This grant supports our Stewardship Program, which focuses on improving the biological function of North Creek Forest, while simultaneously engaging the community to participate in its care. Our broader goal is to create greater public understanding of the environmental needs of our region.
Support from the Rose Foundation allows us to dedicate staff time to recruit, coordinate and educate volunteers at restoration and monitoring events to ensure that everyone has a positive experience, and that committed volunteers have the opportunity to work up to leadership roles.
We are honored to partner with the Rose Foundation to help people understand the connections between upland habitat, water quality, and the health of Puget Sound and to provide opportunities for all ages to make a positive environmental impact. Thank you for supporting this important work throughout our region.
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.”
If you have been following along you probably know a $500,000 King County Conservation Futures (KCCF) grant was awarded over a year ago to help save remaining forest land in North Creek Forest. Within the last week KCCF reallocated additional funds of $181,000 and $303,000. This brings the total commitment from King County to $984,000.
All dollars from King County require a 1:1 match from another source. Toward this end the city has a Recreation and Conservation grant of $197,500 from the Land and Water fund. This enables $395,000 in purchase funds with $786,500 remaining to be matched. Our Capital Campaign to find these matching funds is about to launch.
Event 1: Tulalip Members - Marysville School District
The Tulalip Higher Education Program brought over 40 students from the Marysville School District to meet with UW Bothell Admissions department staff Rachael Meares, Admissions Advisor and Native American Outreach, to participate at a restoration site with Friends of North Creek Forest and the UWREN program.
This event was to inform high school students from the Tulalip Tribes and Marysville School District about the UWREN program.
Prior to arrival Professor Warren Gold met with past and present members of UWREN, Friends of North Creek Forest and a Bothell City Council member. We each reflected on the value of UWREN from our unique perspectives.
In the foreground former UWREN graduate and current City Council Member Andy Rheaume (left) talks about the way UWREN serves the city.
FNCF Executive Director, Jim Freese, (not shown) discussed the value of UWREN's contributions to the community.
In the far background former UWREN member and FNCF Volunteer Coordinator, Kent Parkinson, joined this years UWREN team member, Carolyn Stapp to share their personal UWREN experience.
Up next was a tour of UWREN sites finished in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. Students were able to see planting designs and get a hint of the science behind those designs. They were also able to see changes from year to year.
UWREN Site 3
Arriving at this years site we broke into 8 student teams. These teams planted about 100 Pacific Willow and Red Twig Dogwood "live stakes".
Pacific Willow (yellow bark) and Red Twig Dogwood (red bark) will grow to 50' and 15'-20' respectively.
It is not lost on some of us that up until 1855 the Sammamish People occupied this area from Kenmore to Lake Sammamish. After smallpox and a treaty halved their numbers and dislocated the rest, most Sammamish People were absorbed into the Tulalip Tribes.
We wonder if great great grandchildren of the Sammamish People were among these students, restoring native vegetation where it was once complex, rich and balanced... where Chinook salmon, once plentiful, have all but vanished.
Tulalip Higher Education and Marysville School District chaperones were pleased with the activity, “It was great to see the students learning outside of the classroom,” comments Matt Remle (Lakota), Native Liaison for the Marysville School District. UW Bothell Admissions Department’s Rachael Meares describes reaching out to community partners to collaboratively develop programs for high school student visits, “The students will remember UW Bothell because it was an experiential visit – usually, they just get flooded with PowerPoints and pamphlets at most college visits.”
We can't think of a better example of North Creek Forest serving students. It was a fulfilling day. FNCF
Event 2: Dr. Amy Lambert's Class: Beginning Restoration
This day we were short on photos but long on work.
A combination of 30+ students, UWREN members and several FNCF members can change things fast.
Spreading mulch and rooting out the last of the Himalayan blackberries, often in mud, was our chore for the day.
We logged 127.5 hours.
Thank you for coming out. Now you know about restoration at it's most difficult stage. If you return in two weeks you will be surprised at the changes. Plants are going in and mulch is going down.
Event 3: Soundview is back!
Soundview International Baccalaureate School is back. These 5th and 7th grade kids mowed down some of the last remaining blackberries on the three sites.
They are getting really good at pacing themselves. And they are very aware of safety. Our number one responsibility to not get hurt or hurt someone else.
At another station kids learned how to use a monocular magnifier.
The goal here is to learn how to identify trees by their buds.
This is the beginning. Kids soon discovered they could place the magnifier up to their eye and hold it in place by squinting, thus freeing both hands to hold the branch steady.
With a little creativity who knows...
We might discover the world is much more interesting that we realized.
[The photographer had to try this himself after everyone left. Couldn't see much but you don't know unless you try.]
From the FNCF Ranger Team:
Thank you students for your hard work!