Futurewise works across Washington to create healthy livable communities, protect our working farmlands, forests, and waterways, and ensure a better quality of life for present and future generations. We work with communities to adopt wise land use planning and policies to prevent waste and stop sprawl, provide efficient transportation choices, create affordable housing and strong local businesses, and ensure healthy natural systems. We are creating a better quality of life in Washington State.  

Mission Statement
By helping communities implement smart land use practices in Washington State, Futurewise helps create livable communities, protects our state’s most valuable farmlands, forests, and waterways, and ensures a better quality of life for present and future generations.
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816 2nd Ave Ste 200 
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Hilary Franz 
Executive Director 


Futurewise Programs

For 25 years, Futurewise has worked in every county of the state to create healthy livable communities, protect our farms, forests and waterways. Our work has made the air safer, water cleaner, communities stronger and landscapes better protected, for current and future generations.

Through our Livable Communities program, Futurewise is working to ensure communities throughout Washington State are more equitable and livable, with access to affordable housing, transit, green infrastructure healthy foods and economic opportunity for all.

Through our Natural Resource Lands program, Futurewise is working to protect our state’s critical working farmlands and forests. Our continued efforts in comprehensive plan updates will help ensure growth is managed responsibly.

Through our Clean Healthy Waterways program, Futurewise is working to improve shoreline protections on 2,000 high priority river and shoreline miles, while also increasing community awareness on how our land use decisions impact the health of our shorelines.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Here are some highlights of the wide range of successes we have had throughout Washington State in 2014:

  • Futurewise and partners worked to ensure Governor Inslee’s climate Executive Order 14-04 had the strongest and most specific language pertaining to reducing Washington State’s largest greenhouse gas emissions – transportation and land use. 
  • Futurewise protected 7,000 rural acres from unnecessary sprawl in Spokane County - which would have been one of the largest expansions in the last 20 years
  • On May 15, 2014 Futurewise signed a landmark water rights settlement in Kittitas County that mitigates the impacts of over a century of development allowed in the Yakima River basin. 
  • Twenty-two threatened fish and wildlife species were protected in Ferry County when the Court of Appeals agreed with Futurewise that Ferry County had violated the Growth Management Act when they chose not to designate any habitats and species of local importance. 
  • Futurewise worked to protect 5000 miles of rivers, streams, marine and fresh waters across our state in Island, Skagit, Kittitas, Grays Harbor, Pierce, Benton, Ferry and Spokane counties. 
  • Futurewise stopped 1,500 acres of agricultural land from being de-designated in Clark County. 
  • Futurewise protected 1,263 acres of vital farmland in Benton County. 
  • Futurewise engaged 3,580 residents of King County who traditionally do no participate in King County’s comprehensive planning process. We’re working to ensure that all voices in our communities are heard to help shape where and how we grow our communities. 


Futurewise works to promote smart growth in our region, advocating for compact, livable development in urban communities and protecting forests, farms and shorelines necessary for the health and sustainability of Puget Sound.

Proven Success
They have protected millions of acres of working farms and forests and ensured access to locally grown food for our region. They have secured stronger protections on over 2,000 miles of waterways. Around the state, local governments are updating their Shoreline Master Programs. In the last two years, they have helped over 25 cities and counties along the Puget Sound better protect fish and wildlife habitat, reduce toxic runoff, and increase restoration opportunities.

Futurewise collaborates with counties and cities to advance projects and policies that protect the Puget Sound, enhance the livability and sustainability of our neighborhoods, and create long-term strategies for protecting our working landscapes on which our communities depend on.

A roadblock for most communities to grow more sustainably is a lack of resources and tools – not a lack of will. Recognizing the many demands placed on local governments and the limited resources they have available, Futurewise is now seeking better and deeper partnerships with cities and various interests in order to be more successful. As part of their Livable Communities Program they will partner with 15 cities in the central Puget Sound over the next five years to help them reach a set of sustainability goals and provide them with technical assistance, policy development, help them to engage their communities and neighborhoods.

A key partnership is with Transportation Choices Coalition (TCC) on the Transportation for Washington (T4W) campaign. Futurewise takes the lead on education, advocacy and outreach, and land use policy while TCC takes the lead on transportation policy and campaign planning, and media outreach. The partnership allows them to grow their capacity and resources as well as expertise to have greater success in achieving the goals of the campaign to protect transit service here in King County and secure state funding for fixing our failing road infrastructure and increasing transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

In 2011, they completed a five year strategic plan and organizational assessment. The learned that they need to (1) tell their story more effectively, (2) invest in their leadership and development capacity, (3) update their budgeting and financial systems, and (4) develop a long-range fund development plan that will increase reserves and diversifies funding sources.

In the past year, they hired an Executive Director, and reduced their operating expenses by renegotiating their lease and reducing staff costs through furloughs. They are now working to grow and diversify their funding sources through their major donor and individual giving campaigns, increase their membership, seek new foundation and government grant opportunities, and implement a fee for service with government entities.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

10/21/2015 $35,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/24/2014 $3,000.00honorarium for community-based organizations participating in the Communities of Opportunity Design Committee.
9/10/2014 $100,000.00to support integrating public health and equity objectives and outcomes in comprehensive plans. COO RFP
3/10/2013 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2012 $8,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $5,000.00support general operating expenses.
9/17/2008 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.


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