Today, we are asking for your tax-deductible, year-end gift to help carry this great momentum forward. Friends of North Creek Forest is dedicated to working with the City of Bothell to transform North Creek Forest from raw land into a cherished community park where education, stewardship and recreation can take place for years to come.
OLYMPIA – The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board will give the City of Bothell a Bravo Award on Tuesday for its outstanding project to conserve the North Creek Forest.
The City’s grant application scored Number 1 of 16 projects competing for grant funding statewide in the highly competitive Land and Water Conservation Fund program. Funded by the federal government from the sale of off-shore drilling permits, the grant program is designed to build parks and trails and other outdoor recreation areas.
Bothell will use this grant to buy up to 22 acres to complete the acquisition of the 64-acre urban forest known as North Creek Forest, which runs along Interstate 405, just south of the King-Snohomish County line. The North Creek Forest is a mature forest that filters surface water above North Creek, which is used by Chinook salmon. The forest is home to at least two priority bird species – pileated woodpecker and band-tailed pigeon. People use the forest for hiking and walking.
“The City is conserving a beautiful forest that will be enjoyed by people and wildlife alike,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Recreation and Conservation Office, which administers the grant. “This is a great project and a model of visionary thinking. The City and Friends of North Creek Forest have been working for a long time to preserve this special place in the midst of a growing city. Now, for years to come, the community will have a place nearby to relax, appreciate the natural environment and recreate.”
Our Soundview IB School volunteers have spent the fall exploring, learning, and helping in North Creek Forest. Students have learned about water quality and how to identify native trees. They have learned from experience about invasive weed removal, and how to give native plantings the best chance of success. They have also learned about the peace and inspiration that comes from sitting quietly in the forest. A gift that North Creek Forest will soon provide for our whole community for generations to come.
We were thrilled to have members of local NGO Amrita-Seattle attend our work party on October 10th! Amrita-Seattle does great work in both Seattle and West Bengal centered around health, education, and clean water. Their motto is “Live to Serve” – and they certainly live up to that!
We have been restoring parts of North Creek Forest since 2011. We developed a routine that attracts many volunteers from UW Bothell, Cascadia College, and area schools. In our third year we cleared blackberries away to discover a nightmare of a site: deep mud, abandoned cars, piles of concrete rubble... Then Ian found us.
Ian was a force. He brought his own tools, the very best. He blended into the crowd, leaned into the work and began teaching details about plant roots, methods, shade requirements and so much more. His depth of knowledge was astonishing. He was an undergraduate student at UW and we experienced what it was like to be adopted by Ian.
Ian loved to teach. Students were enchanted by his stories. Everything he said seemed simple but if you listened long enough you would see he was giving out hints of an almost unfathomably large and intricate web of life, a forest ecology. The Jr High kids, like everyone else, loved him.
Ian studied with Dr. Amy Lambert that year and worked in the forest as a volunteer. He worked at the greenhouse on campus, the UW Wetlands, and worked and studied in many capacities with Dr. Warren Gold. His teachers and fellow students are heart sick to lose him.
"He was one of the brightest individuals I have ever met. His passion and enthusiasm for our great outdoors was contagious and everyone who met him learned so much from him. He was a beautiful soul..." Sarah Park
This is a tragedy we will not recover from soon. That is expected. However, people will be coming to North Creek Forest for a long time. The trees Ian cleared a place for and planted will be here for them. Great grandchildren of the students he taught may be moved by the presence of those trees. Someday the trees will even be called "ancient". People won't know who planted them. But does it matter? Probably not to Ian. He was just doing his art.
"No form of life was insignificant to you. You could educate people and get them excited about the smallest things. You had an appreciation for this earth that most people wouldn't understand. You had such impact on so many people's lives, often without even knowing it. You were happy to live simply, just you and the trees, or the barren desert. A couple of books, a camp stove and a can of beans would keep you happy. I miss you so much my love." Lana Mack
Ian, you made a difference. We love you and cherish your work.
Rest in Peace.
Please join us to honor and celebrate the life of Ian Barlow on November 28th, 1:00 PM, UW Horticultural Center.