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.
January 15, 2013
King County voters could decide soon on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.
Late last year, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.
The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Dow Constantine convened the task force to explore options for future funding.
December 10, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 2012
King County voters could decide next year on dollars to complete the East Lake Sammamish Trail, add a Cougar Mountain trailhead in Issaquah, and continue funding parks and trails countywide.
Late last month, King County Parks Levy Task Force members unanimously recommended continuing a pair of six-year levies to support county-run parks, trails and open space. Voters overwhelmingly approved the most recent pair of park levies in 2007.
The voter-approved levies fund the bulk of park operations, but the property tax measures expire in December 2013. In June, King County Executive Constantine convened the task force to explore options future funding.
October 23, 2012
Organizers of the popular SCOTT Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series at King County’s Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park have saved the toughest day of racing for last.
After runs of five, eight, 10 and 13 miles earlier this year, trail-run enthusiasts will have their choice of participating in races of 20 miles or 50 kilometers (31.06 miles) Oct. 28.
October 16, 2012
King County Parks launched a GPS-driven treasure hunt Oct. 6 to recognize land protected in the past 30 years.
Participants can join the King County Conservation Futures GeoTour. The treasure hunt to 20 King County Parks cache sites is designed to raise awareness about the 111,000 acres of land the Conservation Futures Program has preserved in the past 30 years.
The initial 190 people to fill a GeoTour Passport with 20 unique stamps found in cache boxes earn a commemorative coin.
Learn more about the King County Conservation Futures GeoTour at http://1.usa.gov/Q1Nvwm.
The first parkland purchased using Conservation Futures Program dollars consisted of 1,400 acres on Cougar Mountain.