When many people hear that Seattle’s nickname is “the Emerald City,” their minds may wander to thoughts of The Wizard of Oz or possibly assume that emerald mines exist in the area. If your work as a travelling nurse takes you to Seattle, you might wonder yourself about the origins of this nickname.
Origins of the Nickname
The reason behind Seattle’s nickname as “the Emerald City” is simpler than you might think. It has nothing to do with The Wizard of Oz, a story that starts in rural Kansas, nor does it have anything to do with local emerald mines, of which there are none. The reason for Seattle’s moniker as the Emerald City is the abundant greenery in the area that persists all year long.
While the deciduous trees shed their leaves in late fall, Seattle has a vast number of evergreen trees that remain green and beautiful all year long. Seattle’s nickname also resonates with Washington’s state nickname as the Evergreen State due to the incredible number of evergreen trees found within the state’s borders.
What Keeps Seattle Green?
The evergreen trees in the Seattle area certainly contribute to the city’s nickname as the Emerald City, but the area remains green all year long thanks to the incredible variety of foliage found throughout the area. Some may be surprised to learn that Seattle is actually the least green during the summer, when most of the vegetation throughout the country is flourishing the most. Seattle may be famous for the amount of rain the area receives, but the rain is less frequent during the summer and many local lawns dry out and fade to brown. Environmentalism is a strongly held value in the Pacific Northwest, so many locals prefer to leave their lawns brown rather than using water to keep them green during the dry season.
Seattle is an incredible city with much to offer any travelling nurse assigned to the area. If you’re interested in learning more about the Emerald City during your next work posting, be sure to spend your days off exploring the area and getting to know the locals.