The Overstory, a recent best-selling book by Richard Powers, profiled militant forest activists in the Pacific Northwest. In contrast, just northeast of Seattle in Bothell, Washington, a kinder, gentler approach was employed by the Friends of North Creek Forest for a more than a decade. It worked!
This month, six intrepid souls arrived early for my bird walk. None of them mentioned the rain or the muddy uphill walk ahead. Who were these folks? Friends of North Creek Forest; they helped save this forest.
It is a good thing the Friends acted when they did. The project happened during a down-turn in the real estate market, which has since become white-hot again. Dense new housing developments now press up against the forest borders.
The land itself is now a mostly-wild 64-acre park and nature refuge with one main trail leading through a central ravine in the burgeoning town of Bothell, Washington.
I became involved in this project more than a decade ago when a friend asked me to sit in on one of their meetings. Next thing I knew, I was consulting with them on non-profit management, fundraising and communication. Ten years later, after untold hours put in by the Friends, the dream came true: North Creek Forest became a Bothell City Park.
As their mission states, the Friends are committed to the forest’s long-term health: To maintain and improve the ecological function of North Creek Forest Through education, stewardship and conservation in perpetuity.
Their efforts enhance the forest and build community. This was evident when I visited the forest twice to scout and lead a bird walk. Thirty volunteers led by Sarah Witte, Board president and stewardship committee chair were also there, planting and mulching native plants.
Regarding the importance of this work, Witte said: “Removing invasive species and replanting native flora increases the health and sustainability of the forest as a whole, and increases the value of its ecosystem services such as water filtration, food and habitat, and carbon sequestration. What we give to the forest it returns a hundred times over in clean air and water, and a stronger connection to the nature and people around us.”
Our bird walk revealed Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets flittering through brambles and evergreen boughs, calling in their squeaky, chattery voices.
North Creek Forest Park represents a legacy for present and future generations. The Friends’ commitment to ongoing stewardship and education ensures that the park will remain an outstanding natural area.
FOREST BATHING @ North Creek Forest with Judy Beaudette featured in Seattle Times Pacific NW Magazine (SHINRIN-YOKU)
June 15th, 2019 | Colin McCrate
Forest bathing turns a contemplative stroll in the woods into a proven branch of therapy
If you’re pining for serenity, a free walk with the Friends of North Creek Forest group could bring natural relief.
Read full article here
Thanks to Judy Beaudette for leading free Forest Bathing walks in the North Creek Forest!
Join us Sat, June 1st @ 10 AM - 1 PM
at this urban forest restoration event to clip back, dig out and haul away the invasive species- making room for more native plantings!
Celebrate ORCA Action Month (June) with us!!
North Creek Forest UW-REN Restoration Site
20598 112th Ave NE Bothell, 98011 Google directions
Volunteers should dress in weather-appropriate attire.
Boots are highly recommended. Closed toed, sturdy shoes required.
Tools and gloves are provided. Tasks could include invasive species removal, spreading mulch, planting native species, watering the recently planted "babies"!
RSVP online: https://tockify.com/northcreekforest/pinboard
Volunteers ages 1-15 must be accompanied by an adult.
If you're a first time FNCF volunteer, please print out, complete and bring this form!
Snacks and refreshments are provided!
Volunteer work parties provide great networking opportunities, an introduction to
restoration ecology, and a fun way to spend time in the great outdoors!
Support for this volunteer event is provided by the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, a grantmaking fund created by the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance and administered by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment.
Here's the news about the May 9th GiveBIG 2019 event! Our community donated $1232 to support North Creek Forest education, research and stewardship programming!
We are so grateful for your donations!
The GiveBIG 2019 event has ended, but we gratefully accept donations of any amount all year long!
Signing up to be a Forest Keeper is an easy way to support the work of FNCF. A monthly donation in the amount of your choosing is automatically sent to FNCF.
Want to make a donation now?
Check out the options here: https://www.friendsnorthcreekforest.org/support--donate.html
Now that the North Creek Forest is owned by the City of Bothell, many people are asking what's next?
In 2011, Friends of North Creek Forest (FNCF) made a promise to the City of Bothell to continue our partnership after the entire forest was saved. And while the completed purchase in 2017 is a tremendous achievement, the work is not done. In fact, in many ways, the most exciting part lies ahead!
You have the opportunity to be a part of this continued partnership by getting involved and supporting Forest Education programs that enhance and honor nature relationships, build a healthy forest, and develop a resilient community that can respond and adapt to our changing climate and world.
We invite you to:
Volunteer - FNCF hosts a variety of opportunities for the community to be involved!
Become a Member or Donor – Become an integral part of a community dedicated to maintaining connections with our greatest teacher – the Forest. Your support is needed and appreciated.
Please email us about your interest in any of these opportunities - or with other ideas about how you can be involved! firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for supporting
Friends of North Creek Forest!
#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season by bringing millions of people together to support the causes they believe in.
Help FNCF continue to support restoration events,, educate our region's youth and preserve Bothell's unique stunning biodiversity in an urban setting! Photos: Hannah Letinich
You can contribute in a variety of ways on our secure website:
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.
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 “pill” 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 systems that fight cancer.
Believe it or not, a growing body of research shows that this healing medicine does exist. It’s called forest bathing. And this increasingly popular activity is available to people worldwide, including right here in North Creek Forest.
What Is Forest Bathing Anyway?
First, it’s not a bath per se.