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Lands that Doreen Johnson worked to protect will now carry her name


Metropolitan King County
Council News

Lands that Doreen Johnson worked to protect will now carry her name


Council gives unanimous support to renaming parcels in Southeast King County in honor of community leader Doreen Johnson.


Doreen Johnson was a teacher, community leader and advocate for the preservation of the natural habitat that surrounded her in Southeast King County. Johnson passed away in 2014, but today the Metropolitan King County Council ensured that she will always be a part of the region she loved with its unanimous approval to rename parcels in the County’s Green River Natural Area in her memory.

“This recognition honoring all the great work Doreen Johnson has done over the years is long overdue,” said Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn. “Doreen’s service as a leader, advocate, and educator are greatly appreciated and serve as an example of service to one’s community for others in the future.”

“Doreen was a trailblazing protector of our watersheds and salmon habitat in South King County,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer.  “Her passion helped preserve some of Puget Sound’s most valuable resources for today and future generations.”

A lifelong educator, Ms. Johnson taught at Muckleshoot tribal preschool, Cascade Junior High and Federal Way High School, and chaired the committee that brought Green River Community College to Auburn.

In addition to her vocation as an educator, Doreen Johnson contributed to the community in many ways, as a volunteer, leader, advocate, and donor:

  • During the early ‘90s, Johnson served as a member of the Rural Area Task Force, which identified and designated the Rural Area of King County as part of the development of King County's first Comprehensive Plan.
  • For 15 years Johnson reviewed all forest practice applications in King County for the Washington Environmental Council, working with timber interests to protect stream and wildlife habitat. 
  • During the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ms. Johnson served on committees for Water Resource Inventory Areas 9 and 10, helping develop salmon habitat plans for the threatened Chinook salmon population of the Green/Duwamish and White Rivers. She helped leverage funding to protect salmon habitat in the Middle Green River, including the preservation of the headwaters of Icy Creek, the acquisition of the Kanaskat, O'Grady and Metzler reaches, and the creation of the one thousand acre Green River Natural Area.

In 2007, the King County Executive awarded Doreen Johnson a Green Globe Award for her work to protect and improve King County’s environment.

The approved legislation would rename four parcels—approximately 58 acre—within the Green River Natural Area the Doreen Johnson Conservation Area, as a way of honoring Doreen Johnson for her service and leadership in Southeast King County. 


Pictured left to right: Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn; Doug Osterman, Salmon Recover Manager, Green/Duwamish Watershed, KC DNRP; Nora Johnson Hightower, daughter of Doreen Johnson; Lisa Parsons, Green River Coalition; Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer



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