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.”
Presentation of the Bravo Award to the Bothell City Council was originally scheduled for November 16, but was postponed due to a wind storm.
“Outdoor recreation contributes significantly to Washington’s economy,” Cottingham said. “Each year, people spend $21.6 billion on outdoor recreation in Washington State and outdoor recreation supports nearly 200,000 jobs. Investing in our outdoor places is very important to our state’s economy.”
The competition for grant funding is high, with projects rated by citizens and professionals on many factors, such as need, how well the project is designed and cost-effectiveness.
“Only the best projects get funded,” Cottingham said. “We consistently see high quality projects from the City of Bothell. The City has received grants for projects at Bothell Landing, Blyth Park Trail, North Creek sports fields and Cedar Grove Park, as well as for the restoration of the Sammamish River.”
The City of Bothell has been awarded 12 grants since the mid 1970s, totaling more than $2.6 million. The City has contributed more than $4.7 million as match, translating into a $7.4 million investment in outdoor recreation. For the North Creek Forest acquisition alone, Bothell has received four grants totaling more than $1.8 million.
The Recreation and Conservation Funding Board was established in 1964 to finance recreation and conservation projects throughout the state. For more information on the agency or its grant programs, visit the Web site: www.rco.wa.gov.
For more information and photographs about the project, see the North Creek Forest.