Part of the careful planning we’ve put in place for this project includes everyday environmental choices that incorporate the beauty of our surroundings. This project is in the R-14 zone, which, under the new land use code, does not require retention of existing trees on the site. The Grow project will meet Built Green 5-Star certification, which requires substantial tree retention. In addition, we are committed to contributing to the long-term tree canopy goal of 50% coverage in Winslow, as outlined in the Bainbridge Island Urban Forest Management Plan.
In order to meet all these goals, our plan is to retain existing vegetation as much as possible. To accomplish this, we continue to work with a professional arborist, Katy Bigelow, to identify the maximum amount of trees that can reasonably be retained with the urban density that is planned.
We have focused on retaining trees in clusters and larger areas, for instance, at the corner of Grow Avenue and Wyatt Way, to maintain native vegetation areas, preserving habitat and maintaining existing green corridors. In addition, we are planting more than 250 new trees throughout the site. The new vegetation will enhance the existing green corridors and contribute to stormwater uptake and carbon sequestration, absorbing more than 900 metric tons of carbon over the next 100 years, almost double what the existing trees would have absorbed over that same time period.
As with all projects designed for urban densities, some trees must be removed, as preserving large trees next to new construction rarely works in the long-term. For the trees that do need to be removed or relocated we are taking the utmost care. All trees marked for preservation have been fenced at the dripline and no root systems will be disturbed by heavy equipment. Several Vine Maples have been saved for reuse in the project, a Dogwood is going home with one of our Contractors, several other plants will be going to a local landscaper, and we are working with the Kitsap Conservation District to salvage evergreens for Salmon Restoration projects.