Long-time supporters of North Creek Forest gathered at its entrance last week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the City of Bothell’s acquisition of the final parcel.
The city hosted the ceremony in collaboration with the Friends of the North Creek Forest (FNCF), who, along with the Help Our Woods (HOW) group, led the movement to preserve all 63.4 acres of the land.
“We’re here because of the power of the imagination of the first friends of the forest,” FNCF co-president Chris Covey said. “This forest now belongs to us all, for our future generations to enjoy.”
Gov. Jay Inslee, who was the guest of honor at the ceremony, kept the enthusiasm going.
“The healthiest place to be in the State of Washington is North Creek Forest right now,” he said, drawing applause from those in attendance. “The most important work we’re doing right now for our kids is building urban forests. … We want to build these forests across the State of Washington.”
During his interactions each day, Inslee declares a “Washingtonian of the Day,” and for April 28, he chose David Bain, one of FNCF’s founding members.
Others who spoke at the ceremony include Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume, FNCF’s Jim Freese, HOW’s Paul Clement and Deborah Jensen of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP).
“It’s a great day for the greatest benefactor (of the forest acquisition) — the wildlife in North Creek Forest,” Clement said. “(A project like this) can start with one person with a passion for good. … Seventeen years later, here we are today.”
In addition to remarks from local leaders and those involved in the acquisition, the event featured a continental breakfast and forest tours.
The North Creek Forest is just west of Interstate 405 on the side of Maywood Hill. The forest will not be open to the public until a master plan is completed for it, which is currently underway under the leadership of a steering committee and city staff. Public meetings will be held to get input on what should be part of the forest.
FNCF does offer free guided tours of the forest for those who are interested. For more information about the tours or the forest in general, visit friendsnorthcreekforest.org.