Celebrate National Trails Day on Tiger Mountain

May 22, 2012

Join the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and REI on Tiger Mountain to celebrate National Trails Day.

The annual event, scheduled for June 2, is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Potential volunteers can learn more and sign up at www.mtsgreenway.org.

Tiger Mountain is a popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. Its trails bring visitors through the remains of old growth forests left over from Tiger Mountain’s logging past.

Volunteers plan to repair overused trails by resurfacing, brushing, fixing drainage issues and repairing trail structures.

Sponsored by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day is meant to inspire hikers to visit a favorite trail or try something different.

Volunteers play a key role in keeping state and regional recreation areas open and safe for the public.

The public helps maintain trails and facilities, picks up litter, participates in work parties, provides information to visitors and alerts law enforcement to illegal activities.

In addition, King County Parks hosts more than 100 volunteer trail work events on projects to complement work done by the agency’s full-time backcountry trails crew.

120 years of Issaquah

April 24, 2012

Click on the image to view the full-size timeline.

1892

  • Issaquah is founded as Gilman. The city is named for railroad baron Daniel Hunt Gilman.

1893

  • The postmaster called for mail sent to Gilman to be addressed to Olney, Wash., to avoid confusion between Gilman and Gilmer, another city in the state.

1895

  • Townsfolk start calling the frontier town Issaquah, or “the sound of water birds” in the language of the American Indians native to the region.

1899

  • State lawmakers approve official name change from Gilman to Issaquah.

1900

  • Wilbur W. Sylvester founds the Bank of Issaquah in a clapboard building.

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‘GiveBIG’ to local nonprofit organizations May 2

April 24, 2012

The Seattle Foundation is staging a day of charitable giving in King County — and people can donate to numerous Issaquah-based organizations and groups serving local residents.

The foundation’s GiveBIG fundraising is a daylong event May 2.

GiveBIG invites people to make donations to almost 1,000 nonprofit organizations, including the Issaquah Schools Foundation, Village Theatre, Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Habitat for Humanity of East King County, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, YWCA of Seattle-King-Snohomish and the Together Center.

Each donation made to the more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations profiled on The Seattle Foundation’s website between midnight and midnight receives a pro-rated portion of the matching funds, or “stretch,” pool. The amount of the “stretch” depends on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day

Find a complete list of participating organizations and donation information at The Seattle Foundation’s website, www.seattlefoundation.org.

King County Council endorses greenway heritage plan

March 27, 2012

King County Council members endorsed a plan March 19 to designate the greenbelt along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

In a unanimous decision, council members called on Congress to recognize the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a ribbon of conservation lands, recreation areas and suburban cities interspersed among farms and forests — in a federal program for “nationally important” landscapes.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor of the motion, lauded the council for supporting the effort.

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway is truly one of the jewels of the Pacific Northwest,” he said in a statement.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could become the only National Heritage Area in Washington.

Though the National Park Service handles oversight for heritage areas, the lands differ from national parks. The designation does not add lands, land-use restrictions or more regulatory authority inside the National Heritage Area.

“The Mountains to Sound Greenway has been a bold vision which has been masterfully executed,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said. “This area absolutely needs to be a national heritage site.”

Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust earns honor for state park projects

March 27, 2012

The long-term effort to restore natural areas in Lake Sammamish State Park earned the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust recognition from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The nonprofit organization formed to oversee the Mountains to Sound Greenway earned the Significant Volunteer Achievement honor in the Volunteer Recognition Awards announced March 26.

Through a longtime Adopt-a-Park agreement, the greenway trust developed a nursery to plant, water, weed and pot native plants for use along the greenbelt from Seattle to Ellensburg.

Greenway members potted trees and shrubs — 23,000 plants in all. The group involved local students and corporate groups in restoration and maintenance along Issaquah Creek and planted trees at the state park.

The greenway trust also improved the 12-mile Squak Mountain trail system. Members installed more than 65 trail signs, raised 800 feet of turnpike trail above wet areas, performed stabilization work on equestrian trails and installed 150 drain dips to keep water off trails.

Statewide, volunteers at state parks last year performed 271,260 hours of work — equal to 130 full-time employees.

Mountains to Sound Greenway heritage plan earns King County endorsement

March 20, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. March 20, 2012

King County Council members endorsed a plan Monday to designate the greenbelt along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

In a unanimous decision, council members called on Congress to recognize the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a ribbon of conservation lands, recreation areas and suburban cities interspersed among farms and forests — in a federal program for “nationally important” landscapes.

The council motion is the latest support for the National Heritage Area effort. The push includes numerous supporters in Issaquah, such as Mayor Ava Frisinger and the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, a crucial and early greenway backer.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor of the motion, lauded the council for supporting the effort.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway proposal earns committee’s OK

March 13, 2012

The effort to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt along Interstate 90 — as a National Heritage Area received a key endorsement from a King County Council committee March 6.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could be the only National Heritage Area in Washington; no other region is designated as such. (Nationwide, Congress has designated 49 heritage areas from coast to coast.)

Council Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee members sent the full council a recommendation to pass a measure urging Congress to designate the greenway as a National Heritage Area. The council is expected to act on the measure March 19.

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Mountains to Sound Greenway heritage proposal earns committee’s endorsement

March 6, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. March 6, 2012

The effort to designate the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a 100-mile greenbelt along Interstate 90 — as a National Heritage Area received a key endorsement from a King County Council committee Tuesday.

The designation from Congress is meant to highlight a unique feature or local history. The greenway could be the only National Heritage Area in Washington; no other region is designated as such. (Nationwide, Congress has designated 49 heritage areas from coast to coast.)

Council Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee members sent the full council a recommendation to pass a measure urging Congress to designate the greenway as a National Heritage Area. The council is expected to act on the measure March 19.

Read more

Mountains to Sound Greenway seeks federal recognition

February 21, 2012

The greenway, shown above, runs parallel to Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront, through Issaquah and across the Cascades. The greenbelt encompasses 1.5 million acres in conservation lands, recreation areas, farms, working forests and cities. By Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, Greg Farrar

National Heritage Area is meant to highlight environment, history

The 100-mile-long Mountains to Sound Greenway — greenbelt stretched along Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront and across the Cascades — is often heralded as a national model for conservation and land use.

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Press Editorial

February 14, 2012

Heritage designation fits for greenway

It seems silly that different public land-use agencies cannot work together, but the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust is trying to help resolve that problem.

Today, there are six major agencies that manage public lands with the 1.5 million acres known as the greenway. These include the U.S. Forest Service, City of Seattle Watershed, state Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Parks, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and King County.

The agencies should be able to intermingle land management. The benefit focuses on enforcement and environmental decisions. For example, one agency employee may not have the authority to stop hunters or timber cutting on public land. It also opens the doors to pilot projects that might be used elsewhere in the country.

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