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King County Parks adds 56 acres to popular south King County park, preserving forested wetlands, improving recreation opportunities

Summary

With the addition of the 56-acre forested property on the edge of the City of Maple Valley, King County Parks’ popular Black Diamond Open Space gets more protected green space and more room for recreation – and an online survey is available for public comment about potential uses and features on this property.

Story

King County Parks has added an undeveloped 56-acre property to the 1,240-acre Black Diamond Open Space (BDOS), a popular south county recreation destination. The new addition, which is located near Southeast 288th Street and State Route 169, protects the site’s forested wetlands.

“We are excited to add this beautiful area to Black Diamond Open Space, which helps us expand recreational opportunities in the area, while also contributing to King County’s ambitious goals of land conservation, climate resilience, clean water, and healthy habitat,” said Warren Jimenez, King County Parks Division Director.

The property acquisition was made possible through King County’s Four to One Program, which permits a landowner to add 20 percent of their land to the urban growth area if they donate 80 percent to King County’s open space inventory. 

Since the program’s inception in the 1990s, King County has permanently conserved some 1,400 acres while adding just 360 acres to the urban growth area. As a result of this agreement, the residential building company Lennar will develop the 14-acre Tahoma Ridge housing community adjacent Parks’ newly acquired land.

Lennar representatives say contributing to a vibrant community by enhancing parks and open space through King County’s Four to One Program align with the company’s core values, and the 56 acres the company is setting aside as open space will no doubt be enjoyed by local residents and others from all over King County for generations to come.

Adding this acreage to Black Diamond Open Space, which currently offers 17 miles of multi-use trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding, means more protected habitat in a rapidly developing area of the county, and more room for outdoor recreation for the county’s growing population.

Prior to allowing public use of the newly acquired land, King County Parks will assess present conditions, including inventorying any existing informal trails. This will inform site management decisions about the 56 acres, ensuring trails align with the agency’s safety, maintenance, and sustainability standards.

As part of this effort, King County Parks is seeking initial public input through an online survey at https://publicinput.com/bdosaddition. The survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and will be open until Monday, Feb. 15.

The park is managed according to the Black Diamond Area Stewardship Plan, published in 2019 after a lengthy community engagement effort. The forest at Black Diamond Open Space is managed as a working forest according to sustainable practices certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (License code FSC-C008225).

To stay updated about Black Diamond Open Space and learn about opportunities to get involved, sign up for the BDOS e-newsletter here

RELEVANT LINKS

Four to One Program
Black Diamond Open Space

QUOTES

 

We are excited to add this beautiful area to Black Diamond Open Space, which helps us expand recreational opportunities in the area, while also contributing to King County’s ambitious goals of land conservation, climate resilience, clean water, and healthy habitat.

- Warren Jimenez, Division Director, King County Parks

 


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Doug Williams, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, 206-477-4543

About King County Parks

King County Parks - Your Big Backyard - offers 205 parks and 32,000 acres of open space, including popular destinations such as Marymoor Park and Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, plus 175 miles of regional trails, 250 miles of backcountry trails, and a world-class aquatic center. We envision parks, trails, and natural lands for all, sustained with the cooperative efforts of our community.