25 Reasons to Celebrate the Mountains to Sound Greenway
It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
And what a wonderful year in the Mountains to Sound Greenway… new public land acquisitions, improved recreation access, critical wildlife habitat preservation, ecological restoration, and so much more.
Here are 25 Reasons to Celebrate the Greenway in 2012:
1. More lands added to Raging River State Forest
Between Tiger Mountain and the Cedar River Watershed, the City of Seattle and the State Department of Natural Resources partnered to conserve 150 acres which have been added to the Raging River State Forest.
2. Acquisition Connects Cougar and Squak Mountains
This past year, after many years of hard work, King County acquired 38 acres between Cougar and Squak Mountains to broaden the wildlife and trail connectors between these two key peaks in the Issaquah Alps.
3. Lands in Yakima River Canyon Acquired
In Kittitas County, 10 miles east of Cle Elum, Washington State Parks acquired a 28-acre property along the beautiful Yakima River Canyon to add to Iron Horse State Park, thanks to a Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office.
4. South Cle Elum Trailhead Site Acquired
Washington State Parks acquired a 3.7 acre parcel at the South Cle Elum Depot for a future trailhead for Iron Horse State Park, a critical segment of the Greenway Regional Trail network.
5. Lands at Big Creek Acquired
The Trust for Public Land continues to work to consolidate “checkerboard” sections in the Central Cascades and place them into US Forest Service ownership. This year, TPL preserved 640 acres at Big Creek for inclusion in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, via the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
6. 60,000 native trees and shrubs planted in the Greenway since 2008 by Carter Subaru & Carter Volkswagen
We celebrated the planting of 60,000 native trees and shrubs in the Greenway thanks to the efforts of Carter Subaru & Carter Volkswagen’s “On the Road to Carbon Neutral” program. This fall, the City of Issaquah recognized Carter’s commitment during our Tree Planting Kick-Off Event at Sammamish Cove.
7. Sockeye salmon re-introduced at Lake Cle Elum
In July the Yakama Nation celebrated the 16th anniversary of their salmon recovery facilities in the Upper Yakima Basin at the annual Salmon Feed, which attracted over 500 people to Cle Elum. A big cause for celebration was the tribe’s reintroduction of sockeye salmon into Lake Cle Elum this year.
8. Educating children in the Greenway Outdoor Classroom
The Mountains to Sound Greenway education program teaches more than 3,000 students each year about the importance of sustaining a healthy natural environment in balance with the needs of a growing population. New this year, students at Clark Elementary in Issaquah raised and released salmon at Cybil Madeline Park in partnership with Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.
9. Restoring Cle Elum After the Fires
During a dry summer, the Taylor Bridge and Table Mountain fires wreaked havoc in Upper Kittitas County. The American Red Cross brought community members from Cle Elum and the surrounding area together to replant trees lost in these catastrophic fires.
10. Sustainable Housing Built in Seattle
GreenHouse Apartments is the first apartment building in Columbia City since 1969 and is part of a growing trend of bringing density in to Seattle neighborhoods that have great access to transit.
11. Boalch Trail Built and Interpretive Signs Installed
The City of North Bend constructed the new paved Boalch Trail to allow people to bike or walk from North Bend to the Meadowbrook Farm Interpretive Center.
12. Lands Acquired in North Creek Forest
Thanks go to the efforts of the Friends of North Creek Forest and the City of Bothell, 6 new acres are now preserved in Bothell’s “last great forest” in the North Creek Watershed.
13. UW Bothell Wetlands Restored
Greenway volunteers joined UW Bothell to plant several species of native plants this fall. Special thanks to PEMCO for providing trees through their “Flawless Firewood Stacker” Campaign.
14. Burke Gilman Trail Improved
King County completed a major renovation of the Burke-Gilman Trail through Lake Forest Park and Kenmore. The widened trail is now 12 feet across and sports new benches, plants and improved safety features.
