We’ve been working hard to save King County’s last, best places. Six years ago, we kicked off a regional partnership called the Land Conservation Initiative (LCI) to protect 65,000 acres of the most important remaining green spaces and reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring equitable open space access for all. Finishing this by 2050 can save us $14 billion dollars, close critical gaps in equitable access to natural places, and help us prepare for more climate change impacts.
What better way to step into 2022 than with some new tools for you to use to follow along with us on LCI’s work so far! Check out our new interactive progress map, see the new data tool that helps drive our equity goals, or read stories about some of our favorite projects.
LCI’s success depends on leveraging existing funding tools to their full capacity. One of the main sources of funding is the Conservation Futures Program. That’s one reason partners recently launched an effort to fix an inconsistency in state law. The fix would return more control of the program to counties as envisioned when authorized 50 years ago.
With the help of our partners, we protected some great spaces in 2021. A few highlights include:
Des Moines Creek Park
With Conservation Futures grant funding from King County, the City of SeaTac protected an 8-acre addition to this popular trail corridor. This project will allow for expanded trail connections and is SeaTac’s first Conservation Futures grant, but you can visit the site now.
Partnering with WSDOT, King County opened new segments of Eastrail, connecting three waterfront parks along Lake Washington. And with the help of Amazon, another key segment of the trail is slated for completion in 2024. Trail easement acquisition is an important component of the Land Conservation Initiative.
Maury Island Marine Park
With over a mile of protected shoreline, this park is one of the largest undeveloped properties on Puget Sound. This year we added 15 acres as we continue to protect important madrone stands, salt marsh and eelgrass beds. Recreation enthusiasts can hike year-round, or camp with Vashon Adventures later in the year.
Keep an eye out for more projects and additions to our interactive map as 2022 progresses!