Working for an evergreen future in the growing Northwest

By Trust for Public Land
Published March 10, 2015

Working for an evergreen future in the growing Northwest

If you’ve ever hiked the Pacific Northwest—or dreamed of it, as an armchair traveler—you know the peace and stillness of a walk in the woods: lush ferns underfoot, pine boughs overhead, and worries a world away. The forest is such an important part of the region’s identity that it’s easy to take for granted. After all, who can imagine a city like Seattle without its outdoor escapes?

But even the cities we easily associate with parks and open space face the challenge of protecting them for the future. In the Seattle metro area—one of the fastest-growing in the nation—planners wrestle with the question of how to provide a larger population with the same access to the outdoors that drew so many people to live there to begin with.

That’s why we’re protecting places like Squak Mountain, a forested peak in the “Issaquah Alps.” Despite the nickname and the feeling of remoteness its visitors enjoy, these quiet woods are just a half-hour from the bustle of downtown Seattle.

When more than 200 acres on the mountain came under threat from logging and development, the community rallied to protect the forest—and reached out to The Trust for Public Land for help. Last year, with your support, we successfully safeguarded the land for the King County park system.

Now, we’re working with local volunteers to prepare the property for its future as a public space that everyone can enjoy, restoring native plants and habitat for birds and wildlife. When complete, this land will provide a missing link in the trail network that crosses the Issaquah Alps—and a wilderness experience in reach of the city.

Squak Mountain is just the latest in The Trust for Public Land’s work to protect the places that make Seattle special—an effort that began decades ago with the Mountains to Sound Greenway. There are challenges ahead. But we’re working hard to ensure that as communities grow, their access to open space grows, too. You can help!

Trust for Public Land

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