January 8, 2013
City leaders agreed to spend $380,000 last month to purchase 3.9 acres along Issaquah Creek and connect municipal parks.
The parcel, the Stacy-Flewell property at 10029 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E., is between Squak Valley Park and Squak Valley Park North. The acquisition should protect the habitat along the creek and enable the city to extend creek restoration work at Squak Valley Park North.
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.
August 21, 2012
On a hot, sunny Thursday in July, Skyline High School brothers Kyle and Josh Jancola spent their day hauling wheelbarrows full of gravel across the trails of Squak Valley Park.
Just ask them, they have the blisters to prove it.
It was all for a good cause though as the 16-year-old brothers completed their Eagle service project and helped improve the Issaquah park.
Kyle built 150 feet of new trail for the park, while Josh assembled and installed three park benches. The brothers hope that the improvements will be positive additions.
“I hope that people eventually would be able to come outside here and enjoy the fresh air,” Kyle said.
The brothers did not complete the project alone, though. Several friends, family members and fellow Scouts gathered to help the morning of July 19.
The heat was an annoyance, the brothers said, but they worked to keep a positive atmosphere with snacks and beverages for the volunteers.
June 19, 2012
Four Scouts earn Eagle rank
Four Boy Scouts from Issaquah Troop 609 — Eric Hall, Zach Hall, Ben Fairhart and Jacob Tierney — earned the rank of Eagle Scout, Scouting’s highest honor, at a court of honor ceremony June 4 at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, Bellevue.
Eric Hall planned and led for his Eagle Scout Project a volunteer effort to build the initial 150 feet of new trail in Squak Valley Park. Eric is an accomplished musician in the Issaquah High School wind ensemble, jazz band and Village Theatre Summerstock pit orchestra. Eric also plays football for the IHS football team and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Zach Hall planned and coordinated Scout and neighborhood volunteers to replace 30 yards of sand at South Cove Beach, repair signage and clean up landscaping. Zach is a proficient musician in the IHS wind ensemble, jazz band, Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Village Theatre Summerstock pit orchestra. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club and Japanese Club.
Ben Fairhart’s Eagle project involved the restoration of 150 feet of trail in Squak Valley Park. Outside of Scouting, Ben enjoys playing bass guitar with his band, The Greasy Spoon. Together they have performed in Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Buckley and most recently at El Corazon, in Seattle. He has also been active in service projects and mission trips through his church.
For his Eagle Scout project, Jacob “Jake” Tierney planned and organized the construction and ultimate emplacement of five wood duck nesting boxes along the shores of Lake Tradition. During this project, Jake also coordinated and supervised the relocation of wooden benches to a more useful location adjacent to Lake Tradition. Jake graduated with honors from Liberty High School on June 11. He will study engineering at Santa Clara University, in California in September. Jacob is also the proud recipient of a U.S. Air Force ROTC scholarship.
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.
April 10, 2012
Residents can join the city Parks & Recreation Department to plant trees and celebrate Arbor Day.
The parks department is holding a community tree-planting event April 21 along Issaquah Creek and the Pickering Trail. Organizers collected more than 150 trees for participants to plant.
February 21, 2012
The election for a King Conservation District board seat starts Feb. 28 and, although only a lone candidate appears on the ballot, district voters in Issaquah and elsewhere can cast ballots online.
The monthlong election is for a supervisor seat on the board of the conservation district — the agency responsible for promoting sustainable use of natural resources, and providing information and technical assistance to landowners.
February 14, 2012
The city has received a $19,000 grant from the King Conservation District to improve the Pickering Barn Demonstration Garden — a showcase for organic gardening and a source for the local food bank.
In addition to garden upgrades, officials intend to use grant dollars to improve the site and add more educational components. Seattle Tilth, a regional leader in sustainable organic gardening and public education in natural yard care practices, oversees the garden’s education component.
Plans call for the expanded education component to operate alongside the Issaquah School District and the municipal Parks & Recreation Department. The school district program aims to provide in-classroom teaching, teacher training and transportation for schoolchildren from campuses to the garden. The program through the parks department calls for classes in the garden for after-school community programs. The grant is meant to help transport children to the garden for the program.
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.
April 26, 2011
Issaquah leaders gathered on a less-than-springlike day April 16 to observe Arbor Day and plant a grove to honor Ruth Kees and the community’s other top environmentalists.
Like the top environmental honor in the city, the grove is named for the late Kees. The bespectacled environmentalist fought for decades to protect Issaquah Creek, Tiger Mountain and the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer from development-related threats.
The grove is set amid hundreds of other saplings in city parkland along Issaquah Creek.
Former Councilman David Kappler, plus environmentalists, Joanna Buehler, Ken Konigsmark and Janet Wall — all past Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community recipients — participated in the planting. Overall, about 20 people joined Mayor Ava Frisinger and the honorees for the ceremony.
Together, city leaders and residents planted conifers to symbolize the 10 Ruth Kees award recipients on a gray morning at Squak Valley Park North south of downtown Issaquah.