Historic photo of hikers traveling across snoqualmie pass during the first Greenway Trek

History of the Mountains to Sound Greenway

The Greenway Coalition is a catalyst for action, convening diverse (and sometimes even opposing!) interest groups. We are a coalition of environmentalists and timber companies; developers and farmers; federal and state agencies; cities and counties; nonprofits and businesses. But the vision is unanimous: healthy, vital, livable communities. 

The idea began taking shape in 1990. It was increasingly clear that rapid population growth threatened the character of the region. Unchecked, one could easily see solid development along Interstate 90, stretching out of Seattle and through the Cascade Mountains. Hundreds of local residents, led by members of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, staged a march from Snoqualmie Pass to the Seattle waterfront. We needed to save these magnificent landscapes, they decided—before it was too late. 

In 1991, under civic leader Jim Ellis, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust was born.  

Today, the coalition that makes up the Greenway Trust encompasses a 60-member Board of Directors, a 40-member Board of Advisors, a 50-member Technical Advisory Council, many additional working committees, a dozen or so staff members, conservation corps crews outdoors restoring public parks and river corridors, and a community of hundreds of citizens and dozens of interest groups. 

Together we are balancing thoughtful development and conservation, in ways big and small. 

View of Interstate 90

Loved Locally, Nationally Significant

Our local pride and joy is also a national treasure. In 1998, the Mountains to Sound Greenway on Interstate 90 was the first interstate highway in the United States to be designated as a National Scenic Byway. And in 2019, this landscape was also congressionally designated as a National Heritage Area.