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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Good News on Forest Preservation at North Creek

A 35 Acre stretch of Urban Forest next to I-5 in Bothell is now preserved! 
Brian Zemp (Boy Scouts); Joy Johnston, Bothell Public Information Officer; Jim Freese, Friends of North Creek Forest

A non-profit organization, which formed to preserve the unique chunk of forest, wedged between a suburban  neighborhood and I-405, has succeeded in a remarkable preservation success.  This is an outstanding accomplishment for a local non-profit. It was overall a ten-year effort.

With efforts by individuals, families, and other partners, the group preserved this unique forested area that hosts North Creek, an important salmon stream to prevent development that could have consume this property.

The effort sets a great example for other cities in the region for preserving precious open space. 

Congratulations to Bothell and Friends of North Creek! 

Friends of North Creek is celebrating an early Christmas. 

The Seattle Times covers the story -

Friends of North Creek has a blog with the full story and the account from the last few years of their efforts.

"Merry Christmas Bothell"

We are grateful to announce Bothell now owns 35 acres of North Creek Forest. The deal was completed at 2:00 PM today. Please see Bothell's press release HERE.

This phase of conservation started 10 years ago when a group called Help Our Woods sought to save the forest. Many of Friends founding members were associated with HOW. They raised the funding for wildlife and wetland studies that have been very important for getting the first King County Conservation Futures grant 2 years ago. Matching funds for that grant could not be sustained with the recession.

In 2010 one family (Robinson) purchased 6 acres in the center of the forest. That energized many of us. A gift of $3000 from one of our members enabled us to hire Woody Wheeler, a conservation consultant (see 
Conservation Catalyst). After several meetings we decided to pursue a new direction and strategy. Friends of North Creek Forest grew out of HOW and had it's first official meeting on February 23, 2011.

In two months we assembled our promotional materials, web site and other infrastructure, obtained key endorsements and applied for a Snohomish County Futures grant. We only had 5 days between learning of the grant and the deadline for application. We worked hard on it, pausing only to ask the Bothell City Council for permission to make the application. By the end of April we won $200,000. The forest also attracted the attention of Representative Derek Stanford and six days after winning the Snohomish grant we won another $200,000 for the Department of Commerce.


  1. I enjoyed hearing about this triumph. Thanks for posting. In searching for the location on the map, I learned that North Creek Woods is alongside I-405, however, not next to I-5 as stated in your subtitle.

  2. Thanks. Yes I fixed that error. I started thinking that it must be 405 if it's in Bothell. I think there is another site up by Mill Creek that's similar.

    Good eye!