Members of Eagle Scout Troop 571 pose with County Councilmember Louise Miller.
by Wendy Walsh
Members of Eagle Scout Troop 571 were among the participants of the Waterways 2000 meeting Nov. 7 at the Woodinville Library. Councilmember Louise Miller presented the troop with a Certificate of Appreciation for its stream restoration activities.
The meeting focused on public input regarding the waterways properties which were acquired by the Open Space bond funding. Citizen participant Terry Lavender explained that these lands are not parks, but are slated as preservation as a resource. "Joint stewardship between the citizens and the county as a partnership is what makes this program a success," she said.
Linda Hamm, who lives in the lower Bear Creek area, expressed concern about future stewardship. "What provisions are being made that there will always be this kind of mutual caring for the land?" she asked. Her suggestion was to build in a structure which included citizen monitors in permanent partnership with the county.
The two properties under discussion were a 40-acre piece on Paradise Lake Road and an 11-acre parcel south of the Tolt Pipeline, both on Bear Creek. Suggestions focused on minimal impacts, but with signs describing what is unique about each property. Natural seating, such as logs, would be preferable to "park" benches. Interpretive trails, where appropriate, were also suggested. Several speakers put a high value on the old orchard on the Whitlock property, and people said they wanted it to be preserved.
Ray Heller, Bear Creek Stream Steward, showed a series of slides of the properties and explained his personal experience in meeting neighbors who visit these properties. "Everyone appreciated the special features of these properties, such as salmon and the trees." He said there is minimal littering or other human damage, because people seem to really appreciate what is there, and want to preserve it.
Public input is welcome. Written comments may be sent to Ray Heller; SWM; 700 Fifth Ave., Suite 2200; Seattle, WA; phone 296-8391; or call Chris Mayo at King County Parks Department, 296-2955.