We did not think we had much chance competing with 14 other applicants including Seattle Parks and other "heavyweights". So we were stilled yesterday we were notified our application for a Land and Water grant came in second in Washington State. As long as the US Congress doesn't eliminate funding next Spring we will be able to apply this grant to a 6 acre parcel in the forest. We are a bit stunned and grinning.
The reason we scored so high is the forest itself. All we do is show it to people. The forest is worthy of conservation of the highest form.
The United States Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is funded primarily by a fee on offshore oil drilling. It was created in 1964 and has funded conservation and development in and around Yellowstone National Park, Big Sur and other national treasures. At the State level LWCF is administered by the office of Recreation and Conservation and applications are for local projects like North Creek Forest. You can view the actual presentation on our Presentation Page.
The city council will not vote to purchase the 35 acre Boy Scout Property on October 4th as previously reported. Instead they have a regular session scheduled to approve 3 Inter-Local Agreements so three different grants can be used for the purchase. They are also expected to authorize staff to create a Purchase and Sales Agreement. So this is not the big meeting yet.... but soon.
If you still want to come to the City Council meeting October 4th we will enjoy seeing you. But all we will be doing is updating the Council on our progress (new grant, restoration) and making ourselves available to answer questions.
Once the Purchase and Sales Agreement (PSA) is drafted it will go to the Boy Scouts Council for review and and approval. When the papers are signed, the City Council will vote to execute the PSA and buy the property. The executed PSA is the key. The Legislature must cut another $ 1.2 Billion in November. According to Department of Commerce staff, they have never cancelled an active contract (executed PSA). An active contract means one that is approved and money due to the seller.
So the critical item is an active contract. The City Council and Boy Scouts Council must have this before the Legislature makes their cuts in November. We are nervously optimistic "our baby" will be fine.
Some of us learned about our LWCF score while we were in the middle of cutting student access trails into blackberries. Cutting blackberries and smiling... imagine that. The mound in the background is an old apple tree, buried under a mountain of vines up to 30 feet long.
UW Seniors will soon visit the site and then create a restoration proposal for our approval. They will implement removal of invasive species in the Winter and plant native vegetation in the Spring.
One of the reasons we are winning grants is because there are only a few degraded places like this around the edge of the forest. Thanks to University of Washington Restoration Ecology Network the worst spots are being restored first.
It's been a great week!
Friends of North Creek Forest