Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume and Gov. Jay Inslee cut the ribbon to celebrate the city’s procurement of all of North Creek Forest, surrounded by local officials and others involved in the acquisition process. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Ribbon-cutting ceremony held for North Creek Forest

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.

Attendees enjoy a continental breakfast provided by the Friends of the North Creek Forest ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

The ceremony was held at the entrance to the North Creek Forest, located on 112th Avenue NE. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume opens the ribbon-cutting ceremony with some remarks. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Gov. Jay Inslee (right) was the guest of honor at the North Creek Forest ribbon-cutting ceremony. He praises those who had a part in the land acquisition process as Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume listens. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Gov. Jay Inslee (center) names Friends of North Creek Forest founding member David Bain (right) the “Washingtonian of the Day” for April 28. Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume (left) listens to the governor’s remarks. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

As part of being named Washingtonian of the Day, Gov. Jay Inslee (center) gives David Bain (right) the Washington State pin from his lapel. Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume (left) applauds Bain receiving the honor on behalf of all of those who contributed to the city’s acquisition of North Creek Forest. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

The crowd at the ceremony applauds as Gov. Jay Inslee concludes his remarks. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Jim Freese of the Friends of North Creek Forest acknowledges the various individuals and organizations involved in acquiring the forest land as Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume listens. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume listens as Help Our Woods’ Paul Clement addresses the crowd. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Deborah Jensen of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program speaks to her organization’s involvement in securing funding for North Creek Forest as Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume listens. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Local officials, including Bothell Deputy Mayor Davina Duerr, and others involved in the acquisition process prepare to cut the ribbon to celebrate the city’s procurement of all of North Creek Forest. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Bothell Deputy Mayor Davina Duerr, Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume and Gov. Jay Inslee prepare to cut the ribbon to celebrate the city’s procurement of all of North Creek Forest, surrounded by local officials and others involved in the acquisition process. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

Bothell Mayor Andy Rheaume and Gov. Jay Inslee cut off a piece of the North Creek Forest ribbon for the governor to keep as a souvenir. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

North Creek Forest is comprised of 63.4 acres of land in both Snohomish and King counties. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

The last parcel of North Creek Forest was procured by the City of Bothell in late 2016. CATHERINE KRUMMEY / Bothell Reporter

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