS
Explore systems of assimilation that aimed to eliminate Native culture in the United States, systems that began in Washington State.
Travel to the Yakima Indian Reservation, where the very first assimilation board school opened, sparking the seizure of tens of thousands of Native children from their parents.
Hear how one family rediscovered the songs of their ancestors.
Picture what it would look like for Seattle housing and hospital infrastructure to reflect Coast Salish culture.
Consider the role that forced sterilization of Native women has played in creating today’s Native infant mortality crisis.
Travel to the heart of SODO, where the Chief Seattle Club is turning concrete into a Medicine Garden.
Explore the role that trees play in human health and urban climate resilience, particularly amid a pandemic.
Talk with City of Seattle urban forestry policy advisor Sandra Pinto de Bader, Urban Forestry Commission chair Weston Brinkley, and University of Washington research social scientist Kathy Wolf about the risks facing Seattle’s local trees with regards to climate change, development, and unintended neglect.
Discuss the role of reciprocity and care in restoring Seattle’s “emerald” canopy. This is Growing Old.
6. STAY FOR THE TREES
Meet five native Seattle trees and plants through the eyes of humans that care for them: The Western Red Cedar, Dougfir, Madrone, White Pine, and Fern.
Gain identification skills to help you find them in your urban forest.
Learn how you can help them become climate resilient. Visit the Washington Park Arboretum, and meet the champion Pacific Crabapple growing old there.
Learn what it would take to see more native trees growing along Seattle’s streets.
Hear the premiere of Until the Break of Dawn, the new single from Black Stax written for Season 1 of Growing Old.
Explore what it looks like to fragment a forest, to drain a river, and to make a city unsafe for the humans that live there.
Travel from the Black River to the West Duwamish Greenbelt, from Rainier Beach to Judkins Park, and ask, what would it take to press reset? Instead of a continued legacy of deforestation, displacement, and police brutality, what if Seattle tried something completely new?
Hear how the Duwamish River became a waterway and how the Black River became a stream. Learn from food sovereignty strategist Valerie Segrest about the role of the Duwamish River in the Muckleshoot creation story and how a Supreme Court decision renewed Tribal access to ancestral fishing sites, pressing reset on their economy.
Travel to the West Duwamish Greenbelt, where 500 acres were logged, mined for gravel, nearly turned into a highway, and finally restored to the largest contiguous forest in Seattle. Hear from Lylianna Allala, Climate Justice Director with the city of Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment and Nancy Whitlock from the Nature Consortium about what it took to press reset, and to begin restoring a biodiverse forest.
March with 60,000 people from Judkins Park to Jefferson Park to declare police brutality a greater public health crisis than coronavirus.
Hear from Jace ECAJ and Colleen Echohawk on what a resilient forest can teach us about keeping each other safe, and how we might press reset in this moment.
Listen to the premiere of Affliction, the new single from Glass Heart String Choir which was inspired by the West Duwamish Greenbelt and written for the Growing Old series.
In the season one finale of Growing Old, travel forward to the year 2070, and explore the contiguous forest of Seattle’s future.
Visit Eagle Village, where residents came together to turn concrete into a medicine garden during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reflect on the first season of Growing Old, and share your vision for what our city might look like in the year 2070.