Last year, Seattle Sounders FC became the first carbon neutral professional soccer organization in North America.
Certain aspects of operating a professional soccer club, like team travel and scouting, make it impossible to truly eliminate all carbon emissions. Partnering with Seattle-based Sustainable Business Consulting, the club has calculated its annual greenhouse gas emissions. In order to return to neutrality, Sounders FC is offsetting all requisite emissions through the Evergreen Carbon Capture program of Forterra, a nonprofit that works for regional sustainability.
On February 23, the club will work alongside the City of Tukwila, Forterra and its partner DIRT Corps to plant trees along the banks of the Green-Duwamish River, near the club’s training facility, Starfire Sports, in Tukwila.
From 1-4 p.m. PT, a group of 100 volunteers, comprised of fans, Front Office staff and RAVE Foundation school's students and families, will work together to plant over 450 trees near the river, which provides critical ecological, social and economic resources for people in and around King County.
The Green-Duwamish River, which flows over 93 miles from the Cascade Mountains to Elliot Bay, has been labeled the fourth-most threatened river in the United States by American Rivers, a non-profit company dedicated to the preservation and restoration of waterways throughout the country.
Due to a lack of shade provided by trees and shrubs, the waters of the river have warmed over the years, harming the local salmon and sending adverse trickle-down effects throughout the region. By planting and curating the trees along the Green-Duwamish, the increased sun cover will cool the water and create a habitat for native fish, pollinators and other wildlife.
Sounders FC Head Coach Brian Schmetzer will be accompanied by a group of players at the tree-planting event, as the club seeks to further its positive impact on the local community.
All volunteers will receive a Sounders Family t-shirt, which is made out of 100% recycled material, and any kids that help out will receive a soccer ball from the RAVE Foundation, the official charitable arm of Sounders FC.