Thanks to a partnership between local sustainability nonprofit Forterra and King County Parks, a 155-acre forested property near Enumclaw that once served as a private wedding venue has been preserved for public use.
Featuring healthy forests, large meadows and a small lake, the land is home to black bear, cougar, bobcat, plus numerous bird species and other wildlife. The property recently served as a private wedding venue and sits at the base of the Cascade foothills.
“Preserving this open space and forestland protects wildlife habitat while increasing public recreational opportunities for generations to come – and we thank Forterra for their continued willingness to work with us for the greater good of the community and the environment,” said King County Parks Director Kevin Brown.
“We are so pleased to have teamed up with King County Parks to secure this keystone place as a community asset,” said Gene Duvernoy, President of Forterra. “More than that, securing this land provides a great connection to lowland forests, provides a habitat buffer between Enumclaw and working forestlands, and provides public access to a network of recreational trails in the 80,000-acre White River Forest.”
The land was purchased by Forterra, which will hold the property while King County Parks raises the $1.59 million purchase amount to reimburse the land conservation and sustainability nonprofit.
A portion of the County’s reimbursement is expected to include funds from the voter-approved 2014-19 King County Parks Levy, which is used to help fund open space acquisitions and maintenance. King County is also pursuing grant funding to cover a portion of the Enumclaw property purchase price.
Public use of the property will not be allowed until the land is under King County Parks ownership, at which point Parks will host community meetings to gather ideas and plans for uses and amenities.
Securing this large property in southeast King County strengthens Parks’ commitment to providing regional recreational opportunities to residents, while also protecting forests from development.
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About King County Parks
King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers more than 200 parks and 28,000 acres of open space, including such regional treasures as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, 175 miles of regional trails, 215 miles of backcountry trails and a world-class aquatic center. By cultivating strong relationships with non-profit, corporate and community partners, King County Parks enhances park amenities while reducing costs.
Dedicated to regional sustainability in all its dimensions — environmental, social, and economic — Forterra secures urban, rural and wild places with a keystone part in our shared future. Using skills in community-building, negotiation, real estate, land stewardship, and policy advocacy, Forterra has over its 25-plus-year history been part of more than 400 separate land transactions. These have protected upward of 250,000 acres — from remote wildlands, to working farms and forests, to city parks, to urban property for affordable housing. More at Forterra.org.