We thought we might be finished with good news announcements for 2011. Not quite... Here comes another 6 acres.
Last spring Friends began a long and challenging application for a federally funded Land and Water grant. This grant is managed by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. RCO staff answered our many anxious questions and, along with Bothell staff, guided us through to a completed application.
We gave our final presentation to an RCO panel in September and, as previously reported, received the second highest score in Washington.
Important: it was not the talent behind the application that won the grant. We barely knew what we were doing. It was the property itself that won. It is spectacular and only needed someone who would tell the story.
There was one catch. The grant we won needed to be funded by Congress. Three days after the City of Bothell completed the conservation of the first 35 acres the US Senate funded the Land and Water program on December 18th.
By Spring 2012 Bothell will be able to purchase another 6 acres of North Creek Forest, making a total of 41 acres of park land conserved through the actions of 2011. What a year!
What many don't realize... the Land and Water grant was in danger of the budget axe. A large segment of Congress does not think conservation is very important in these culturally inflicted hard times.
The Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition played a huge roll in getting Congress to end its stalemate over L&W funding. If you spend some time on their website you will be awed by the vitality of this organization. We can't imagine a Washington State without them. Please take a look:
Finally, you might want to read these two editorial opinions in the Seattle Times.
We hope you have enjoyed these conservation adventures of 2011 with us. We share immense gratitude for all who have endorsed our goals, attended meetings and events, written letters, advised us, offered volunteered stewardship hours and offered your donations.
Friends of North Creek Forest