SAVE THE DATE
On October 4th the Bothell City Council will vote on a counter offer to purchase 35 acres of North Creek Forest. This is the vote we have been waiting for. Please join us.
Bothell Municipal Court
10116 NE 183rd St.
BEHIND THE DEAL
Simple appearances don't show all of the background. A lot of effort and commitment paved the way to this purchase.
The City's Responsibility
For Bothell, this purchase means taking on a large property and supporting it's "care and feeding". This includes issues like the "hillside slump" at the end of 112th which recently threatened to break a major water line. The city fixed the problem but it cost money. Erosion in another area, while currently stabilized, will require more work in the future. These incidental costs are over and above the annual cost to the city for things like insurance, signs, security, restoration, and trail maintenance (once trails are established).
The staff time that went into preparing this purchase has also been substantial. These included many meetings, preparation of three inter-local agreements between Washington State, Snohomish and King Counties dealing with each of the purchase grants plus the time it took for negotiations. After the vote there is more work to do. One of the grants (State) require the city to spend $200,000 and then get reimbursed. More paperwork and more deadlines.
The days when parks are improved and maintained by government alone are gone. It take a public/private partnership to create a park land like North Creek Forest. We were asked a simple question, "What will you do to help?" We consulted with may groups before answering this question. The result is our Commitment to Stewardship (link to full document).
Our commitments include recruitment and supervision of volunteers; assistance in material purchase and delivery; controlling invasive plants and restoring native vegetation; trail design, building and maintenance; grant writing for erosion control; assistance with security; and promotion of forest education, supporting the development of formal programs, as well as providing a communication "hub" for educators.
An Opportunity to help
Over 2000 hours of volunteer time have been pledged by individuals who are willing to work in the forest. Most of these are annual, not one time, commitments. This is a good time to add your name to our list by pledging a few hours per year. You will be working with experts and doing a great and lasting service. All you need to do is email and tell us how much time you can offer, 10 hours a year, 40 hours... Most work will be on a Saturday.
THE OCTOBER 4 VOTE
The Governor has asked our Legislature to convene in November to look for more cuts in state spending. On October 4th the City Council must not only vote to make this purchase but face a real possibility that after all the work is done the state could eliminate our unspent grant and crash the whole deal. This is a real threat. But this is a time for faith, not fear.
The city has a professional staff and they are able to determine absolutely when the deal must be final and the threat avoided. We can't tell you if it's when the purchase and sales agreement is approved, the deal closes, when the final paper work is submitted to the state for reimbursement, or when the state's check is cashed. The staff will do the research so Council will not have to guess on this issue. By October 4th the City Council will know what must happen and when.
A special thanks to Steve Anderson for soothing our anxieties.... Erin Leonhart who (we hope) will be adding 35 more acres to her inventory of parks and city facilities and manage all of it.... and Clark Meek who is doing all of the negotiations, research and paperwork.
So we ask you to attend on October 4th. The city put a lot of work into this and it's our chance to thank them and also their chance to thank you.... a Friend of North Creek Forest.
You can download our latest grant presentation (Land and Water Grant) from our Presentation Page if you want to see it. NOTE: do not be alarmed by the Conceptual Site Plan in the presentation. We had to submit a "Concept" as a requirement. It's just that. Any trails, forest access points, etc, will be designed by experts in biology, geology, hydrology and zoology. In the end we want people to visit this rich habitat safely but not disrupt it.