September 1, 2011
August 30, 2011
Players join Mountains to Sound Greenway restoration project
Seattle Sounders FC fans often hold blue-and-green scarves aloft to show support for the team at CenturyLink Field.
Fans offered the same ardent support Aug. 29 for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust at Lake Sammamish State Park. The restoration team greeted Sounders forward David Estrada and midfielder Servando Carrasco as volunteers pulled invasive plants.
August 30, 2011
Volunteer opportunities abound in the fall
As summer and its busy weekends wind down, kids are back in school and life gets back to a routine. It’s time to think about new activities.
Fall might mean a new computer class or getting back into a fitness program, signing up the kids for extracurricular activities — or volunteering.
If a onetime commitment to volunteering is preferred, think about helping out at the Salmon Days Festival. Now, that’s fun! Did you know it takes nearly 500 volunteers to help out? Salmon Days is Oct. 1-2.
August 23, 2011
Join Seattle Sounders FC players and Seattle Bank employees as they volunteer with the Mountains to Sound Greenway to clear invasive weeds from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 29 at Lake Sammamish State Park.
Washington State Parks and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust are partnering together on the multiyear restoration of Lake Sammamish State Park. The park provides important habitat for several species of salmon, birds — including bald eagles, great blue herons and red-tailed hawks — amphibians, insects and other wildlife.
But recently the area has become extremely degraded by invasive weeds, including blackberry. In the past five years, volunteers have removed invasive species and re-established native plant communities throughout the park.
For this United We Serve event, Mountains to Sound will focus on clearing blackberry and other invasive species from around newly planted trees and shrubs to give these native plants a better chance at survival.
After a brief orientation and safety briefing, volunteers will dive into work along Issaquah Creek removing invasive weeds. The greenway trust will provide all of the tools, technical training and oversight for the projects — no experience is required.
Register for the event at www.SoundersFC.com. Search for “United We Serve” under the “Outreach” tab.
August 9, 2011
A total of 21 years have passed since the members of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club led the now well-known hike from Snoqualmie Pass to Seattle.
Since then, according to exhibition organizers, the landscape of Issaquah has been a key part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
With that in mind, Issaquah was picked to host the opening leg of the Mountains to Sound Greenway inaugural traveling photo exhibition.
The exhibition will feature 30 images of the greenway taken by people who live, work and play in the cities, towns, mountains and natural areas between Seattle and Eastern Washington.
The photos represent the work of amateur photographers of all ages and abilities.
July 26, 2011
Leaders nurture Interstate 90 greenbelt, acre by acre, year by year
Like the matter-of-fact name suggests, the Mountains to Sound Greenway starts amid the souvenir shops and seafood restaurants at the Seattle waterfront, unfurls along Interstate 90, encompassing cities and forests, and continues on, across the Cascades.
Issaquah, situated on the route, is not quite at the center, but the city is central in the long effort to create a greenbelt along the major roadway.
The idea for a conservation corridor along the interstate germinated in Issaquah more than 20 years ago. Issaquah Alps Trails Club members spearheaded a 1990 march from Snoqualmie Pass to Puget Sound to attract attention to the proposed greenbelt — a sort of Central Park for Western Washington.
The disparate citizen, conservation, corporate and government interests behind the proposal coalesced to form the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in 1991. Supporters marched from Ellensburg to Seattle in early July to celebrate the 20-year milestone.
“The original vision was, what can we agree on to preserve what’s important to everyone along this corridor?” retired Issaquah City Administrator Leon Kos said.
The corridor stretches for 100 miles, connects 1.4 million acres — or a landmass about 15 times larger than Seattle — and includes more than 800,000 acres in public ownership.
The conservation is enmeshed in cooperation.
The organization is built to foster dialogue among divergent groups. Seattle civic leader Jim Ellis, founding president of the greenway trust, called on rivals to sit down at the same table to create the conservation corridor. So, representatives on the 58-member board include the Sierra Club and Weyerhaeuser Co.
Kos, a longtime greenway supporter and board member, said the Issaquah Alps Trail Club assumed a fundamental role early on.
“The community group that was really very instrumental was the Issaquah Alps Trails Club,” he said.
July 5, 2011
FedEx employees from Issaquah gathered at Lake Sammamish State Park on June 16 to help the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust restore important fish and wildlife habitat.
The employees donated time and elbow grease as part of the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and volunteer efforts in local communities through the EarthSmart program. The volunteers, clad in purple FedEx T-shirts, planted native vegetation. They work at a distribution center in a commercial area adjacent to the state park.
The effort is the latest collaboration between FedEx and the greenway. The organization received a $25,000 FedEx and National Fish and Wildlife Stewardship Partnership Grant in a special delivery June 6 to continue habitat restoration efforts in the 512-acre state park.
The greenway stretches along Interstate 90 from the Seattle waterfront to Central Washington. The greenbelt links natural areas, farms, forests, communities, recreation opportunities and habitat for wildlife.
Through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, FedEx awarded grants to local nonprofit organizations in Seattle and 11 other cities across the United States.
July 2, 2011
Discover 20 reasons to love Issaquah, from the highest Tiger Mountain peak to the Lake Sammamish shoreline, and much more in between. The community includes icons and traits not found anywhere else, all in a postcard-perfect setting. The unique qualities — Issa-qualities? — start at the city’s name and extend into every nook and neighborhood. (The lineup is not arranged in a particular order, because ranking the city’s pre-eminent qualities seems so unfair.)
The annual salmon-centric celebration is stitched into the city’s fabric. Salmon Days serves as a last hurrah before autumn, a touchstone for old-timers and a magnet for tourists. The street fair consistently ranks among the top destinations in the Evergreen State and, for a time last year, as the best festival on earth — in the $250,000-to-$749,000 budget category, anyway.
The majestic title for the forested peaks surrounding the city, the Issaquah Alps, is a catchall term for Cougar, Squak and Tiger mountains. (Credit the late mountaineer and conservationist Harvey Manning for the sobriquet.) The setting is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts. Trails — some official and others less so — for hikers, bikers and equestrians crisscross the mountains, like haphazard tic-tac-toe patterns.
June 28, 2011
It’s not too late for hikers, historical buffs and music lovers to register for the hikes and parties scheduled for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust’s 20th anniversary.
The hikes have a historical precedent.
“In 1990, a group of avid hikers got together and realized that population growth was going to happen,” Mountains to Sound Greenway spokeswoman Erin MacCoy said. “They wanted to make sure we could keep the green places green, so they did a hike from Snoqualmie Pass to the Seattle waterfront to raise awareness about that.”
The group of 100 hikers, including members of the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, took five days to complete their trek. One year later, in 1991, environmentalists founded the greenway trust.
June 28, 2011
The ever-popular Concerts on the Green Series will kick-off on Tuesday, July 5, at the Issaquah Community Center with the Paul McCartney and Wings tribute band Wings N Things.
Various bands will perform free concerts on the community center lawn Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. through Aug. 30.
The series is presented by Issaquah Parks & Recreation and the Issaquah Arts Commission, in collaboration with the Kiwanis Club of Issaquah.
While the event is typically a nine-concert series, this year’s schedule includes a special Friday evening performance to celebrate the Mountains to Sound Greenway’s 20th anniversary. The greenway trust is devoted to conserving 1.5 million acres of land surrounding Interstate 90, from the Cascade Range to the Puget Sound.