Among King County Parks’ 25,000 acres of land, approximately 17,000 acres are forests that stretch from Vashon Island to the Cascade Foothills. In addition to the human health benefits and ecological services provided by forests, King County Parks’ forested green spaces help to create a natural buffer along the urban growth boundary. They also enhance fish and wildlife habitat and provide many recreational opportunities, like backcountry trails for hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and wildlife watching.
In many cases, King County acquired these forested parklands as a way to protect and preserve them. Many sites had been altered over the years, from activities such as logging or development, so they face a range of challenges, from maturing trees to an overabundance of a few types of trees to invasive species.
In the coming years, King County Parks will be collecting data about the condition of our forests, developing stewardship plans to guide how we take of the forests, and working with environmental groups, trail user groups, and volunteers to improve the health of these special places. Get involved now through our volunteer program!