CHS Memorial Forest

Cleveland High School is the only high school in the universe that has a memorial forest dedicated to alumni who died while serving in the armed forces during World War II.
Trek to the Rock
Each year we hold a Memorial Ceremony and take students to the "Rock" where the original plaques were installed.
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It's about them.

As per our Mission Statement, the Alumni Association is committed to preserving the CHS Memorial Forest forever. This forest is dedicated to honoring the Cleveland High School students who lost their lives in service to the United States of America. Currently, the number of such students is 43. We remain true to the spirit of the students who obtained this property to honor their sacrifice and keep our focus on them, not ourselves.

How it began

At the height of World War II, the students of Cleveland High School (CHS) in Seattle, Washington sought a way to memorialize classmates who had died in service to our country. To that end, they collected over $300, including gifts from the graduation classes of 1943 and 1944, to purchase land for a memorial forest. 

At a county tax auction in July 1944, Vice Principal Ray Imus bid on a quarter section of logged-off land east of Issaquah on the Issaquah – Fall City Road. When other bidders learned that the students hoped to create a memorial forest to commemorate their fallen classmates, no one bid against Imus and the clear-cut land was acquired for $300. The deed was issued to Principal Kenneth Selby. When Selby retired in December of 1944 it was determined that the high school couldn’t own property so ownership of the memorial forest was transferred to the Seattle School District as:

“A Perpetual Memorial to the Cleveland students who lost their lives in the war.”

The memorial forest consists of 131 acres of second grown timber, including Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, and Western Red Cedar – the result of CHS students planting over 10,000 trees. 

Inviting trails cut through the lush vegetation and a salmon spawning stream finds protection there. This beautiful memorial to fallen classmates serves as a striking contrast to the horrific war that inspired its origin.

New! We’ve added a page to list all of the Honored Dead, from World War II, Korea and Vietnam

CHS Memorial Forest Cermony

The Annual Memorial Ceremony takes place on the Friday before Memorial Day beginning at 11:00 a.m.

CHS Memorial Forest

Photo Gallery

A Timline of posts about the forest

The 2030 Project

The 2030 Project

The 2030 Project sparks innovation at Cleveland High’s Memorial Forest, propelling STEM education and environmental exploration for future leaders.

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