Have you checked out North Creek Forest, one of Bothell’s newest City Parks? Not yet, you say? Maybe you’re not sure how to find it or didn’t realize it was open to the public? Well, it is open, and you can explore it on your own or through a community program offered by Friends of North Creek Forest.
As far a City Parks go, North Creek Forest is unique. It doesn’t offer swing sets, paved pathways or a well-marked parking lot. Instead, this 64-acre parkland (with trees nearing the 100-year-old mark) provides cushiony earth beneath your feet, the fresh aroma of ferns and cedars, and tiny streams whispering through ravines. North Creek Forest paves the way for stepping out of city life and into a lush woodland setting -- without having to drive 50 miles or more to a mountain forest
In addition to offering a nature fix, this old forest will patiently teach us delightful lessons, if we're willing to learn. On a recent walk with a friend, I learned how to “read” a story sword ferns tell us about life, death and survival.
Consider visiting the forest and reading this story too—all it takes is some time, a friend (the buddy system is always a good idea when hiking) and keen observation skills. Here’s how:
Next time you are walking through the forest, start noticing the sword ferns. These handsome, sprawling ferns are easy to spot. Older ones have very large (2-4 feet long), leathery, dark-green fronds and grow abundantly along the trail edges in North Creek Forest.
For an easy way to remember their name, look closely at one of the leaflets attached to the frond’s long, arching stem (see photo below). Kind of looks like the type of sword that the pirate Jack Sparrow might brandish, doesn’t it? It's even got the handle at the bottom!
If someone offered you a pill that would make you feel more optimistic and peaceful, would you take it? And suppose this medicine was free and had no side effects. Sound too good to be true? But wait – there's more! Robust scientific studies show that this medicine can lower blood pressure. Boost mental clarity. Even increase the number of killer cells your body produces – and by killer cells, we mean specialized cells in our immune system that fight cancer.
Believe it or not, according to a growing body of research, this medicine does exist. It is the healing power of forest bathing, an increasingly-popular activity available to the public worldwide, including right here in North Creek Forest.
What Is Forest Bathing Anyway?
First, it’s not a bath per se.
Looking for a spot to quench your thirst after spending Saturday mornings exploring the North Creek Forest?
We are excited to partner with Cairn Brewing for OktoberForest events on Saturdays, Oct 6, 13 & 20 @ 1-4 pm! Join us for Pub talks and activities for kids. Family and dog friendly venue in Kenmore!
Try a pint or 22-oz bottle of Cairn's own newly tapped North Creek Common and $1 will be donated to Friends of North Creek Forest!
#cairnbeer #FriendsNorthCreekForest #OktoberForest
Welcome Melissa Gugala!!
In July, our wonderful part-time Volunteer & Stewardship Coordinator, Ashley Shattuck accepted a full-time position with the King County Noxious Weeds Board, and we had to say good-bye. We're very grateful for Ashley's leadership and contribution to many successful work parties and her continuing commitment as a forest volunteer.
Thankfully, we have an equally wonderful forest enthusiast who stepped into Ashley's boots (so to speak) near August's end. Melissa Gugala began volunteering with FNCF education and stewardship teams in early 2018, and we are delighted to have her join our staff as the new Volunteer & Stewardship Coordinator. Melissa will be leading our work parties and coordinating FNCF's partnership with UW Bothell's CBLR (Community Based Learning and Research) and Restoration Ecology Network (UW REN) teams.
Melissa brings experience working with Washington Trails Association to maintain and restore hiking trails in the Cascades, with a focus on making them accessible to all. While attending Cascadia College, Melissa worked on water quality projects for the UW Bothell Campus Wetlands, where she monitored water quality, maintained a database of findings, and prepared reports on the data collected. She graduated from Cascadia College in June 2018 with a Bachelors in Applied Sciences in Sustainable Practices. Prior to joining FNCF's staff, Melissa volunteered for FNCF's education program, teaching grade school students about the forest and explaining why protecting, restoring and maintaining its health is important for all.
Melissa believes that the best way to protect forests starts with community engagement and education. Getting people engaged in the forest and understanding why we need these natural spaces is the best way to ensure these places thrive for generations to come.
Interested in bringing a group to volunteer at the North Creek Forest? Please email Melissa: email@example.com
Well it’s that time of year again! We say goodbye to our 2017-2018 UWREN team and the UW Bothell CBLR (Community Based Learning & Research) students who served us this spring quarter. We are so thankful to be a part of such a supportive community! Let’s look back on what each group accomplished.
2017-2018 UWREN Team on site #7
CBLR Student Volunteers
As you can see our student volunteers worked really hard this quarter and accomplished so much! We are so proud of them and can’t wait to see what next year’s UWREN team does. Come check out their year’s worth of work at UWREN site #7, the restoration site closest to the North Creek Forest sign.
We're so proud of this year's UW-REN team! So great that their work is showcased on the homepage of the UWBothell website. Congrats!
Read the article: http://www.uwb.edu/news/april-2018/north-creek-forest
By Zachary Nelson
For the past year, five University of Washington students have teamed together to bring a slice of forest back to life as part of a capstone project. The students — three from UW Bothell and two from Seattle — helped transform a half-acre of North Creek Forest from a neglected eyesore to a haven teeming with life.
