In 2018, King County and several partners safeguarded 365 acres, including five acres in the former Wayne Golf Course in Bothell, from development in five separate December land deals. Bothell-Kenmore Reporter file photo

In 2018, King County and several partners safeguarded 365 acres, including five acres in the former Wayne Golf Course in Bothell, from development in five separate December land deals. Bothell-Kenmore Reporter file photo

King County protects open spaces to close out 2018

Protected space included five acres in the former Wayne Golf Coure in Bothell.

King County and its partners wrapped up a year of work aimed at protecting at-risk open spaces. King County and several partners safeguarded 365 acres from development in five separate December land deals.

Protection was finalized for five acres in Bothell, 46 acres of open space alongside Cougar Mountain in Issaquah, 108 acres on the May Creek side of Cougar Mountain, 155 acres east of Enumclaw and 51 acres on Vashon Island.

With the help of King County, the city of Bothell purchased the last five acres of the former Wayne Golf Course from Forterra, completing the preservation of the entire 89-acre property. Bothell’s newest park includes a portion of the Sammamish River and Waynita Creek. About 23 acres of the park is covered with a mature forest and it serves as home to eagles, salmon and deer.

“Preserving this acreage showcases our innovative collaborations with local communities and land conservation partners,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “This is exactly how our land conservation Initiative is intended to work — with creative regional partnerships that save forests, farmlands, and rivers — and ensure easy access to green space for all residents of King County.”

According to King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, the county is growing by more than 50 people per day. He said investments in parks, open spaces and farmlands are essential measures to ensure healthy and vibrant communities.

“In terms of our regional quality of life, natural environment and our economy, we need to look at investments in open space like investments in our built infrastructure. It’s all important to ensuring a high quality and healthy region,” Dembowski said.

The five December land deals brought the county’s total number of acquisition to 51 in 2018. The open space projects protect some 740 acres at a cost of about $16.3 million.

In 2018, Constantine launched the Land Conservation Initiative (LCI). It aims to preserve 65,000 acres of remaining open space lands within 30 years, before the opportunity is lost to population growth and development pressure.

The LCI is a regional collaboration between King County and multiple partners. It includes 39 cities within King County and conservation groups such as The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, The Trust for Public Land, Forterra, The Wilderness Society, and The Nature Conservancy.

Approved last summer, the legislation allows the county to borrow against future revenues from the existing Conservation Future Tax (CFT) funding stream. The county can borrow as much as $148 million over the next four years to fund its conservation efforts.

In addition to Wayne Golf Course in Bothell, the land preservations in December were:

Bergsma

Through a partnership with the city of Issaquah, The Trust Public Land and King County, a preservation plan was developed to preserve the 46-acre parcel that was previously proposed for development. The Bergsma property connects parks, trails and open spaces, as well as the master-planned Talus community, a major transit center serviced by Trailhead Direct, and King County’s transit-to-trails program. As part of its agreement, King County will purchase the westernmost 12.5 acres for $355,000. The westernmost acres connect with Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. Along with King County Parks, the city will apply for 2019 CFT funding to finalize the deal.

Frog Holler Forest

King County preserved an additional 15 acres to expand the 60-acre Frog Holler Forest. The Vashon – Maury Island Land Trust linked local landowners with parks staff to complete the $1.35 million dollar acquisition. Frog Holler Forest is a recent addition to the island and the parks soon will release an updated backcountry trail map.

DeLeo Farm

King County Parks, local conservative advocates, the city of Issaquah and Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust purchased 108 acres of forested and undeveloped property on the slopes of Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park in the May Creek Valley. The purchase protects the remaining forested and undeveloped parcels in the development. The land enhances wildlife habitat and provides opportunity for future public access. The $2.5 million deal was expected to close by Dec. 21.

Little Lake Forest

King County partnered with Forterra to preserve 155 acres of forestland for public use, east of Enumclaw. Featuring forests, meadows, and a small lake, the land provides connection to lowland forests, and access to a network of recreational trails in the Tomanamus Forest. It also provides a habitat buffer between Enumclaw and working forest. The land was purchased and held by Forterra while King County Parks raised $1.59 million to reimburse the land conservation and stewardship organization.

More in News

King County jail lost water 16 times since 2018

The building has been plagued with water failures stemming from Aquatherm pipes.

Burke Gilman Trail repair at Wayne Golf Course through July 26

Trail users should expect traffic control and occasional short delays as during the construction period.

CNBC ranks UW Bothell No. 2 on list of public colleges that ‘pay off the most’

CNBC Make It has ranked UW Bothell No. 2 on list of colleges that provide the greatest return on investment.

Low Income Housing Institute’s 57-unit August Wilson Place apartments in downtown Bellevue includes affordable housing units for households at 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area median income. Photo courtesy of Low Income Housing Institute
Economic growth continues for King County

Warning signs on horizon as housing and rent prices cool down compared to previous years.

Bothell’s fire station renovation project approved by state

City has received state approval for an alternative method to renovate two fire stations.

King County Correctional Facility is located at 500 5th Ave., Seattle. File photo
King County jail’s leaky pipes have national implications

Lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court alleges Aquatherm has been selling faulty pipes.

Bothell High School is set to intake many more students with the new boundary adjustments. Madeline Coats/staff photo
Student growth projections will alter Northshore School District boundaries

Upcoming boundary adjustments for students in Northshore School District for the upcoming school year.

File photo
New measles case had possible public exposure in Kenmore

A Seattle Children’s Hospital nurse is the latest diagnosed bringing this year’s case count up to 11 residents and two non-resident in King County.

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

Most Read