Natural Area Appreciation Post: Lower Bear Creek

With 14,000 acres of natural and working resource lands owned by King County, there is a lot to appreciate.

The Lower Bear Creek Natural Area is just 11.68 acres in size but it’s packed with both upland forest and areas of wetland. About half of the property is located within the 100-year floodplain of Bear Creek. The site contains habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species.


The goals for the Lower Bear Creek Natural Area are 1) to conserve and enhance the ecological value, and 2) accommodate appropriate public uses that do not harm ecological resources.

This summer, the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks and the City of Redmond worked cooperatively to improve fish habitat in Bear Creek, upstream of Novelty Hill Road. The project is designed to create better habitat for juvenile salmon and trout by creating pools, cover and side channels where these fish can hide, avoid predators and forage for food. Logs were anchored in the creek channel, side channels were excavated in the floodplain, and native trees and shrubs were planted along the bank.

While the site provides important habitat for the King County ecosystem, there are limited recreation opportunities. It’s a great place for fish, birds and slugs but a lil boring for us simple humans.

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