City renames forestland for former councilwoman

August 30, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

City Council members recognized Maureen McCarry on Aug. 15 by renaming a forested tract on Squak Mountain for the former councilwoman.

The change renamed the 40-acre Issaquah 69 parcel as McCarry Woods. The designation recognizes McCarry’s efforts as a councilwoman to acquire and preserve a key wildlife habitat and trail access to Squak Mountain State Park.

“This is, in my mind, one of the highest honors I think that we can give to any individual who has contributed so much to this community,” Councilman Joshua Schaer said before the unanimous decision to rename the land.

The city acquired the land in August 2007 as part of the Cougar-Squak Mountains Wildlife Corridor project. The forested land is just east of Squak Mountain Loop Southwest in the Forest Rim neighborhood high on Squak Mountain. McCarry is a Forest Rim resident.

In addition to preserving wildlife habitat, the acquisition protected a piece of the Bullitt Fireplace Trail — a link to the state park from Mountainside Drive Southwest.

“It’s certainly no surprise that Maureen provided the leadership that eventually resulted in the city acquiring what is soon to be known as McCarry Woods,” Councilman Fred Butler said. “She provided the impetus and the perseverance to continue to pursue that at a time when it really didn’t appear that we had a willing seller and the financial wherewithal to finally acquire that. Like many good things, they don’t happen easily, and it requires a champion to keep the interest alive. Maureen certainly did that.”

Mayor Ava Frisinger appointed a citizen committee early last month to select a name for the property. The committee included representatives from the municipal Park Board, Issaquah History Museums and the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce. The group recommended for renaming the Issaquah 69 land for McCarry.

“Councilmember McCarry was instrumental, and led the council, in approving the acquisition of this important piece of wildlife habitat land and ensuring that public trail access into the state park was forever protected,” the council legislation states.

McCarry resigned from the council in December 2010 as symptoms from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, progressed. (The council later appointed attorney Stacy Goodman to the Position 5 seat.)

Frisinger declared March 21 as Maureen McCarry Day on the same day the former councilwoman received the city’s top environmental honor, the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community.

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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One Response to “City renames forestland for former councilwoman”

  1. Betsy Kimball Baden on August 31st, 2011 6:14 am

    Maureen has been my closest friend since we met in graduate school 35 years ago. While I live on the east coast, I have been aware of the hard work and changes that Maureen has made for Issaquah. During my frequent visits to Squak Mountain this year, I have been overwhelmed by the beauty of Issaquah. Maureen is a selfless person and an advocate for all that is good in both private and civic life.. What many don’t know since she left public life in Issaquah, is that she has handled this devastating illness with unbelievable grace and continues to reach out to others despite the extraordinary physical limitations she now faces. I have been so heartened by the honors that the city of Issaquah has bestowed on Maureen. She is so deserving and I know the naming of McCarry Woods means a great deal to her. Thank you from a loving friend.

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