April 8, 2014
A public celebration is set to commemorate preservation of 226 acres of high-quality forestland in the Issaquah Alps — the result of a partnership between King County and The Trust for Public Land.
The acquisition adds to King County’s Cougar-Squak Corridor parkland. The area was set for logging more than a year ago.
“Our partnership to protect Squak Mountain’s irreplaceable fish and wildlife habitat is cause for celebration,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a news release. “I want to thank The Trust for Public Land and the people of King County on behalf of generations who will enjoy hiking, viewing wildlife and other recreation in this forest.”
March 11, 2014
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is now home to a unique land-art installation that pays tribute to the area’s coal mining past.
The project, entitled “Black Forest (29,930,000 tons),” is spread across the forest floor in the form of nearly 50,000 pounds of biochar, environmentally friendly charcoal that appears similar to the coal that was once mined from the mountain.
February 18, 2014
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park will soon host a unique art installation that honors its past, while nurturing its future.
4Culture and the King County Parks and Recreation Division present Black Forest [29,930,000 tons], a land-art project created by Seattle-based artist Hans Baumann.
January 17, 2014
NEW — Noon Jan. 17, 2014
The Issaquah History Museums will host its first program of 2014 with its presentation of “Cougar Mountain in the Cold War: Issaquah’s NIKE Missile Base.”
Local expert Doug Bristol will present the story of the strategic missile site that was located on the site of present-day Radar Park in the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park.
September 25, 2013
NEW — 1 p.m. Sept. 25, 2013
Join King County Executive Dow Constantine and mountaineering legend Jim Whittaker as King County honors Whittaker and climbing partner Sherpa Nawang Gombu for their historic ascent of Mount Everest 50 years ago.
Meet at noon Sept. 26 at the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Wilderness Peak Trailhead, 10245 Renton-Issaquah Road S.E.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Whittaker-Gombu ascent of Mount Everest, when Whittaker, a Seattle native, became the first American to summit Earth’s highest mountain. It was also Gombu’s first ascent of Everest; a few years later, he became the first person to conquer Mount Everest for a second time.
August 4, 2013
NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 4, 2013
Discover a King County park or trail you’ve never explored before — and earn a commemorative geocoin, too — by taking King County Parks’ GeoTour this summer.
The tour began in 2012 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the county’s first use of Conservation Futures funds to purchase land threatened by development, according to a news release from King County Parks.
All 20 sites on the GeoTour are part of King County Parks, thanks to Conservation Futures.
Numerous GeoTour participants have provided feedback to King County about their experiences:
July 30, 2013
If the King County Parks levy doesn’t pass on the Aug. 6 primary-election ballot, popular trails and parks will close, county officials say.
The county parks system, which includes 200 parks, 175 miles of trails and 26,000 acres of open space, depends on the six-year tax levy for 70 percent of its operating funds. County parks generate the rest of their operating budget through ballfield rentals and commercial ventures, like having Cirque du Soleil at Marymoor Park.
The proposed levy would fund maintenance at Marymoor, Cougar Mountain and other big regional parks, as well as smaller parks in cities and unincorporated King County. It would fund new purchases of open space and development of new trails, including connecting an east-west trail in South King County.
June 12, 2013
February 8, 2013
NEW — 12:05 p.m. Feb. 8, 2013
High on Squak Mountain, pink plastic strips tied to trees mark 216 acres of forest as a timber harvest area.
Since a timber company purchased the forest and started the process to permit logging on the site, conservationists and nearby residents mobilized to fight the proposal to clear cut the land. The logging opponents said cutting trees on the land could lead to more flooding downhill, damage sensitive fish and wildlife habitat, and add a timber harvest site near conservation lands.
The proposal from Eatonville-based Erickson Logging to harvest timber on 216 acres on the mountainside above Renton-Issaquah Road Southeast galvanized residents on Squak Mountain and near May Creek, a destination for runoff from the mountain.
February 6, 2013
NEW — 6 p.m. Feb. 6, 2013
Parkgoers can participate in challenges, enjoy the outdoors and burn some calories as King County Parks rolls out a fitness program at Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and other sites.
Countywide, organizers designed 30 challenge locations countywide for the King County Parks Fitness Challenge.
The challenge — initially created through a partnership with Group Health’s Fitness Network for county employees — is available to the public.
“The public can also enjoy the parks fitness challenge as a great way to exercise while enjoying some of the 26,000 acres of parks, 175 miles of regional trails and 180 miles of backcountry trails that we proudly maintain,” King County Parks Director Kevin Brown said in a statement.