King County Parks had a busy year making good on the levy promise to bring 2,700 acres into the King County system by 2020. By the time 2019 rolls around, Parks will be on the lookout for a mere 500 more acres to reach the goal. As an added bonus, scooping up lands happens to be in line with King County’s Land Conservation Initiative to protect the livability, health, and ecological integrity of our region by preserving 65,000 acres of land within the next 30 years.
A few of the new chunks of property include:
- Little Lake Forest: This 155-acre jewel would not be ours/yours without the help of Enumclaw Forested Foothills Recreation Association and Forterra. Once upon a time ago, this property used to be a Wedding Wonderland just outside the city of Enumclaw, so some of you might be familiar with its romantic setting. Threatened by development, now it’ll be the gateway to the trails in the 80,000- acre Tomanamus Forest. Stay tuned for upcoming opportunities to share your ideas for Little Lake Forest.
- De Leo Farm Property: There are a few King County staff who have had this property on their radar for decades. After thoughtful planning and community input, these 108 acres on the slopes of Cougar Mountain in the May Creek Valley near Issaquah may provide public access from the May Valley side of Cougar Mountain, where public access is currently limited. We are thankful the De Leo family declined a higher purchase offer because they wanted to protect this forested hillside for water, wildlife, and future generations.
- Frog Holler Forest Additions: If there were awards for the best forest name, this one gets my vote. According to the Vashon Beachcomber, it’s named for the tree frogs who live there. In early December, Parks sealed the deal with neighbors of the existing 60-acre Frog Holler Forest and added 51 acres. Parks will soon release an updated backcountry trail map for this well-used and well-loved place.
As our parks grow, a heartfelt thank you goes out to the staff of King County Parks, and all of our visitors, supporters, partners, and neighbors. Thank you for helping us end 2018 on a robust note.