King County Parks, state Department of Natural Resources, restore forestlands

King County - Contributed art
King County
— image credit: Contributed art

Invasive vegetation can sap forests of nutrients and water – and in some cases, even kill trees. Three forested areas managed by King County Parks will soon benefit from the hard work of a team from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Urban and Community Forestry Program.

Over the next several weeks, a state DNR Puget Sound Corps team will remove invasive English ivy, holly and laurel from Cougar Mountain Wildland Park, along the Cedar River at Dorre Don Natural Area, and along the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails near Bothell.

Removing non-native vegetation improves the health and functionality of trees and forested sites in urban settings by enhancing the forest’s ability to soak up stormwater and improve air quality. Many undesirable plants that grow in dense thickets can also create a public health hazard by harboring rats and other vermin.

The three sites selected for special attention offer an excellent representation of King County Parks’ varied landscape: the busiest stretch of the County’s 175-mile regional trail network; a high profile area in one of the County’s most-popular hiking destinations; and a natural area along a river that is a popular destination for anglers and other recreationists, and provides critical salmon habitat.

Learn more about how you can help King County to keep forests healthy by contacting Laurie Clinton, King County Parks volunteer coordinator, at 206-296-4452,

The Washington State Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible through a partnership with the USDA Forest Service. For more information, visit the Project online or contact Micki McNaughton at 360-902-1637, or

Puget SoundCorps is a subset of the Washington Conservation Corps, and focuses on work that has a positive effect on water quality in the Puget Sound Basin. The Urban Forestry Restoration Project crews are among several Puget SoundCorps crews that have military veterans as crew members.

Returning military veterans and adults ages 18 to 25 are the two populations in Washington state that are having the most difficulty finding work during the economic downturn. Learn more about the Washington Conservation Corps and Puget SoundCorps at


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