City plans to build new Confluence Park for salmon as well as humans

July 9, 2015

While it might have made great farmland in its day, the property that now makes up Confluence Park does not, in its present condition, make for very good parkland or, probably more importantly, a very good habitat for local salmon.

The first step toward changing that is removal of 8,000 cubic feet of soil that fills what used to be part of the flood plain for Issaquah Creek, said Kerry Ritland, surface water manager for the city.

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Confluence Parks Area is ready for unveiling

August 20, 2013

Come to the Confluence Parks Area, 695 Rainier Blvd. N., from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 28 to celebrate the community’s newest park.

The city will provide hot dogs, pie and ice cream. There will be inflatable games for young attendees and live music for the adults.

The Confluence Parks Area is the “crown jewel in the city of Issaquah parks system,” according to a press release. It has three contiguous parks, Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek. The land encompasses 15.5 acres at the confluence of Issaquah Creek’s main stem and East Fork.

The new park includes interconnecting trails, a meadow, play areas, a restroom facility and, as its centerpiece, a picnic structure designed to evoke the land’s roots as the Anderson Farm.

Use the hashtag #bbquah during the event to share your stories and photos. Learn more about the park at the project website,


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Issaquah receives creek restoration grant

January 1, 2013

Issaquah recently received a $225,000 state grant to restore salmon habitat along Issaquah Creek at a downtown parks site.

The grant is meant to supplement city dollars to restore aquatic and creekside habitat for chinook, coho and kokanee salmon, as well as cutthroat trout and steelhead, at the confluence of Issaquah Creek and the East Fork of Issaquah Creek. The city plans to contribute $45,000 to the project.

Plans call for crews to remove about 1,000 feet of rock creek banks, reconfigure 1,900 feet of channel, add logjams to form pools for fish, restore wetlands and replant vegetation along the creek.

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Contractor sought for downtown Issaquah parks project

August 28, 2012

The city is on the hunt for a contractor to start construction at the downtown parks along Issaquah Creek — a 15.5-acre expanse often referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system.

The information for potential bidders outlines the site preparation and grading, picnic shelter construction, and sewer and water utility work planned for Phase 1. The contractor must also place a pre-manufactured restroom facility at the site, and add lighting, walkways, stone seating and walls, and plantings to the parks.

Officials allocated about $1 million for the initial phase. The amount is not enough to complete the ambitious plan for the site, but is enough to start the process.

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King County Flood Control District preserves dollars for salmon projects

June 19, 2012

Issaquah salmon-restoration projects could garner grant dollars after all, even though a lawsuit threatened to cut off funds for conservation projects countywide.

King County Flood Control District leaders decided to fund salmon-recovery projects after the King Conservation District stopped doling out grants amid a legal challenge.

Flood Control District officials approved $3 million May 14 for projects to improve water quality, protect and restore habitat, and support salmon recovery efforts. King County Council members sit as the executive board for the Flood Control District.

The decision is meant to plug a gap left after the King Conservation District halted a separate process to issue salmon-recovery grants. Read more

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Press Editorial

May 8, 2012

Park bond should include new museum

The Issaquah City Council is considering asking voters to approve another park bond, either this fall or in 2013.

Voters last passed a park bond six years ago.

The city will soon launch a public opinion survey to gauge residents’ interest in what the bond might include. The survey should reach residents by late spring or early summer.

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Construction to start on downtown Issaquah parks

April 17, 2012

Timeline remains uncertain due to lack of funding

The downtown parks along Issaquah Creek — 15.5 acres referred to as the crown jewel in the municipal parks system — can soon start a long transformation into undulating paths, picnic areas and more.

In a March 19 decision, City Council members approved the overarching design outline, or master site plan, for the interconnected Tollë Anderson, Cybil-Madeline and Issaquah Creek parks. The action laid the groundwork for construction to start on the site by late summer, though the effort to complete the parks could stretch for years.

City parks planners still need to acquire municipal permits for the initial construction phase. Meanwhile, architects at The Berger Partnership, a Seattle firm, continue to fine-tune the design for the parks.

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Issaquah voters could decide parks funds in November

April 17, 2012

Issaquah voters could decide as early as November on a multimillion dollar package to fund expansions and upgrades to city parks.

The proposed park bond could generate dollars to add amenities to existing parks, create additional parkland and purchase undeveloped land for conservation. The package could infuse funds into the parks system as lean municipal budgets limit the number of projects the city can undertake.

The municipal Parks & Recreation Department is in the initial stage to prepare for such a bond package, although the timeline is not yet firm. The decision to put a bond measure on the ballot is left to the City Council.

The city is considering offers from firms to conduct a public opinion survey to gauge residents’ interest in parks amenities. The survey should reach residents by late spring or early summer.

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Builders earn national award for Compassion House

September 27, 2011

Constructing the Julia L. Pritt House for homeless families earned the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties a national award for community service.

The association joined the Issaquah nonprofit organization Compassion House to build the downtown residence last year. Compassion House offers housing to families transitioning from homelessness.

The namesake philanthropist donated land for the house. Teams then built most of the structure using materials donated by HomeAid Master Builders Care, a Master Builders Care Foundation program.

The effort earned the Master Builders Association and the foundation the honor for Best Community Service Project from the National Association of Home Builders, a trade organization, at a mid-August conference in Naples, Fla.

The local association also earned awards for Best Print Publication, Best HBA Partnership/Coalition and Best Service to Members.

Families settled in to the Julia L. Pritt House last year.

Pritt died in April 2010 at age 77. In addition to supporting Compassion House, she donated money to enable the city to purchase downtown Cybil-Madeline Park. The open space along Issaquah Creek is named for Pritt’s granddaughters.

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Planners propose 11 projects to restore chinook, kokanee habitat

August 23, 2011

On the East Fork of Issaquah Creek at Third Avenue Northeast and Northeast Creek Way, plans call for the rockery bank wall to be removed and a log weir to be created. By Greg Farrar

Creeks leading to Lake Sammamish could serve as staging areas in the years ahead for a bold plan to restore salmon habitat.

The regional Lake Sammamish Kokanee Work Group has proposed 11 projects in Issaquah and Sammamish to restore habitat for chinook salmon — a species protected under the Endangered Species Act — and dwindling Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon.

The once-abundant kokanee has declined in recent decades, perhaps due to construction near creeks, increased predators, disease or changes in water quality. Scientists estimated the total 2010 run at 58 fish, including the 40 kokanee spawned at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery in a last-ditch effort to save the species.

The proposed projects range from colossal — such as rerouting Laughing Jacobs Creek through Lake Sammamish State Park — to small — adding plants in the Lewis Creek delta, for instance.

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