Working Toward a More Connected Landscape in 2021
In 2021, collaborative partnerships continued to be a driving force behind conserving natural areas across the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Area. These efforts are aiming to protect public lands — one acquisition at a time — for clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, and to provide sustainable recreation areas for future generations to enjoy.
Read on for a brief summary of some key transactions that took place over the last year!
L.T. Murray Wildlife Area Expansion
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife acquired 318 acres to expand wildlife habitat along Taneum Creek, just outside of the community of Thorp. This is part of an ongoing effort to connect public land ownership and protect wildlife corridors and riverbanks in this shrub-steppe habitat.
Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area
King County Parks acquired 0.38 acres to link North Bend’s new Tennant Trailhead Park to other public lands at Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area and provide a connection into the Raging River State Forest. This small but mighty acquisition will eventually allow a safe and sustainable trail connection on public lands from downtown North Bend, along Ribary Way to Tennant, Rattlesnake Mountain, and Raging River.
Soaring Eagle Park Expansion
King County Parks is acquiring 40 acres to connect wildlife habitat and riparian areas between Soaring Eagle Park and Patterson Creek Natural Area to create a connected swath of public ownership and to help complete the Emerald Necklace trail concept in Sammamish. Learn more.
Three Forks Park Addition
The three forks of the mighty Snoqualmie River come together in this park with its rich riverfront and wetland habitat and a stunning view of Mt. Si. This year, King County Parks purchased an additional 5 acres along the river near North Bend and Snoqualmie for habitat protection and water quality.
Cleveland Memorial Forest Conservation Easement
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. This year, Seattle Public Schools sold the development rights to this unique forest between Issaquah and Fall City, resulting in a conservation easement held by King County Parks on its 121.5 acres. This easement ensures permanent protection of the forest, Canyon Creek that runs through it, and wetlands, while allowing for a future trail corridor on the northern portion of the site. Learn more.
Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area Habitat Corridor
King County Parks acquired 0.31 acres adjacent to the popular Little Si Trailhead, which provides connectivity between Mt. Si and the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River, which is beneficial to wildlife and protects another small piece of the riverbank. The site will be restored and eventually opened as a spot for picnicking with a view of the river.
Fall City Along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail
A 20-acre parcel along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail in Fall City was publicly acquired and will resort to its natural state with large, old Douglas fir trees on the slopes of the Snoqualmie Valley. As this parcel has sustained some damage over the years, nonprofit Friends of the Trail will be cleaning it up and removing old cars and debris in order to begin restoration of this site.
Riverside Riparian Acquisitions
King County Water and Land Resources Division and its partners acquired several key water quality and flood control parcels this year, funded by Conservation Futures and the King County Parks Levy and other partners:
- 17 acres on the salmon-bearing Raging River adjacent to Tiger Mountain State Forest
- 3.6 acres on the salmon-bearing Raging River in Upper Preston
- 11.5 acres of wetlands in the Snoqualmie Valley added to the Carnation Marsh Natural Area
- 2.7 acres on Griffin Creek just south of Snoqualmie that was added to the Griffin Creek Natural Area
30 Years of Conservation
We enjoy vast public lands in the Greenway NHA today because of an impressive history of public land conservation and collaboration in this area. See the full conservation map here.