County seeks proposals for youth sports facilities

February 7, 2013

NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 7, 2013

Local youth sports organizations can apply for King County grants to build or upgrade recreation facilities.

The county Youth Sports Facilities Grants Program provides matching grant funds from $5,000 to $75,000. Past grant recipients include playgrounds and athletic fields, including the Issaquah Little League’s Dodd Fields near Issaquah Valley Elementary School.

Other local grant recipients in the Issaquah area include city-run Central Park in the Issaquah Highlands and county-run Duthie Hill Park in Sammamish.

Overall, officials awarded $12 million through the program in the past 20 years.

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Explore outdoors in King County Parks Fitness Challenge

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.

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Department of Ecology fines King County for trail work violation

December 18, 2012

State regulators fined King County $1,500 after workers failed to follow rules to stop sediment discharges into a municipal storm drain during construction on the East Lake Sammamish Trail.

The state Department of Ecology said crews from the county Facilities Management Division repeatedly did not install the proper controls outlined under the storm water permit to prevent sediment discharges.

The agency issued the fine July 20, but did not announce the penalty until Nov. 27, as the Department of Ecology detailed all fines issued statewide between July and September. Officials typically do not issue individual media releases unless a penalty reaches $10,000 or more.

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Final Cougar Mountain trail run offers 20-mile, 50-kilometer races

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.

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King County launches geocaching at parks

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.

King County parks host GPS-driven treasure hunt

October 4, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Oct. 4, 2012

King County Parks is launching a GPS-driven treasure hunt on Cougar Mountain to recognize land protected in the last 30 years.

Starting Saturday, 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 last 30 years.

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Citizens can comment on proposed Grand Ridge trailhead

September 18, 2012

King County parks planners asked the public for input on a proposed trailhead facility to add access to Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Forest near Preston.

The county Parks and Recreation Division is hosting a public meeting on the proposal Sept. 27.

The meeting includes a public question and comment period. Staffers intend to provide a summary of comments received to date, plus information about possible access and road improvements.

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Planners seek public input on proposed Grand Ridge trailhead

September 13, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 13, 2012

King County parks planners asked the public for input on a proposed trailhead facility to add access to Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Forest near Preston.

The county Parks and Recreation Division is hosting a public meeting on the proposal from 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Preston Community Center, 8625 310th Ave. S.E. The meeting includes a public question and comment period.

Citizens can also submit comments to the county through Oct. 12.

Officials said developed access to Grand Ridge Park and Mitchell Hill Forest is limited to two locations meant to serve only Grand Ridge Park.

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Leaders laud land program for 30 years of conservation

August 28, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 28, 2012

King County leaders highlighted the program used to preserve 111,000 acres of farmland, forests, parks and open space countywide, including Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park and Taylor Mountain near Issaquah.

In a recognition Monday, King County Council members marked 30 years of milestones in the Conservation Futures Program — a long-term effort to expand and maintain a open space.

In 1982, King County became the first county in the state to use Conservation Futures Funds. Cougar Mountain is the initial parkland purchased with program funds.

“It is important to preserve our open and natural spaces for recreation and reflection on our environmental heritage,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, said in a statement.

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Conservation Futures Program celebrates 30 years

July 31, 2012

The program instrumental in conserving Cougar Mountain as permanent open space is turning 30, and outdoors enthusiasts planned a local event to celebrate the milestone.

In the past 30 years, county officials used $300 million in Conservation Futures Program funds and more than $150 million in matching funds to preserve land, including the Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park near Issaquah.

Overall, program dollars enabled the county to conserve 108,600 acres countywide, add 3,200 acres of urban parks and greenways, and protect 4,700 acres of watershed and salmon habitat.

Cougar Mountain is the initial parkland purchased with program funds.

“Through the commitment of residents and leaders over the past three decades, we have built a legacy of working forestlands and farms, linked trail systems and preserved beautiful open space for us — and future generations — to enjoy,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement.

The county and open space partners also launched a website, www.kingcounty.gov/conservationfutures, to explain the program’s history.

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