Trees and forests are among Washington’s icons and treasures, and Washington State Parks has a team dedicated to caring for them.
A combined 35 million visitors enjoy the state’s 125 public parks each year, and although they don’t often run into the state’s Arbor Crew, they do see signs of its work: rustic wood fences around old-growth trees, replantings after fires, well-pruned hedges and wood chips or mulch at the bases of trees.
By caring for parks’ oldest and quietest residents — the trees and shrubs that make parks extraordinary — this crew provides visitors with a safe, healthy environment and preserves natural spaces for future generations. While these crew members face long hours and sometimes dangerous work, they also share a commitment to safety and conservation.
“It says something about Washington State Parks that we have an arbor crew,” Arbor Crew member Brian Barberg said. “It says something about the state itself.”
The six-person Arbor Crew has a lot of ground to cover: Washington State Parks owns 120,000 acres of land, much of it forested.
Read more about the team on the governor's Medium page.