Northwest NEWS

April 2, 2001

Features

Downstream: Cold Creek Natural Resource Area

King County Councilmember Louise Miller hosted a meeting at her Cottage Lake office to resolve some of the remaining issues around the Cold Creek Natural Resource properties.
   Participants included Connie Blumen from King County Park; Ray Heller, Bear Creek Basin Steward; and members of the community representing Water Tenders and the Upper Bear Creek UAC (Unincorported Area Council).
   The issue of renaming the area was resolved by suggesting the incorporation of historic designations of the properties under one umbrella, to be called the Cold Creek Natural Resource Area.
   This would include three sections: the Bassett Pond, which will include the names of Leno Bassett and his wife; the Cold Creek area, which includes the former blueberry farm; and the Mary Cash Farm, which was formerly known as Daniels Creek Park.
   There will be signs designating the Cold Creek Natural Resource Area, with sub-headings for the different sections on each location.
   An unimproved two stall gravelled parking area will provide access to Bassett Pond for birding or naturalist enjoyment.
   Mary Filkins of Water Tenders expressed concern about littering at the parking site, and it was hoped that this could be reduced by signs explaining the purpose of the area, and neighborhood stewardship.
   The Cold Creek area has limited access by way of a gated roadway. There are no plans for installing parking or other improvements to this area, but pedestrian access from the Mary Cash Farm area is available.
   A discussion about trying to protect the blueberry plants from invasion by blackberry vines and other vegetation, was tabled until further assessments could be made.
   The many ditchesin the area make general use by the public unsafe, as some are covered by vegetation.
   Larger ditches are deep enough for a real danger to people trying to walk in the area. It was generally agreed that some restoration of the area is a good idea, but there needs to be an over all plan, after experts review the biology of the area.
   The Mary Cash Farm (formerly Daniels Creek Park) has been blocked off by chain link fences, pending resolution of plans there. Community members requested that the fence be removed from the parking areas, and only put around the building areas.
   It was agreed that this was possible to do so that the public could have use of the area while the buildings were restored.
   Blumen, said they would like to patch the roof of the old barn, but they weren't sure about the costs involved. Meanwhile, the interpretive shelter would be restored for use as a picnic area.
   The parking lot will probably remain as it is, but there will be an assement of surface run-offissues, and further studies about wetland impacts. Blumen says that the idea in making any improvements will be around using this area as an educational resource for understanding he natural ecosystem of the Cottage Lake drainage to the Bear Creek System.
   The incorporation of the Mary Cash Farm name into this section recognizesnot only the former owner, but also the agricultural activities which were so much a part of the historic activity of the early settling of Bear Creek Valley.