15. Cross Kirkland Corridor Acquired
Kirkland purchased a 5.75 mile segment of East Side Rail Corridor that runs from the southern edge of the city to Totem Lake. The city expects to start building an interim trail in 2013. Eventually this transformational project will allow for multi-modal connections across Kirkland and beyond.
16. Snoqualmie Valley Farmland Preserved
King County and PCC Farmland Trust acquired the development rights at biodynamic Jubilee Farm in the Snoqualmie Valley, which is a long-running Community Supported Agriculture operation. This preserves the farm for agriculture in perpetuity and moves the development rights into urban areas like South Lake Union in Seattle.
17. May Valley Farm Restored
The Greenway restoration program has ventured into new territory this year, working on small farms, doing ecological restoration along riverbanks to improve salmon habitat and reduce flooding. The Celigoy family farm is located in May Valley and is home to the historic landmark Red Barn. Greenway crews enhanced 600 feet along a salmon-bearing stream by planting 660 native trees and shrubs along May Creek, which runs through Newcastle and into Lake Washington near Renton.
18. Triple Creek Ranch Conserved
Kittitas County and Forterra permanently conserved Triple Creek Ranch with the purchase of a 260-acre working-farmland conservation easement, the largest completed to date in Kittitas County, thanks to funding from Natural Resources Conservation Service Farm and Ranchland Preservation Program and the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office Farmland Preservation program.
19. East Tiger Summit Mountain Bike Trail Opened
The Washington Department of Natural Resources opened the new 1.4 mile East Tiger Summit Mountain Bike Trail in Tiger Mountain State Forest in September, the first new mountain bike trail built on Tiger Mountain in 20 years. The trail was built by DNR, the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Washington Conservation Corps crews, and volunteers who dedicated hundreds of hours. This project was funded by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program to build connector trails to enable a more user-friendly and safe mountain bike network.
20. Central Cascades Trail Repaired
Over the summer Greenway crews started doing trail work with the Cle Elum Ranger District of the US Forest Service on trails that stretch up from Salmon la Sac to the Cascade Crest, over Dutch Miller Gap and into the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Valley. Crewmembers spent days camped out on these backcountry trails clearing them of downed trees and overgrown brush and improving trail tread so equestrians and other trail users can once again travel across the Cascades.
21. Lands at Mt. Si Acquired
The State Department of Natural Resources acquired two parcels of land to add to the Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area. While just 3 acres each, they are valuable to fully connect our public lands, saving a great deal of land management expense. Funding for these outstanding acquisitions came from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
22. Lands in Three Forks Natural Area Acquired
King County acquired 22 acres in the Three Forks Natural Area last spring, creating a key link in the Snoqualmie River wildlife and recreation corridor. The land sits at the confluence of the middle and north forks of the Snoqualmie River and provides habitat for elk, deer, bear, cougar, bobcat, river otter, beaver and fisher, among numerous large Sitka Spruce trees.
23. Mailbox Peak Trailhead Constructed
Greenway staff and crews and other partners are busy building the new 5-mile Mailbox Peak Trail, which will be finished next summer, thanks in part to funding from the Spring Family Trust for Trails. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources also just finished a new trailhead for Mailbox Peak this year to accommodate all these new users.
24. Recreation Enhanced in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie
Thanks to the strong financial support of Waste Management, we are busy planning a whole series of trail, trailhead, river access, signage and sanitation and other recreation improvement projects on US Forest Service lands in the Middle Fork Valley.
25. Roads Converted to Trails in Granite Lakes Basin
Lastly, just behind Mailbox Peak, the Greenway Stewardship Program is on the ground working with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the US Forest Service to decommission the final 11 miles of forest roads in the Granite Lakes Basin, home to the infamous Zorro Roads. Five and ½ miles of these old roads are being converted into really amazing trails to access the scenic Granite and Thompson Lakes.
Many thanks goes to all of the partners, friends and supporters like you who help make a direct difference to our beloved Greenway landscape. Make a Difference. Become a member.
For your viewing pleasure, please enjoy this short video on other reasons people love the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
Happy holidays and all the best to you and yours in 2013. See you in the Greenway!