May 31, 2011
The city is poised to deploy experts to determine how much land sits beneath leafy tree branches.
The most recent estimate — using 2006 aerial photography and collected in a 2008 tree canopy survey — pegged the tree canopy coverage inside city limits at 51 percent.
The percentage could vary between surveys, due to recent construction and the methods used in the earlier effort. The initial program did not meet regional standards for tree canopy surveys, but the measure did provide baseline tree canopy information for the city Comprehensive Plan, a key growth blueprint.
Issaquah received a $10,000 grant from the state Department of Natural Resources to fund the upcoming study. Municipal staffers intend to contribute $6,350 to the project through in-kind services. City Council members accepted the grant May 2.
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.
April 12, 2011
Help city and state leaders dedicate the Ruth Kees Grove, and commemorate Arbor Day and the 20th anniversary of the state Department of Natural Resource Urban Forestry Program, at Squak Valley Park South.
Join city officials April 16 to plant 10 native conifers to honor the 10 recipients of the Ruth Kees Environmental Award for a Sustainable Community. The city has invited past recipients to the celebration.
Plans also call for the grove to include a trail, decorative rock features and a small patio or courtyard, featuring recipients’ names engraved on paver stones.
Past recipients received the honor for efforts to establish the Mountains to Sound Greenway, blaze trails in the Issaquah Alps and protect Issaquah waterways.
Ruth Kees, a longtime environmental activist, fought for decades to protect Issaquah Creek, Tiger Mountain and the Lower Issaquah Valley Aquifer. The award namesake received the inaugural honor in 2003.
October 23, 2010
NEW — 6 a.m. Oct. 23, 2010
Mayor Ava Frisinger has designated a trio of landmark trees as Heritage Trees — a distinction meant to reflect the age, size, historic significance and ecological value of the plants.
The trees include the giant sequoia at Tibbetts Valley Park, the Empress Tree at Cornick Park and the Oregon white oak at the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery.
City Park Board members developed the Heritage Tree Program to promote identification and recognition of trees that reflect the character of Issaquah. Every Heritage Tree is identified and recorded in a register maintained by the city Parks & Recreation Department.
May 11, 2010
Issaquah marked by achievers, volunteers
A Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award nominations, environmental awards, Tree City USA, scholars, top athletes, best Retirement City…. are there still awards Issaquah and its citizens have yet to receive? The recognitions come from near and far, locally and nationally — and they just keep coming. Read more
May 4, 2010
Issaquah has been designated a Tree City USA for the 17th consecutive year. The honor from the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes cities dedicated to community forestry.
The foundation also bestowed a Tree City USA Growth Award because the city demonstrated a process in generating publicity for tree-preservation efforts, educating residents and managing the urban forest. The honor recognizes environmental improvement and higher levels of tree care in Tree City USA communities.
The city received the award last year as well.
Mayor Ava Frisinger proclaimed April 19 as Arbor Day in the city. City Open Space Steward Matt Mechler led a tree presentation for the municipal Park Board the following week.
April 20, 2010
The mayor and city brass gathered to celebrate Arbor Day last April beneath dull gray skies — a bare, drab scene unlike the leafy canopy shading Issaquah streets in summertime.
City leaders and residents gather every spring to plant the official Arbor Day tree: a Burr oak near Gibson Hall last year, a crabapple at Grand Ridge Elementary School the year before. The annual ceremony serves as more than a photo opportunity.
Officials will mark Arbor Day indoors next week, with a presentation by city Open Space Steward Matt Mechler to the municipal Park Board.
Issaquah, designated as a Tree City USA for the past 16 years, is required to observe and proclaim Arbor Day to maintain the designation. Officials mark the day with a tree planting, and select a ceremonial tree for each occasion.
City Arborist Alan Haywood oversees the urban forest and ensures that Issaquah keeps the Tree City USA distinction — no small feat in a city where tree canopy covers 51 percent of the municipality.
April 6, 2009
A majestic Burr oak will be added to the Gibson Park landscape April 8, when city officials and volunteers gather to mark Arbor Day. Though the national holiday will be observed April 24, locals and Washingtonians will get a jumpstart on Arbor Day because early April is more conducive to planting in the Evergreen State. Read more