When the team began, the site was completely overrun by invasive species, including blackberry bushes up to 10 feet tall. “It took 21 hours and about 25 volunteers just to cut out the site so we could find our boundaries,” said Mahleah Grant, an environmental studies major. “The cool and surprising part was that people were lining up to help us do hard physical labor.”
After clearing the site, the team brought in plants that would create a favorable habitat. Before long, the once poor ecosystem became more livable for native plants and animals. “When we first got to the site, there was no life in the dirt and no animals to be seen,” said Johnathon Rutledge, environmental studies major. “Now, birds nest in the area. Worms wiggle in the dirt. There are bunnies hopping around, and native fungal activity is returning.”
For many years, the outlook for the forest wasn’t hopeful. “It used to all be private land that suffered ecological neglect in some places,” said Warren Gold, associate professor in UW Bothell’s School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences and director of the UW Restoration Ecology Network. “About 10 years ago, we started raising money with Friends of North Creek Forest (FNCF) to buy and restore the land and make it public.”
The forest is now fully owned by the city of Bothell. A master plan process is now underway that will eventually allow public access.
The restoration effort, now in its seventh year, provides capstone projects for teams of students from all three UW campuses. They act as project managers on their designated parcel of land, doing research on environmental problems, forging solutions with community partners and local governments, and implementing those solutions with local community members.
Each parcel continues to receive attention and upkeep from volunteers. “One of the challenges of this project is that we have to make sure the site is maintained after we leave,” said Candice Magbag, an environmental science major. “This means working with community members to set up a network of reliable volunteers. For our site, we are lucky to work with both the City of Bothell and FNCF. The latter will care for the site after we graduate, along with the wonderful community of volunteers.”
The students all agreed this was a standout moment in their academic career, not only for the experience but also for the friends and connections they made.
More student teams are needed continue restoring ecological health to North Creek Forest. “For anybody who is thinking of taking this project on, you won’t regret it,” said Rutledge. “When else in school will you get credit for working outside doing what you love to do and making a real long term difference in the local community?”
Friends of North Creek Forest is once again registered with the annual giveBIG Seattle campaign! You can schedule your May 9 donation as soon as April 26 at:
Thanks to the generosity of FNCF donors - matching funds are available for your GiveBIG gift.
Donations are tax deductible.
Your donation supports programs that honor relationships with nature, build a healthy forest preserve, and develop a resilient community that can respond and adapt to our changing climate and world.
Thank you for giving BIG to the North Creek Forest!!
SAVE THE DATE!!!
Join us Tuesday, May 8 between 5 pm - 11 pm at Tavern on the Square located at McMenamins Anderson School for a drink, a snack or a full meal and 50% of your bill will be donated to Friends of North Creek Forest!
DIRECT RESERVATIONS with McMenamins are highly recommended: by phone: (425) 398-0122 or online via Open Table.
Proceeds from this event will fund programs benefiting the North Creek Forest and the community! K-12 school field trips, university research projects, forest restoration volunteer work parties and more!
Friends of North Creek Forest Board members and UW-REN team will be available to answer your questions and explain why the North Creek Forest is such an extraordinary feature in our growing city.
Be sure to check out the Silent Auction items! Auction @ 6 - 8:30 pm
Living Tributes will be available to order - a lovely gesture for a graduate, a birthday, Mother's or Father's Day. Choose a native species to be planted in the NC Forest to honor a special occasion, individual or group. McMenamins_sun and moon 12square
Thanks to McMenamins Anderson School for their awesome support!
More info: Friends & Family Night!
How many signs of Spring will YOU see at the volunteer work party on Sat, April 7?
Join the UW-REN team for restoration tasks between 10 am - 1 pm.
Mark your calendar to hear from Dr. David Bain - FNCF Founding Board member and advocate extraordinaire - about the importance of Bothell's own North Creek Forest!
Thur, April 12 @ 10 :15 am.
Thur, April 26 @ 10:15 am. (killer whale lecture)
Both lectures FREE to attend and held at the Northshore Senior Center.
Text of Bothell Reporter article:
In November 2016 the City of Bothell finished its purchase of the final 22 acres to complete the North Creek Forest.
This 64 acre mature site includes seven streams and nine wetlands. It is one of the last coniferous forests in the Bothell area. Five fish species—chum, coho, sockeye, chinook, and steelhead—spawn in North Creek. And the Forest is home t a wide range of wildlife including black-tailed deer, mountain beaver, several specials of owl, hawks, and pacific tree frogs.
On April 12 at 10:15 a.m., Dr. David Bain, a founding member of Friends of North Creek Forest will speak at Northshore Senior Center about the Forest’s importance to our environment. His organization is involved in maintaining and improving the ecology of the Forest and educating children in these practices.
Dr. Bain will give another presentation on April 26 at 10:15 a.m., also at Northshore Senior Center. His topic will be on Killer Whales. As a whale researcher for 39 years, Dr. Bain is a leading authority on this threatened species.
Both talks are free and open to all.
Northshore Senior Center is located 10201 E Riverside Drive in Bothell. For more information call 425-487-2441.